Effects of Controlled Exposure to Diesel Exhaust in Allergic Asthmatic Individuals

EPA Grant Number: R834677C165
Subproject: this is subproject number 165 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R834677
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Health Effects Institute (2010 — 2015)
Center Director: Greenbaum, Daniel S.
Title: Effects of Controlled Exposure to Diesel Exhaust in Allergic Asthmatic Individuals
Investigators: Riedl, Marc A
Institution: University of California - Los Angeles , Health Effects Institute (HEI)
EPA Project Officer: Hunt, Sherri
Project Period: April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2015
RFA: Health Effects Institute (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health Effects , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air


Increasingly stringent emission standards and advances in engine technology have resulted in decreasing particulate matter concentrations and gaseous emissions from modern diesel engines. At the same time, diesel engine exhaust (DE) from older engines in the current fleet continues to contribute significantly to traffic-derived ambient particles, an important component of urban air pollution. Epidemiologic and experimental studies published in the 1990s suggested that short-term exposure to either whole diesel emissions or to the particulate fraction (diesel exhaust particles; DEP) may be associated with adverse respiratory and immune system effects in humans. It had been suggested that these effects could be more severe in persons with asthma and other allergic diseases.

Investigators propose to evaluate the effects of inhaled DEP on the lower airways and blood of healthy subjects and of allergic asthmatic individuals. The investigators hypothesized that inhalation of DEP would enhance inflammatory or allergic immunologic responses to allergens.


For the source of DE, the investigators will purchase a 1999 medium-duty diesel pickup truck with a 250-hp turbocharged V-8 engine that uses ultra-low–sulfur diesel fuel and has been driven for approximately 60,000 miles.

In a pilot study, the investigators will build a diesel exposure facility at LAREI with a human exposure chamber, characterized the DE generated by the truck, and exposed a small group of healthy (i.e., non-allergic, non-asthmatic) participants to DE and to filtered air. Investigators will also added study exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a gaseous component of DE that has the potential to affect some of the same health end-points.

Expected Results:

After completing a study evaluating the effects of exposure to diesel exhaust (DE) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on the lower airways and blood of allergic asthmatic participants, investigators will have measured multiple physiologic and pulmonary function endpoints, including specific airway resistance, oxygen saturation, bronchial reactivity, and inflammatory and immunologic endpoints. Investigators expect the result to show that inhalation of diesel exhaust would enhance inflammatory or allergic immunologic responses.

Supplemental Keywords:

Health Effects, Air Toxics, urban air toxics, indoor air, epidemiology, mobile-source air toxics,  exposure models, diesel exhaust, susceptibility

Relevant Websites:

http://pubs.healtheffects.org/getfile.php?u=693 Exit

Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R834677    Health Effects Institute (2010 — 2015)

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R834677C149 Development and Application of a Sensitive Method to Determine Concentrations of Acrolein and Other Carbonyls in Ambient Air
R834677C150 Mutagenicity of Stereochemical Configurations of 1,3-Butadiene Epoxy Metabolites in Human Cells
R834677C151 Biologic Effects of Inhaled Diesel Exhaust in Young and Old Mice: A Pilot Project
R834677C152 Evaluating Heterogeneity in Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution Using Land-Use Regression and Constrained Factor Analysis
R834677C153 Improved Source Apportionment and Speciation of Low-Volume Particulate Matter Samples
R834677C155 The Impact of the Congestion Charging Scheme on Air Quality in London
R834677C156 Concentrations of Air Toxics in Motor Vehicle-Dominated Environments
R834677C158 Air Toxics Exposure from Vehicle Emissions at a U.S. Border Crossing: Buffalo Peace Bridge Study
R834677C159 Role of Neprilysin in Airway Inflammation Induced by Diesel Exhaust Emissions
R834677C160 Personal and Ambient Exposures to Air Toxics in Camden, New Jersey
R834677C162 Assessing the Impact of a Wood Stove Replacement Program on Air Quality and Children’s Health
R834677C163 The London Low Emission Zone Baseline Study
R834677C165 Effects of Controlled Exposure to Diesel Exhaust in Allergic Asthmatic Individuals
R834677C168 Evaluating the Effects of Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments on Air Quality
R834677C172 Potential Air Toxics Hot Spots in Truck Terminals and Cabs
R834677C173 Detection and Characterization of Nanoparticles from Motor Vehicles
R834677C174 Cardiorespiratory Biomarker Responses in Healthy Young Adults to Drastic Air Quality Changes Surrounding the 2008 Beijing Olympics