Noninvasive Methods for Measuring Ventilation in Mobile Subjects

EPA Grant Number: R828112C059
Subproject: this is subproject number 059 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R828112
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Health Effects Institute (2000 — 2005)
Center Director: Greenbaum, Daniel S.
Title: Noninvasive Methods for Measuring Ventilation in Mobile Subjects
Investigators: McCool, F. Dennis , Mermier, Christine M. , Samet, Jonathan M. , James, David S. , Chick, Thomas W. , Paek, Domyung , Lambert, William E.
Institution: Brown University , University of New Mexico
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 1, 1993 through December 31, 1993
RFA: Health Effects Institute (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Health Effects


Ventilation, a measure of the frequency and depth of breathing, is an important determinant of the amounts of indoor and outdoor air pollutants that enter the respiratory tract. Increasing ventilation (for example, through exercise) increases the amounts, or doses, of inhaled air pollutants delivered to the respiratory tract. Such increases may influence the magnitude of adverse effects experienced by health individuals and by individuals particularly susceptibly to the effects of air pollutants.

Estimating doses of air pollutants is one facet of risk assessment, a quantitative approach for evaluating human health hazards from pollutants. The amount of a pollutant absorbed by or deposited in an exposed individual over a specific time period is referred to as dose. To determine inhaled dose accurately, data about ventilation, ambient exposure conditions, and exposure duration are needed. Although exposure conditions and duration are relatively easy to determine, there are few ventilatory data for people moving freely at home or at work. This is because standard equipment for measuring ventilation is not readily movable and requires a mouthpiece or face mask. As a result, pollutant doses often have been estimated from exposure conditions and duration alone. The Health Effects Institute sponsored two studies to develop and test methods for measuring ventilation in freely mobile subjects. These noninvasive methods do not require a mouthpiece or face mask, both of which are recognized as contributors to ventilatory measurement errors.


Ventilation Estimated from Body Surface Displacement Measurements Drs. Dennis McCool and Domyung Paek measured ventilation with a body surface displacement (BSD) model. Each subject wore wide elastic bands containing coated wire coils around the chest and abdomen and had special magnets affixed to the breastbone and navel. changes in electrical signals from these devices indicated dimensional changes in the subject's body that were associated with breathing. After the BSD signals were calibrated with data from a spirometer (standard equipment for measuring breathing parameters), subsequent BSD measurements yielded data about a subject's breathing patterns, breath frequency, and ventilation.

In laboratory studies, the investigators compared BSD data from 10 subjects with spirometric data obtained during upper and lower body work tasks, including lifting, pulling, and cycling. They also examined the influence of a spirometer mouthpiece on ventilation measurements. To evaluate the feasibility of using heart rate to predict ventilation, the investigators first plotted a ventilation?heart rate calibration curve for each subject based on data from a progressive exertion cycling test. They then used this curve to estimate ventilation from heart rate data alone, and compared these ventilation data with ventilation data obtained by BSD and spirometry. Finally, they tested their BSD model in a field study by monitoring nine vocational school students. The BSD equipment was placed on a cart to facilitate mobility of the tethered subjects during a classroom session and an auto body repair workshop session.

The laboratory data demonstrated that the BSD model provided ventilation data comparable to spirometry data. The specific work task influenced statistical correlations between BSD and spirometric data. Rhythmic breathing during cycling correlated the best, whereas erratic breathing during lifting correlated the worst. The investigators verified previous reports that the presence of a mouthpiece increases the volume of air inhaled per breath and decreases breath frequency. They also concluded that heart rate can be an inaccurate predictor of ventilation during the low activity levels that constitute much of daily life; transient ventilation increases detected by BSD or spirometry during low activity were not matched by similar increases in heart rate. Finally, the investigators' field study demonstrated the feasibility of using the BSD model to measure ventilation accurately and noninvasively in mobile subjects.

