2003 Progress Report: Cardiopulmonary Effects of Metal-Containing Particulate Exposure

EPA Grant Number: R828678C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , 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: Cardiopulmonary Effects of Metal-Containing Particulate Exposure
Investigators: Christiani, David
Institution: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 1, 1999 through January 31, 2004
Project Period Covered by this Report: January 1, 2002 through January 31, 2003
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 purpose of this research was to investigate the role of respirable particulate matter (PM2.5) and associated metals in respiratory and cardiovascular responses in a cohort of boilermakers with and without chronic bronchitis. The experimental approach is an epidemiological study employing a prospective, repeat-measurement design assessing several biological parameters in relation to exposure. PM2.5 levels were monitored continuously with personal Dust Trak monitors. Personal metal exposure (V, Ni, Cd, Mn, Cr, and Fe) was measured daily.

The study’s three specific aims and corresponding hypotheses were as follows:

(1) Conduct a short-term prospective study of acute airway responses to combustion particulates. Hypothesis: Exposure to fuel-oil ash particulates induces airway inflammation and airflow obstruction, as reflected in increased expired NO and in decreases in FEV1.

(2) Conduct a short-term prospective study of acute cardiovascular responses to combustion particulates. Hypothesis: Exposure to fuel-oil ash particulates will result in acute changes in cardiovascular function as reflected in changes in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV). Changes in HR and HRV will be in a direction believed to reflect increased sympathetic or decreased vagal tone.

(3) Assess the relationship between chronic respiratory disease and the cardiac responses to particulates. Hypothesis: chronic bronchitis predisposes particulate-exposed workers to changes in cardiac function, including HR and HRV.

Progress Summary:

This project was developed in response to Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) RFA 98-02, “Contribution of Metals in Ambient Particles to the Particulate Associated Health Effects.” The study is in compliance with the Institutional Review Board of the Harvard School of Public Health. Human consent procedures met governmental guidelines. The study is also in compliance with appropriate quality control and quality assurance procedures as per NUATRC and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.

Boilermakers (N = 40) were monitored both in the field, at the site of two boiler overhauls, and at the apprentice welding school. Study subjects included active union membership of the Local 29, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron-Ship Builders, and Blacksmiths and Forgers. Continuous monitoring of exposure and heart rate variability, and spirometry and exhaled nitric oxide was performed during and away from work. Airborne PM2.5 collection for gravimetric measurement was conducted via a personal exposure monitor, and continuous, real-time personal PM2.5 monitoring was conducted using a Model 8250 Dust Trak® device.

The Draft Final NUATRC Research Report for the study was received at the Center in December 2002. The report was reviewed by a team of external peer-reviewers and the NUATRC Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). The external reviewers’ and SAP’s comments were addressed in a Revised Final NUATRC Research Report. The Revised Final NUATRC Research Report was received by the Center on September 8, 2003, and is currently available on the EPA National Center for Environmental Research Web site.

Preliminary results and conclusions from the study indicate that the fractional concentration of expired NO in mixed expired air (FeNO) during the workweek were found to be significantly lower than baseline FeNO in the group sampled during 1999, after adjusting for smoking status, age, and sampling year. However, there was lack of an exposure-response relationship between PM2.5 exposure and FeNO in 2000. This was attributed to exposure misclassification resulting from the use of respirators. A statistically significant inverse exposure–response relationship was found between FeNO and PM2.5 vanadium, chromium, manganese, and nickel exposure in the boilermakers. Linear mixed effect models showed that high levels of urinary metal Ni, Mn, and Pb at various lag times, after adjusting for smoking status, lead to significant decrease in FeNO. This suggests that exposure to metals may affect respiratory health.

The investigators then focused on the associations between PM2.5, and their metallic component and cardiac autonomic function based on HR and HRV measures. The investigators used mixed-effects models to regress heart rate and standard deviation of the normal-to-normal (SDNN index) on PM2.5 and five metals (V, Ni, Pd, Cu, and Mn). Workers experienced altered cardiac autonomic control after exposure to occupational and environmental PM2.5. The investigators conclude that that there appears to be either a long-acting (several hours) and a short-acting (several minutes) component to the mechanism of action that may be related to the production of cytokines and the sympathetic stress response, respectively, or a cumulative effect that begins shortly after exposure begins. There were statistically significant mean increases in the SDNN index of 11.30 msec and 3.98 msec for every 1 μg/m3 increases in Pb and V concentrations, respectively, after adjusting for heart rate, age, and smoking status. Mn (1 hour lag) and PM2.5 weight and concentration (3 hour lag) were marginally associated with increased HR. Small changes in mean HR were seen with all exposure metrics. The results suggest an association between cardiac effects and exposure to airborne metals. The clinical significance in a young, otherwise healthy working population is not clear.

Future Activities:

  • Review of the revised final report by the SAP.
  • Scientific editing of the report.
  • Publication of the report.


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

Other subproject views: All 17 publications 6 publications in selected types All 6 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 Kim JY, Wand MP, Hauser R, Mukherjee S, Herrick RF, Christiani DC. Association of expired nitric oxide with occupational particulate exposure. Environmental Health Perspectives 2003;111(5):676-680. R828678C002 (2002)
R828678C002 (2003)
R828678C002 (2004)
R828678C002 (2005)
R828678C002 (2006)
R828678C002 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Environmental Health Perspectives Full Text
    Exit
  • Other: Environmental Health Perspectives PDF
    Exit
  • Journal Article Magari SR, Hauser R, Schwartz J, Williams PL, Smith TJ, Christiani DC. Association of heart rate variability with occupational and environmental exposure to particulate air pollution. Circulation 2001;104(9):986-991. R828678C002 (2001)
    R828678C002 (2003)
    R828678C002 (2004)
    R828678C002 (2005)
    R828678C002 (2006)
    R828678C002 (Final)
    R827353 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Circulation-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Abstract: Circulation-Abstract
    Exit
  • Journal Article Magari SR, Schwartz J, Williams PL, Hauser R, Smith TJ, Christiani DC. The association between personal measurements of environmental exposure to particulates and heart rate variability. Epidemiology 2002;13(3):305-310. R828678C002 (2002)
    R828678C002 (2003)
    R828678C002 (2004)
    R828678C002 (2005)
    R828678C002 (2006)
    R828678C002 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Exit
  • Journal Article Magari SR, Schwartz J, Williams PL, Hauser R, Smith TJ, Christiani DC. The association of particulate air metal concentrations with heart rate variability. Environmental Health Perspectives 2002;110(9):875-880. R828678C002 (2002)
    R828678C002 (2003)
    R828678C002 (2004)
    R828678C002 (2005)
    R828678C002 (2006)
    R828678C002 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Environmental Health Perspectives Full Text
    Exit
  • Abstract: EHP
  • Other: Environmental Health Perspectives PDF
    Exit
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, HUMAN HEALTH, particulate matter, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Exposure, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, genetic susceptability, Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, copollutant exposures, sensitive populations, atmospheric particulate matter, cardiopulmonary responses, fine particles, PM 2.5, long term exposure, inhaled pollutants, acute cardiovascular effects, acute lung injury, morbidity, air pollution, susceptible subpopulations, chemical mixtures, cardiac arrest, chronic health effects, lung inflammation, time series analysis, particulate exposure, National Cohort Studies, cardiopulmonary response, human exposure, Acute health effects, inhaled, human susceptibility, cardiotoxicity, cardiopulmonary, mortality, air contaminant exposure, air quality, co-pollutants, environmental hazard exposures, toxics, airborne urban contaminants, cardiovascular disease, acute exposure

    Relevant Websites:

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

    Progress and Final Reports:

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