2001 Progress Report: Health Effects

EPA Grant Number: R827355C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827355
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Airborne PM - Northwest Research Center for Particulate Air Pollution and Health
Center Director: Koenig, Jane Q.
Title: Health Effects
Investigators: Koenig, Jane Q.
Current Investigators: Koenig, Jane Q. , Allen, Ryan , Jansen, Karen , Larson, Timothy V. , Lippmann, Morton , Lumley, Thomas , Mar, Therese , Sheppard, Lianne (Elizabeth) A.
Institution: University of Washington , Washington State University
Current Institution: University of Washington
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: June 1, 1999 through May 31, 2004 (Extended to May 31, 2006)
Project Period Covered by this Report: June 1, 2001 through May 31, 2002
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


The objectives of this research project are to: (1) identify health outcomes that are associated with particulate matter (PM) exposures; and (2) investigate associations with PM air pollution in the Pacific Northwest and signs of aggravation of asthma. The primary goal for Year 3 of the project has been to begin examining associations between exposure assessment variables and health outcomes in the panel subjects. We have findings to present for exhaled nitric oxide and lung function in children with asthma and heart rate variability and blood outcomes in elderly subjects with cardiovascular disease.

Progress Summary:

Nitric oxide may be an important indicator of asthma aggravation in children with asthma. We measured exhaled NO (eNO) in children's homes, in children aged 6-12 years with mild to moderate asthma. In the eNO study, nine children were steroid treated and seven children were steroid naïve. Exhaled breath measurements were collected offline into an NO inert and impermeable Mylar balloon for up to 10 consecutive days. NO was measured with a chemiluminescent nitrogen oxide monitor using a protocol developed by Karen Jansen, based on ATS guidelines. We used a linear mixed-effects model with random intercept to test for within-subject associations between eNO and PM2.5 values estimated from gravimetric samples outside each home, from personal samplers and from the average of three community sites. In this pilot study, we found that a 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 outside the home was associated with a 5.6 (2.26-7.38) ppb increase in eNO. These preliminary findings suggest that eNO may be an effective, noninvasive method for estimating lung inflammation in epidemiological studies of health effects of air pollution.

Pulmonary function values were measured daily in the children with asthma and analyzed by Carol Trenga. Significant associations were observed for a 10 µg/m3 increase in outdoor, indoor, and personal PM2.5 and decreases in peak expiratory flow and mid expiratory flow, only in the children who were not using corticosteroid medications. Additional analyses of data from the children with asthma are ongoing, and several manuscripts are expected.

Heart rate variability (HRV) was measured in the elderly subjects during 20-minute daily home visits, including a 5-minute paced breathing protocol. Jeffrey Sullivan examined associations between short-term indoor and outdoor hourly nephelometer readings with variations in HRV. A total of 256 observations were made in 46 subjects (19 with cardiovascular disease, 17 with respiratory disease, and 10 who were healthy). Multivariate analysis using a linear-mixed model with random intercepts that controlled for temperature, relative humidity, and medication use found that a 10 µg/m3 increase in outdoor fine PM lagged by 1 hour was associated with a 35 percent decrease in the median of the log-transformed, high-frequency power in the cardiovascular patients. Smaller effects were seen with a 4-hour lag; no significance was observed with a 24-hour lag. HRV in the healthy subjects and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was not associated with fine PM. Blood was drawn from many of the elderly subjects on every third day of the 10-day monitoring session. Serum was analyzed for fibrinogen, C-reactive protein (CRP), and D-dimer. We found a 60 percent increase in median CRP values for a 10 µg/m3 increase in outdoor PM2.5. The HRV data emphasize the usefulness of continuous PM monitoring to allow examination of short-term (less than 24-hour) effects.

The Health Effects group has spent considerable time and effort improving the eNO collection and analysis system and has conducted a pilot study of the feasibility of the use of breath condensate as a health outcome measure in panel studies. One pilot study with nine subjects with asthma found that it is possible to detect measurable levels of 8-isoprostane, a known marker of airway inflammation, in the breath condensate samples.