Ventilation Estimated from Heart Rate Dr. Jonathan Samet and colleagues wanted to develop methods for estimating ventilation from heart rate for future epidemiologic studies. Their 58 subjects included healthy adults and children, and adults with heart disease, lung disease, or asthma. First, the investigators collected spirometric and heart monitor data in the laboratory to plot ventilation?heart rate curves for each subject during cycling, vacuuming, and lifting. They then used heart monitor data to validate the accuracy of the Heartwatch, a portable, commercial device combining a small transmitter worn on the subject's chest with a wristwatch-style receiver that records heart rate. Because route of breathing affects lung pollutant dose, they also used a partitioned face mask to determine the proportion of oral versus nasal breathing during exercise. with increased oral breathing during exercise, some inhaled air bypasses the air-scrubbing mechanisms in the nasal passages and can increase pollutant dose to the lower respiratory tract. Finally, the investigators conducted a field study to estimate ventilation from Heartwatch data using a heart rate?ventilation calibration curve from a progressive exertion cycling test; they then categorized these ventilation data by activity using records maintained by the subjects.

Data from the laboratory studies indicated that ventilation increased faster than heart rate when subjects performed upper body exercise compared with lower body exercise. Because most daily activities do not involve upper body exertion, the investigators concluded that heart rate could be used to estimate ventilation in field studies. Predictably, they reported that most subjects shifted from nasal to oral breathing with increasing exercise intensity. Using Heartwatch data from their field study, the investigators provided ventilation estimates categorized according to subject age, gender, health status, and activities. Dr. Samet and colleagues concluded that heart rate monitoring presents a feasible approach for estimating ventilation in the community setting.

Supplemental Keywords:

Air, ambient air quality, indoor air quality, air toxics, epidemiology, human health risk assessment, health effects, human exposure, monitoring, ventilation., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, particulate matter, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, mobile sources, Biochemistry, Ecological Risk Assessment, ambient air quality, lung injury, Nitrogen dioxide, particulates, motor vehicles, air pollutants, human health effects, inhalability, lung, respiration, exposure and effects, lung epithelial cells, engines, air pollution, automobiles, emissions, environmental health effects, human exposure, inhalation, lung inflammation, respiratory illness, particulate exposure, ambient particle health effects, inhaled, body surface displacement, human health, ventilation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R828112    Health Effects Institute (2000 — 2005)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828112C042 Does Inhalation of Methanol Vapor Affect Human Neurobehavior?
    R828112C043 Human Responses to Nitrogen Dioxide
    R828112C044 The Role of Inflammation in Ozone-Induced Lung Injury
    R828112C045 How Does Exercise Affect the Dose of Inhaled Air Pollutants?
    R828112C046 How Do Chemicals in Diesel Engine Exhaust Damage DNA?
    R828112C047 Effect of Nitrogen Dioxide on Bacterial Respiratory infection in Mice
    R828112C048 Effects of Ozone Exposure on Airway Epithelium
    R828112C049 Inhalation of Aldehydes and Effects on Breathing
    R828112C050 Does Ozone Cause Precancerous Changes in Cells?
    R828112C051 Effects of Formaldehyde on Human Airway Epithelial Cells Exposed in a Novel Culture System
    R828112C052 Carbon Monoxide and Cardiac Arrhythmias
    R828112C053 Effects of Formaldehyde and Particle-Bound Formaldehyde on Lung Macrophage Functions
    R828112C054 Mechanisms for Protecting Lung Epithelial Cells Against Oxidant Injury
    R828112C055 Relationship of Nitropyrene-Derived DNA Adducts to Carcinogenesis
    R828112C056 Particle Trap Effects on Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Emissions
    R828112C057 Carbon Monoxide and Atherosclerosis
    R828112C058 Nitrogen Dioxide and Respiratory Illness in Children
    R828112C059 Noninvasive Methods for Measuring Ventilation in Mobile Subjects
    R828112C060 Oxidant Air Pollutants and Lung Cancer: An Animal Model
    R828112C061 Detection of Carcinogen-DNA Adducts: Development of New Methods
    R828112C062 Effects of Carbon Monoxide on Heart Muscle Cells
    R828112C063 Development of Personal Ozone Samplers: Three Approaches
    R828112C064 Development of Biomarkers to Monitor Carcinogen Exposure
    R828112C065 Effects of Prolonged Ozone Inhalation on Collagen Structure and Content in Rat Lungs
    R828112C065II Prolonged Ozone Exposure and the Contractile Properties of Isolated Rat Airways
    R828112C065III Changes in Complex Carbohydrate Content and Structure in Rat Lungs Caused by Prolonged Ozone Inhalation
    R828112C065IV Genetic Control of Connective Tissue Protein Synthesis After Prolonged Ozone Inhalation
    R828112C065V Pulmonary Function Alterations in Rats After Chronic Ozone Inhalation
    R828112C065VII Prolonged Ozone Exposure Leads to Functional and Structural Changes in the Rat Nose
    R828112C065VIII - IX Studies of Changes in Lung Structure and Enzyme Activitiesin Rats After Prolonged Exposure to Ozone
    R828112C065X An Innovative Approach to Analyzing Multiple Experimental Outcomes: A Case Study of Rats Exposed to Ozone
    R828112C065XI The Consequences of Prolonged Inhalation of Ozone on Rats: An Integrative Summary of the Results of Eight Collaborative Studies
    R828112C066 Interactive Effects of Nitropyrenes in Diesel Exhaust
    R828112C067 Detection of Formaldehyde–DNA Adducts: Development of New Methods
    R828112C068I Comparison of the Carcinogenicity of Diesel Exhaust and Carbon Black in Rat Lungs
    R828112C068II An Investigation of DNA Damage in the Lungs of Rats Exposed to Diesel Exhaust
    R828112C068III No Evidence For Genetic Mutations Found In Lung Tumors From Rats Exposed To Diesel Exhaust or Carbon Black
    R828112C069 Noninvasive Determination of Respiratory Ozone Absorption: The Bolus-Response Method
    R828112C070 The Effects of Inhaled Oxidants and Acid Aerosols on Pulmonary Function
    R828112C071 Biochemical Consequences of Ozone Reacting with Membrane Fatty Acids
    R828112C072 DNA Mutations in Rats Treated with a Carcinogen Present in Diesel Exhaust
    R828112C073 Developmental Neurotoxicity of Inhaled Methanol in Rats
    R828112C074 Methanol Distribution in Non Pregnant and Pregnant Rodents
    R828112C075 Is Increased Mortality Associated with Ozone Exposure in Mexico City?
    R828112C076 Effects of Fuel Modification and Emission Control Devices on Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Emissions
    R828112C077 Metabolic Studies in Monkeys Exposed to Methanol Vapors
