Investigation of the Exposure-Response Relationship Between Fine Particulate Matter and Asthma Symptoms Using Novel Mobile Sensor Systems in NYC Children

EPA Grant Number: FP917825
Title: Investigation of the Exposure-Response Relationship Between Fine Particulate Matter and Asthma Symptoms Using Novel Mobile Sensor Systems in NYC Children
Investigators: Lim, Chris Chaeha
Institution: New York University
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2018
Project Amount: $132,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships

Objective:

Adverse respiratory health effects of air pollution on children have been extensively examined. Studies usually assign exposures to subjects using daily values from central site monitors and assess symptoms severity via questionnaires, which may result in potential bias. Location tracking capabilities of smartphones and wearable devices that can measure health outcomes offer solutions to existing shortcomings. This project will utilize state-of-the-art mobile health (“mHealth”) wearable sensor technologies to study the real-time exposure-response relationship between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and asthma outcomes in a cohort of elementary school children with asthma within the South Bronx region of New York City.

Approach:

In a two-stage recruitment process, fifth graders (10-12 years of age) from the South Bronx region of NYC, with physician-diagnosed asthma, will be recruited. Each recruit will carry mobile health devices that will record real-time exposure to fine particulate matter and occurrence of asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and usage of inhalers, for a total period of four weeks continuously during weekdays and their non-sleeping hours, both indoors and outdoors. The exposure-response relationship will be studied via polynomial distributed models, while the environment-response relationship will be studied via land use regression models with geographical information system variables as inputs.

Expected Results:

By measuring accurate real-time personal exposures to PM2.5 and asthma health outcomes, this proposed study would yield temporally sensitive estimates of the interval between exposure and health event (lag), representing a vast improvement over past studies that have reported lags in scales of terms of days. The results would also allow identification of environmental factors that are associated with increased risks for outcomes incidence, such that ‘hot spots’ with elevated risks can be identified. It is expected that proximity to major truck routes and high population density areas will pose the highest risks.

Supplemental Keywords:

mobile health, air pollution, asthma, exposure assessment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2016
  • 2017
  • Final