We also conducted two analyses of air pollution and asthma aggravation in children. Therese Mar found a strong association between respiratory symptoms and PM2.5 in children in Spokane who were observed over a 2-year period with an average of 478 days of observation. One manuscript that describes these results has been submitted. Jonathan Schildcrout analyzed the relationship between symptoms and rescue medication use in children in eight cities that participated in the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP). Although an earlier analysis in Seattle alone showed a significant association between the risk of asthma symptoms and both PM2.5 and carbon monoxide, no significant associations were seen in this larger study. A manuscript describing these results is under review by the CAMP data coordinating center.

Future Activities:

We will complete the health effects analyses for health endpoints included in the intensive indoor outdoor and personal exposure assessment study. These include exhaled nitric oxide, blood pressure, heart rate, arterial oxygen saturation, symptom rating data, medical use, and possibly diet information and breath condensate analysis.

Journal Articles on this Report : 5 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 27 publications 18 publications in selected types All 18 journal articles
Other center views: All 209 publications 113 publications in selected types All 109 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Claiborn CS, Finn D, Larson TV, Koenig JQ. Windblown dust contributes to high PM2.5 concentrations. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 2000;50(8):1440-1445. R827355 (2004)
R827355 (Final)
R827355C002 (2001)
R827355C003 (1999)
R827355C008 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Taylor&Francis-Full Text PDF
  • Abstract: Taylor&Francis-Abstract
  • Journal Article Mar TF, Norris GA, Koenig JQ, Larson TV. Associations between air pollution and mortality in Phoenix, 1995-1997. Environmental Health Perspectives 2000;108(4):347-353. R827355 (2004)
    R827355 (Final)
    R827355C002 (1999)
    R827355C002 (2001)
    R827355C002 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: EHP-Full Text HTML
  • Other: EHP-Full Text PDF
  • Journal Article Norris G, Larson T, Koenig J, Claiborn C, Sheppard L, Finn D. Asthma aggravation, combustion, and stagnant air. Thorax 2000;55(6):466-470. R827355 (2004)
    R827355 (Final)
    R827355C002 (1999)
    R827355C002 (2001)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: Thorax-Full Text PDF
  • Abstract: Thorax-Abstract and Full Text HTML
  • Journal Article Trenga CA, Koenig JQ, Williams PV. Dietary antioxidants and ozone-induced bronchial hyperresponsiveness in adults with asthma. Archives of Environmental Health 2001;56(3):242-249. R827355 (Final)
    R827355C002 (2001)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Taylor & Francis - Abstract
  • Journal Article Yu O, Sheppard L, Lumley T, Koenig JQ, Shapiro GG. Effects of ambient air pollution on symptoms of asthma in Seattle-area children enrolled in the CAMP study. Environmental Health Perspectives 2000;108(12):1209-1214. R827355 (Final)
    R827355C002 (2001)
    R827355C002 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    ambient particles, fine particles, combustion, health, exposure, biostatistics, susceptibility., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, Waste, particulate matter, Toxicology, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Epidemiology, State, Northwest, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Biochemistry, genetic susceptability, indoor air, Incineration/Combustion, ambient aerosol, ambient air quality, asthma, biostatistics, health effects, particulates, risk assessment, sensitive populations, air pollutants, cardiopulmonary responses, health risks, human health effects, morbidity, exposure and effects, airway disease, ambient air, exposure, animal model, combustion emissions, air pollution, children, Human Health Risk Assessment, particle exposure, cardiopulmonary response, human exposure, inhalation, atmospheric aerosols, ambient particle health effects, combustion, elderly, human susceptibility, incineration, indoor air quality, mortality, California (CA), allergens, age dependent response, aerosols, air quality, atmospheric chemistry, cardiovascular disease, combustion contaminants, exposure assessment, human health risk, particle transport, toxics

    Progress and Final Reports:

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

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827355    Airborne PM - Northwest Research Center for Particulate Air Pollution and Health

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827355C001 Epidemiologic Study of Particulate Matter and Cardiopulmonary Mortality
    R827355C002 Health Effects
    R827355C003 Personal PM Exposure Assessment
    R827355C004 Characterization of Fine Particulate Matter
    R827355C005 Mechanisms of Toxicity of Particulate Matter Using Transgenic Mouse Strains
    R827355C006 Toxicology Project -- Controlled Exposure Facility
    R827355C007 Health Effects Research Core
    R827355C008 Exposure Core
    R827355C009 Statistics and Data Core
    R827355C010 Biomarker Core
    R827355C011 Oxidation Stress Makers