2005 Progress Report: Testing the Metals Hypothesis in Spokane

EPA Grant Number: R828678C010
Subproject: this is subproject number 010 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R824834
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC)
Center Director: Beskid, Craig
Title: Testing the Metals Hypothesis in Spokane
Investigators: Claiborn, Candis , Larsen, Timothy , Sheppard, Lianne (Elizabeth) A.
Institution: Washington State University , University of Washington
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: May 1, 1999 through June 30, 2005
Project Period Covered by this Report: May 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005
RFA: Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Targeted Research

Objective:

The objective of this research project is to evaluate the associations between ambient levels of particulate matter (PM) toxic metals (Sb, As, Cr, Co, Mn, Hg, Se, Cd, and Ni) and transition metals (Ti, V, and Fe), and several health endpoints that include emergency department (ED) visits for asthma, hospital admissions for asthma and other respiratory outcomes, and total respiratory mortality. This was to be accomplished using time-series and source apportionment methods on a Spokane, Washington, daily data set some 7 years long. The investigators analyzed archived daily fine and course particulate samples collected in Spokane over 4 years (1995-1998) via a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant and added to this 3 years’ worth of samples that were collected during the period of National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) support. Thus, a total of 7 years’ worth of data were available for analysis. PM metals content on both archived samples and samples collected during this period of support was determined via a combination of energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) and instrument neutron activation (INAA). These INAA analyses were conducted via support from EPA. Susceptible populations that were targeted for study included both elderly and nonelderly age groups and individuals with preexisting chronic conditions such as asthma. Health outcomes that were examined include:

  1. Hospital admissions for respiratory or cardiovascular causes only, for both causes, and for specific respiratory cause (e.g., asthma). Both elderly and nonelderly subgroups were monitored.
  2. Emergency room visits for asthma.
  3. Respiratory and cardiovascular mortality in elderly and nonelderly.

Progress Summary:

The study was funded in response to NUATRC Request for Application 98-02, “Contribution of Metals in Ambient Particles to Particulate Associated Health Effects.” A no-cost extension has been granted through September 30, 2006, to complete analyses of the full data set and to complete the final report. The study is in compliance with the Institutional Review Board of Washington State University. The project is also in compliance with appropriate quality control and quality assurance procedures as per NUATRC and EPA guidelines.

A draft final report was received in April 2004 and reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) subgroup. The report was found to lack detail, contained inadequate data analysis, and was not suitable for external review. The SAP subgroup recommended further analysis of the data and major revision of the report. A revised draft Final Report for the project was due January 2005. A revised final report was received on October 12, 2005. The report was reviewed by the SAP during its October 2005 meeting. They recommended that the report be sent for external peer-review. The report currently is under peer review.

Main Findings Included in the Draft Final Report are as Follows

In this work the investigators tested the hypothesis that toxic metals in ambient PM are responsible in part for observed health effects associated with exposure to fine PM. Specifically, time-series analyses were conducted by evaluating the associations between particulate metal species as well as some additional transition metals and cardiovascular and respiratory outcome measures. A 7+ year data set of daily fine particulate samples chemically characterized for metals and elements was collected in Spokane, Washington. Samples were analyzed via a combination of EDXRF and INAA. Supporting measurements included meteorological conditions, gaseous pollutants, hourly particulate measurements, and other chemical constituents to support source apportionment analyses. Health data collected included Spokane County mortality data, Comprehensive Hospital Admissions reporting system (CHARS) data, and ED visits at the four area hospitals. Source apportionment analyses were conducted using chemical mass balance version 8 (CMB-8) and positive matrix factorization (PMF).

