Health Effects of HAPs Among Inner Urban School Children

EPA Grant Number: R826789
Title: Health Effects of HAPs Among Inner Urban School Children
Investigators: Greaves, Ian , Church, Timothy , Adgate, John L. , Sexton, Ken
Current Investigators: Greaves, Ian , Church, Timothy , Adgate, John L. , Ramachandran, Gurumurthy , Sexton, Ken
Institution: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: October 1, 1998 through September 30, 2001 (Extended to September 30, 2003)
Project Amount: $633,044
RFA: Urban Air Toxics (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air


This proposal leverages and builds on two current exposure measurement projects funded by the EPA and conducted by the University of Minnesota. These two studies will contribute the following for this proposal: (a) a complete emission inventory for hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) released from area, point, and mobile sources; (b) estimates of ambient HAP levels from dispersion models; (c) measurements of ambient HAP concentrations at central urban monitoring sites and local neighborhood sites; (d) source apportionment of estimated and measured ambient HAP levels; (e) measurements of HAP concentrations inside and outside two elementary schools and selected residences; (f) measurements of personal HAP exposures for selected children who attend the two elementary schools; and (g) collection of urine and blood samples from a sub-set of children attending the two elementary schools (K 5) for estimation of HAP concentrations.

Objectives/Hypothesis: This study will examine the association between exposure to a variety of HAPs (volatile organic chemicals, metals, pesticides) and adverse effects on children's health. The primary hypothesis to be tested by this study is that documented HAP exposures (using air monitoring data, personal air samples, and biologic markers of exposure) are not associated with measured health effects in inner urban children.


This proposal focuses on the relationships between documented HAP exposures and related health outcomes. An assortment of exposure metrics (including estimated ambient concentrations, measured ambient concentrations, measured levels inside at school, measured indoor residential concentrations, personal exposure measurements, measured biological markers of exposure) will be available to determine the HAP exposures for 680 children attending two elementary schools located near each other in a low income, racially diverse neighborhood of South Minneapolis. A combination of quantitative methods will be used to measure health outcomes (as well as possible confounders) that may be related to HAP exposures: questionnaires to document prevalence and incidence of respiratory disorders (infections, allergies, asthma, nonspecific illness); biologic markers of sensitivity (skin tests for allergies, blood IgE); lung function testing (spirometry, personal flow meters); and objective, quantitative indicators of childhood learning problems (standardized achievement tests, absenteeism, academic performance).

Results/Improvement in Risk Assessment and Management: In addition to providing direct observational evidence of whether HAP exposures are associated, singly or in combination, with children's health, the results afford an opportunity to (i) describe the distributions of HAP exposures, health effects, and estimated risks for this group of inner urban children; (ii) apportion the relative contribution of area, point, and mobile sources to exposures, effects, and risk; and (iii) compare the relative 'value' of different exposure metrics for estimating health risks. This information is crucial for improving the effectiveness of risk assessment/management strategies.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 14 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 14 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Ambient and indoor air; monitoring; human health; children; ethnic groups; inner urban; schools; Minnesota; EPA Region V, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Geographic Area, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Epidemiology, State, VOCs, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Biochemistry, Children's Health, genetic susceptability, indoor air, Ecology and Ecosystems, asthma, urban air, pesticide exposure, monitoring, ambient air quality, atmospheric, risk assessment, sensitive populations, urban air toxics, building related illness, emission inventory, urban monitoring sites, Minnesota, MN, air pollutants, biological sensitivities, infants, inner urban school children, lung, buildings, health risks, urban school children, airway disease, measuring childhood exposure, respiratory problems, ambient air, HAPS, hazardous air pollutants, pesticides, susceptible populations, exposure, Human Health Risk Assessment, air pollution, children, emissions, pulmonary toxicity, urban air pollutants, ethnic groups, assessment of exposure, childhood respiratory disease, children's vulnerablity, inhalation, human exposure, allergic, toxicity, pulmonary, sick building syndrome, urine and blood samples, environmental toxicant, harmful environmental agents, urban air pollution, inhaled, schools, biological markers, indoor air quality, human health, sensitive population, allergen, allergies, disease, Minneapolis-St.Paul Metropolitan area, respiratory, VOC sensitivity, air quality, autoimmunity

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • Final Report