Final Report: Investigating Chronic Effects of Exposure to Particulate Matter

EPA Grant Number: R827353C006
Subproject: this is subproject number 006 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827353
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EPA Harvard Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects
Center Director: Koutrakis, Petros
Title: Investigating Chronic Effects of Exposure to Particulate Matter
Investigators: Dockery, Douglas W. , Laden, Francine , Schwartz, Joel
Institution: Harvard University , Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: June 1, 1999 through May 31, 2005 (Extended to May 31, 2006)
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Airborne Particulate Matter (PM) Centers (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Particulate Matter , Air

Objective:

We followed up the Six Cities Study cohort in an effort to assess the cumulative effect of long-term exposures on the incidence of lung cancer, nonmalignant respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and cause-specific mortality. Vital statistics were determined for the 8,111 participants in the Harvard Six Cities adult cohort for an additional nine years of follow-up (1990–1998). We identified 1,430 additional deaths bringing the total to 2,737 deaths.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

During the follow-up period, 1990–1998, air pollution levels decreased in two of the cities, while they remained about the same in the other four. Monitoring of PM2.5 and PM10 was included as part of the original study, but it was not continued in the more recent period of follow-up. Therefore, we modeled PM2.5 for this time period using data from nearby monitors in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality System monitoring network. Accordingly, a paper showing a decrease in the relative risk from mortality consistent with decreased air pollution levels in specific cities was published (Laden, et al., 2006). We found an increase in overall mortality associated with each 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 modeled either as the overall mean (rate ratio [RR], 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07–1.26) or as exposure in the year of death (IRR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.06–1.22). PM2.5 exposure was associated with lung cancer (1111, 1.27; 95% CI, 0.96–1.69) and cardiovascular deaths (RR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.13–1.44). Improved overall mortality was associated with decreased mean PM2.5 (10 μg/m3) between periods (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.57–0.95). Survival analyses of all-cause mortality shows that life expectancy continues to be reduced in the more polluted cities, with the survival relative ranking being the same as that observed in the original study.

In addition, we completed an analysis of the effects of control of particulate air pollution on mortality in Dublin, Ireland (Clancy, et al., 2002). Because of high particulate (Black Smoke) levels, the Irish government banned the sale of coal within the city of Dublin as of September 1990. We showed that mean black smoke concentrations dropped by 36 μg/m3 following the ban. After adjusting for the age distribution of the population, weather, influenza epidemics, and background mortality in the rest of Ireland, Dublin total mortality rates dropped by 6%, respiratory mortality dropped by 16%, and cardiovascular mortality by 10%.

Additional analysis using distributed lag models found the effects of both particulate air pollution and temperature on mortality persisted for 3–4 weeks after exposure (Goodman, et al., 2004). The temperature effects were more prolonged for respiratory deaths compared to cardiovascular deaths. The effects of particulate air pollution on mortality were strongest on the day of and the few days after exposure but extend out through about 40 days after exposure. This extended air pollution association was most marked for the elderly population groups and for respiratory causes of death. These extended follow-up effects were two to three times greater than the acute effects reported in other studies and approach the effects reported in longer-term survival studies.

Conclusions:

The follow-up analysis of the Six Cities Study found total, cardiovascular, and lung cancer mortality to be positively associated with ambient PM2.5 concentrations. Reduced PM2.5 concentrations were associated with reduced mortality risk.

Similarly, markedly reduced black smoke and particulate levels in Dublin, due to a ban on coal sales in the city, were associated with reduced mortality from respiratory and cardiovascular causes. Further analysis suggested that the studies on the acute effects of air pollution have underestimated the total effects of temperature and particulate air pollution on mortality.

References:

Clancy L, Goodman P, Sinclair H, Dockery DW. Effect of air-pollution control on death rates in Dublin, Ireland: an intervention study. Lancet 2002;360(9341):1210-1214.

Goodman PG, Dockery DW, Clancy L. Cause-specific mortality and the extended effects of particulate pollution and temperature exposure. Environmental Health Perspectives 2004;112(2):179-185.

Laden F, Schwartz J, Speizer FE, Dockery DW. Reduction in fine particulate air pollution and mortality: extended follow-up of the Harvard six cities study. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2006;173(6):667-672.