    R828112C078 Effects of Ozone on Pulmonary Function and Airway Inflammation in Normal and Potentially Sensitive Human Subjects
    R828112C079 Improvement of a Respiratory Ozone Analyzer
    R828112C080 Mechanism of Oxidative Stress from Low Levels of Carbon Monoxide
    R828112C081 Long-Term Exposure to Ozone: Development of Methods to Estimate Past Exposures and Health Outcomes
    R828112C082 Effects of Ambient Ozone on Healthy, Wheezy, and Asthmatic Children
    R828112C083 Daily Changes in Oxygen Saturation and Pulse Rate Associated with Particulate Air Pollution and Barometric Pressure
    R828112C084 Evaluation of The Potential Health Effects of the Atmospheric Reaction Products of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
    R828112C085 Mechanisms of Response to Ozone Exposure: The Role of Mast Cells in Mice
    R828112C086 Statistical Methods for Epidemiologic Studies of the Health Effects of Air Pollution
    R828112C087 Development of New Methods to Measure Benzene Biomarkers
    R828112C088 Alveolar Changes in Rat Lungs After Long-Term Exposure to Nitric Oxide
    R828112C089 Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Inhaled Methanol on Nonhuman Primates and Their Infant Offspring
    R828112C090 A Pilot Study of Potential Biomarkers of Ozone Exposure
    R828112C091 Effects of Concentrated Ambient Particles on the Cardiac and Pulmonary Systems of Dogs
    R828112C092 Cancer, Mutations, and Adducts in Rats and Mice Exposed to Butadiene and Its Metabolites
    R828112C093 Effects of Concentrated Ambient Particles in Rats and Hamsters: An Exploratory Study
    R828112C094I The National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study: Methods and Methodologic Issues
    R828112C094II The National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study: Morbidity and Mortality from Air Pollution in the United States
    R828112C095 Association of Particulate Matter Components with Daily Mortality and Morbidity in Urban Populations
    R828112C096 Acute Pulmonary Effects of Ultrafine Particles in Rats and Mice
    R828112C097 Identifying Subgroups of the General Population That May Be Susceptible to Short-Term Increases in Particulate Air Pollution
    R828112C098 Daily Mortality and Fine and Ultrafine Particles in Erfurt, Germany
    R828112C099 A Case-Crossover Analysis of Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Out-of-Hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrest
    R828112C100 Effects of Mexico City Air on Rat Nose
    R828112C101 Penetration of Lung Lining and Clearance of Particles Containing Benzo[a]pyrene
    R828112C102 Metabolism of Ether Oxygenates Added to Gasoline
    R828112C103 Characterization and Mechanisms of Chromosomal Alterations Induced by Benzene in Mice and Humans
    R828112C104 Acute Cardiovascular Effects in Rats from Exposure to Urban Ambient Particles
    R828112C105 Genetic Differences in Induction of Acute Lung Injury and Inflammation in Mice
    R828112C106 Effects on Mice of Exposure to Ozone and Ambient Particle Pollution
    R828112C107 Emissions from Diesel and Gasoline Engines Measured in Highway Tunnels
    R828112C108 Case-Cohort Study of Styrene Exposure and Ischemic Heart Disease Investigators
    R828112C110 Effects of Metals Bound to Particulate Matter on Human Lung Epithelial Cells
    R828112C111 Effect of Concentrated Ambient Particulate Matter on Blood Coagulation Parameters in Rats
    R828112C112 Health Effects of Acute Exposure to Air Pollution
    R828112C113 Benzene Metabolism in Rodents at Doses Relevant to Human Exposure from Urban Air
    R828112C114 A Personal Particle Speciation Sampler
    R828112C115 Validation and Evaluation of Biomarkers in Workers Exposed to Benzene in China
    R828112C116 Biomarkers in Czech Workers Exposed to 1,3-Butadiene: A Transitional Epidemiologic Study
    R828112C117 Peroxides and Macrophages in the Toxicity of Fine Particulate Matter in Rats
    R828112C118 Controlled Exposures of Healthy and Asthmatic Volunteers to Concentrated Ambient Particles in Metropolitan Los Angeles
    R828112C119 Manganese Toxicokinetics at the Blood-Brain Barrier
    R828112C120 Effects of Exposure to Concentrated Ambient Particles from Detroit Air on Healthy Rats and Rats with Features of Asthma or Mild Bronchitis
    R828112C121 Field Evaluation of Nanofilm Detectors for Measuring Acidic Particles in Indoor and Outdoor Air
    R828112C123 Time-Series Analysis of Air Pollution and Mortality: A Statistical Review
    R828112C126 Effects of Exposure to Ultrafine Carbon Particles in Healthy Subjects and Subjects with Asthma
    R828112C128 Neurogenic Responses of Rat Lung to Diesel Exhaust
    R828112C130-I Relationships of Indoor, Outdoor, and Personal Air (RIOPA). Part I. Collection Methods and Descriptive Analyses
    R828112C132 An Updated Study of Mortality Among North American Synthetic Rubber Industry Workers