Novel exposure metrics for assessing the effects of ultrafine and fine particulate matter on asthma in children

EPA Grant Number: R836152C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R836152
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Center for the Study of Childhood Asthma in the Urban Environment
Center Director: Hansel, Nadia
Title: Novel exposure metrics for assessing the effects of ultrafine and fine particulate matter on asthma in children
Investigators: Koehler, Kirsten , Matsui, Elizabeth C.
Current Investigators: Koehler, Kirsten
Institution: The Johns Hopkins University
EPA Project Officer: Louie, Nica
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2019
RFA: Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health , Children's Health

Objective:

Specific Aim 1: Evaluate the relationship between air pollution, including ultrafine particles (UFP) and fine particles, and asthma symptoms, lung function and inflammatory biomarkers.

Specific Aim 2: Evaluate the effects of potentially modifiable factors of air pollution, including ultrafine particles (UFP), microenvironment, and peak exposure, on overweight children with asthma.

Specific Aim 3: Evaluate the role of weight as a susceptibility factor for the impact of UFP, microenvironmental, and peak exposures on asthma outcomes.

Approach:

To accomplish these objectives, we will examine the effects of PNC and peak PM exposure in a panel study of 50 children with asthma, each of whom will be followed for 7 days with 4 days of continuous monitoring of PNC and PM2.5 mass, geographic location, biomarkers, and asthma outcomes. In Aim 1 we will evaluate the relationship between UFP and fine particles and asthma symptoms, lung function and inflammatory biomarkers. We will use the location information to apportion exposure into the microenvironments in which children spend time (e.g. home, school, transit) and evaluate the relationships between these microenvironmental exposures, as well as longer-term measures of exposure, on asthma outcomes. In Aim 2 we will develop an automated peak detection algorithm and evaluate the contribution of peak exposures to cumulative exposure and estimate the effects of peak exposures on children with asthma. Finally, in Aim 3, we will evaluate the role of weight as a susceptibility factor for the impact of UFP, microenvironmental, and peak exposures on asthma outcomes. We expect that this study design, taking advantage of recent technological advancements, will provide unprecedented ability to assess the importance of fine PM factors on asthma outcomes in children. Such evidence will allow for individualized environmental intervention strategies that target susceptible populations.

Rationale:

Particulate matter (PM) air pollution is known to exacerbate asthma symptoms in children; however, it is still unclear which metric (particle size, morphology or chemical composition) of PM is most relevant to respiratory health. The broad objective of this work is to determine which potentially modifiable factors of fine PM, including ultrafine particles (UFP), microenvironment, and peak exposure, are associated with respiratory effects in inner-city children with asthma. A second, related objective is to evaluate the effects of these fine PM factors on overweight children with asthma, a susceptible population recently identified by our Center.

Progress and Final Reports:

2016 Progress Report
2017 Progress Report


Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R836152    Center for the Study of Childhood Asthma in the Urban Environment

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R836152C001 Investigating obesity as a susceptibility factor for air pollution in childhood
R836152C002 Novel exposure metrics for assessing the effects of ultrafine and fine particulate matter on asthma in children
R836152C003 The Role of Obesity in Biological Responses to Particulate Matter in Mice