The initial CMB modeling work on the first 3 years of data found six sources: industrial heating and boilers (15%); automobiles (4%); airborne soil (9%); biomass burning (46%); secondary aerosols (10%); and metal processing (1%). The initial PMF analysis identified seven sources: vegetative burning (44%); sulfate aerosol (19%); motor vehicles (11%); nitrate aerosol (9%); airborne soil (9%); a chlorine-rich source (6%); and metal processing (3%). The multivariate analysis conducted on the full data set, using three models (PMF, UNMIX, and ME2) identified an eighth source (an As-rich combustion source), and yielded consistent results, with vegetative burning being the most abundant source of PM2.5. A log-linear generalized linear model was used to compare daily averages of PM (four sizes – PM1, PM2.5, PM10, and coarse PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) with daily counts of morbidity and mortality outcomes, from January 1995-June 2001. Overall, no association was found with respiratory ED visits and any size fraction of PM; however, there was some evidence for a greater respiratory effect from fine PM when compared to coarse fraction PM. CO was associated with all respiratory ED visits, and with visits for asthma, at the 3-day lag. No association with any size fraction of PM or CO was observed with cardiac or respiratory ED visits or hospital admissions. Three hypotheses related to metals were tested: (1) as a general combustion source representative, there will be a larger effect with total carbon (TC) and cardiac hospital admissions; (2) a larger effect will be observed with Zn (as a tracer/marker for a motor vehicle source) in PM2.5 and either cardiac hospital admissions or respiratory ED visits; and (3) a larger effect will be observed with As (as a tracer/marker a wood smoke source) in PM2.5 and all respiratory ED visits. These hypotheses were tested by regressing the desired health effect against daily chemical data, using Poisson regression with a generalized additive model (GAM) and exact GAM standard error estimate. All analyses were conducted using S-Plus 6.1.

Conclusions

Overall, none of these hypotheses were found to hold. In addition to As and Zn, both of which were strongly associated with specific sources, other metal species found in Spokane fine PM, along with TC, were also investigated in a hypothesis generating way for possible associations with all respiratory ED visits, using Poisson regression with a GAM and exact GAM standard error estimate. An overall lack of association between the selected toxic metals and all respiratory ED visits was found in the relative risks and 95 percent confidence intervals. However, TC was found to be significantly associated with all respiratory ED visits, at 1-, 2-, and 3-day lags. TC is interpreted as a general marker for combustion sources. In addition, CO may be serving as a marker for combustion-derived pollutants.

Future Activities:

The external peer review and internal review of the report will be conducted and the report will be published.


Journal Articles on this Report : 6 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 13 publications 7 publications in selected types All 7 journal articles
Other center views: All 144 publications 62 publications in selected types All 53 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Claiborn CS, Larson T, Sheppard L. Testing the metals hypothesis in Spokane, Washington. Environmental Health Perspectives 2002;110(Suppl 4):547-552. R828678C010 (2002)
R828678C010 (2003)
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R828678C010 (2005)
R828678C010 (2006)
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R828678C010 (Final)
R827355 (2001)
R827355 (Final)
R827355C008 (2002)
R827355C008 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: ResearchGate - Abstract & Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Finn D, Rumburg B, Claiborn C, Bamesberger L, Siems WF, Koenig J, Larson T, Norris G. Sampling artifacts from the use of denuder tubes with glycerol based coatings in the measurement of atmospheric particulate matter. Environmental Science & Technology 2001;35(1):40-44. R828678C010 (2001)
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  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: ES&T
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  • Journal Article Kim E, Larson TV, Hopke PK, Slaughter C, Sheppard LE, Claiborn C. Source identification of PM2.5 in an arid Northwest U.S. city by positive matrix factorization. Atmospheric Research 2003;66(4):291-305. R828678C010 (2003)
    R828678C010 (2004)
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    R827354 (Final)
    R827354C001 (Final)
    R827355 (2004)
    R827355 (Final)
    R827355C008 (2002)
    R827355C008 (Final)
    R827355C009 (2003)
    R832415 (2010)
    R832415 (2011)
    R832415 (Final)
  • Full-text: ScienceDirect-Full Text PDF
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  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract and Full Text HTML
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  • Other: ResearchGate - Abstract & Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Rumburg B, Alldredge R, Claiborn C. Statistical distributions of particulate matter and the error associated with sampling frequency. Atmospheric Environment 2001;35(16):2907-2920. R828678C010 (2001)
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  • Full-text: Science Direct Full Text
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  • Abstract: Science Direct Abstract
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  • Other: Science Direct PDF
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  • Journal Article Slaughter JC, Kim E, Sheppard L, Sullivan JH, Larson TV, Claiborn C. Association between particulate matter and emergency room visits, hospital admissions and mortality in Spokane, Washington. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology 2005;15(2):153-159. R828678C010 (2003)
    R828678C010 (2004)
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    R827355C008 (Final)
    R827355C009 (2002)
    R827355C009 (2003)
    R827355C009 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: JESEE-Full Text PDF
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  • Abstract: JESEE-Abstract & Full Text HTML
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  • Other: ResearchGate - Abstract & Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Vaughan JK, Claiborn C, Finn D. April 1998 Asian dust event over the Columbia Plateau. Journal of Geophysical Research 2001;106(D16):18381-18402. R828678C010 (2001)
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  • Abstract: AGU Abstract
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    air pollution, urban, monitoring, exposure, methods, volatile organic compounds, VOCs, particulate matter, PM, environmental policy, exposure, health risk assessment, physical processes, risk assessments, susceptibility/sensitive population/genetic susceptibility, air toxics, genetic susceptibility, acute health effects, acute cardiovascular effects, acute exposure, acute lung injury, air contaminant exposure, air quality, airborne urban contaminants, airway disease, aldehydes, assessment of exposure, atmospheric particulate matter, cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary response, children, children’s environmental health, chronic health effects, copollutants, copollutant exposures, environmental hazard exposures, fine particles, health effects, human exposure, human health risk, human susceptibility, indoor air, inhaled pollutants, long-term exposure, lung inflammation, particulate exposure, sensitive populations, susceptible subpopulations, toxics,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Air Pollution, particulate matter, air toxics, Health Risk Assessment, Chemicals, Epidemiology, State, Air Pollution Effects, Risk Assessments, Biochemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, health effects, urban air quality, urban air, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, air pollutants, human health effects, aerosol particles, atmospheric particles, air sampling pump, air sampling, chemical composition, chemical detection techniques, Washington (WA), human exposure, lung inflamation, particulate exposure, environmental contaminants, personal cascade impactor sampler, urban air pollution, human health, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), airborne urban contaminants, biomarker, human health risk, cardiovascular disease