Journal Articles on this Report : 4 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 4 publications 4 publications in selected types All 4 journal articles
Other center views: All 200 publications 198 publications in selected types All 197 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Clancy L, Goodman P, Sinclair H, Dockery DW. Effect of air-pollution control on death rates in Dublin, Ireland:an intervention study. Lancet 2002;360(9341):1210-1214. R827353 (Final)
R827353C006 (2001)
R827353C006 (2002)
R827353C006 (2003)
R827353C006 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Goodman PG, Dockery DW, Clancy L. Cause-specific mortality and the extended effects of particulate pollution and temperature exposure. Environmental Health Perspectives 2004;112(2):179-185. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C005 (2003)
    R827353C005 (Final)
    R827353C006 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Journal Article Laden F, Schwartz J, Speizer FE, Dockery DW. Reduction in fine particulate air pollution and mortality:extended follow-up of the Harvard Six Cities Study. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2006;173(6):667-672. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C006 (2004)
    R827353C006 (Final)
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  • Abstract from PubMed
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  • Journal Article Lippmann M, Frampton M, Schwartz J, Dockery D, Schlesinger R, Koutrakis P, Froines J, Nel A, Finkelstein J, Godleski J, Kaufman J, Koenig J, Larson T, Luchtel D, Liu L-JS, Oberdorster G, Peters A, Sarnat J, Sioutas C, Suh H, Sullivan J, Utell M, Wichmann E, Zelikoff J. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Particulate Matter Health Effects Research Centers Program: a midcourse report of status, progress, and plans. Environmental Health Perspectives 2003;111(8):1074-1092. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C006 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
    R827351 (2002)
    R827351 (Final)
    R827352 (Final)
    R827352C002 (Final)
    R827352C014 (Final)
    R827354 (Final)
    R827355 (Final)
    R832415 (2010)
    R832415 (2011)
    R832415 (Final)
    R832415C003 (2011)
    R832415C004 (2011)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, particulate matter, Toxicology, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Epidemiology, Risk Assessments, Microbiology, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Monitoring, Physical Processes, Children's Health, genetic susceptability, tropospheric ozone, Atmospheric Sciences, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Biology, Environmental Engineering, Risk Assessment, ambient air quality, monitoring, particle size, sensitive populations, chemical exposure, interindividual variability, molecular epidemiology, particulates, health effects, air pollutants, exposure and effects, lung, stratospheric ozone, ambient air monitoring, health risks, cardiopulmonary responses, indoor exposure, human health effects, ambient air, exposure, developmental effects, epidemelogy, respiratory disease, pulmonary disease, biological response, ambient measurement methods, ambient monitoring, children, air pollution, particle exposure, biological mechanism , Human Health Risk Assessment, lung cancer, human exposure, chronic effects, inhalation, pulmonary, ambient particle health effects, cardiopulmonary response, particulate exposure, susceptibility, assessment of exposure, elderly, inhaled, inhalation toxicology, epidemeology, environmental health hazard, human susceptibility, indoor air, atmospheric monitoring, cardiopulmonary, human health, indoor air quality, inhaled particles, measurement methods , measurement methods, respiratory, toxics, exposure assessment, genetic susceptibility, air quality, dosimetry, cardiovascular disease

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/epacenter/epa_center_99-05/index.html Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 1999
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827353    EPA Harvard Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827353C001 Assessing Human Exposures to Particulate and Gaseous Air Pollutants
    R827353C002 Quantifying Exposure Error and its Effect on Epidemiological Studies
    R827353C003 St. Louis Bus, Steubenville and Atlanta Studies
    R827353C004 Examining Conditions That Predispose Towards Acute Adverse Effects of Particulate Exposures
    R827353C005 Assessing Life-Shortening Associated with Exposure to Particulate Matter
    R827353C006 Investigating Chronic Effects of Exposure to Particulate Matter
    R827353C007 Determining the Effects of Particle Characteristics on Respiratory Health of Children
    R827353C008 Differentiating the Roles of Particle Size, Particle Composition, and Gaseous Co-Pollutants on Cardiac Ischemia
    R827353C009 Assessing Deposition of Ambient Particles in the Lung
    R827353C010 Relating Changes in Blood Viscosity, Other Clotting Parameters, Heart Rate, and Heart Rate Variability to Particulate and Criteria Gas Exposures
    R827353C011 Studies of Oxidant Mechanisms
    R827353C012 Modeling Relationships Between Mobile Source Particle Emissions and Population Exposures
    R827353C013 Toxicological Evaluation of Realistic Emissions of Source Aerosols (TERESA) Study
    R827353C014 Identifying the Physical and Chemical Properties of Particulate Matter Responsible for the Observed Adverse Health Effects
    R827353C015 Research Coordination Core
    R827353C016 Analytical and Facilities Core
    R827353C017 Technology Development and Transfer Core