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.sph.uth.tmc.edu/mleland/ Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

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

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R824834    Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R824834C001 Air Toxics Exposures Among Teenagers in New York City and Los Angeles - A Columbia-Harvard Study (TEACH)
    R824834C002 Cardiopulmonary Response to Particulate Exposure
    R824834C003 VOC Exposure in an Industry Impacted Community
    R824834C004 A Study of Personal Exposure to Air Toxics Among a Subset of the Residential U.S. Population (VOC Project)
    R824834C005 Methods Development Project for a Study of Personal Exposures to Toxic Air Pollutants
    R824834C006 Relationship Between Indoor, Outdoor and Personal Air (RIOPA)
    R824834C007 Development of the "Leland Legacy" Air Sampling Pump
    R824834C008 Source Apportionment of Indoor Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Urban Residences
    R824834C009 Development of a Personal Cascade Impactor Sampler (PCIS)
    R824834C010 Testing the Metals Hypothesis in Spokane
    R828678C001 Air Toxics Exposures Among Teenagers in New York City and Los Angeles—A Columbia-Harvard Study (TEACH)
    R828678C002 Cardiopulmonary Effects of Metal-Containing Particulate Exposure
    R828678C003 VOC Exposure in an Industry Impacted Community
    R828678C004 A Study of Personal Exposure to Air Toxics Among a Subset of the Residential U.S. Population (VOC Project)
    R828678C005 Oxygenated Urban Air Toxics and Asthma Variability in Middle School Children: A Panel Study (ATAC–Air Toxics and Asthma in Children)
    R828678C006 Relationship between Indoor, Outdoor and Personal Air (RIOPA). Part II: Analyses of Concentrations of Particulate Matter Species
    R828678C007 Development of the “Leland Legacy” Air Sampling Pump
    R828678C008 Source Apportionment of Indoor PAHs in Urban Residences 98-03B
    R828678C009 Development of a Personal Cascade Impactor Sampler (PCIS)
    R828678C010 Testing the Metals Hypothesis in Spokane
    R828678C011 A Pilot Geospatial Analysis of Exposure to Air Pollutants (with Special Attention to Air Toxics) and Hospital Admissions in Harris County, Texas
    R828678C012 Impact of Exposure to Urban Air Toxics on Asthma Utilization for the Pediatric Medicaid Population in Dearborn, Michigan
    R828678C013 Field Validation of the Sioutas Sampler and Leland Legacy Pump – Joint Project with EPA’s Environmental Technology Validation Program (ETV)
    R828678C014 Performance Evaluation of the 3M Charcoal Vapor Monitor for Monitor Low Ambient Concentrations of VOCs
    R828678C015 RIOPA Database Development
    R828678C016 Contributions of Outdoor PM Sources to Indoor and Personal Exposures: Analysis of PM Species Concentrations” Focused on the PM Speciation and Apportioning of Sources
    R828678C017 The Short and Long-Term Respiratory Effects of Exposure to PAHs from Traffic in a Cohort of Asthmatic Children