2002 Progress Report: Oxygenated Urban Air Toxics and Asthma Variability in Middle School Children: A Panel Study (ATAC–Air Toxics and Asthma in Children)

EPA Grant Number: R828678C005
Subproject: this is subproject number 005 , 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: Oxygenated Urban Air Toxics and Asthma Variability in Middle School Children: A Panel Study (ATAC–Air Toxics and Asthma in Children)
Investigators: Delclos, George , Abramson, Stuart , Hanania, Nicola , Lai, Dejian , Morandi, Maria T. , Sockrider, Marianna , Stock, Tom
Institution: The University of Texas at Houston , Baylor College of Medicine
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: December 6, 2001 through December 6, 2004 (Extended to December 6, 2005)
Project Period Covered by this Report: December 6, 2002 through December 6, 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


The objective of this research project is to conduct a prospective, pilot panel study to investigate the association between exposure to oxygenated air toxics (total carbonyl concentration), and asthma health outcomes among labile, persistent asthmatic middle school children in Houston, using a repeated measures design over a 12-month period. The study population will center on labile, persistent asthmatics on the basis that they are likely to manifest greater variability in health outcomes following exposure to airborne stimuli. The study design is one of repeated measures of health outcomes and relevant exposure variables over time, in which each participant serves as her/his own control. Four 1-week measurement periods, for each of the main independent (exposure) and dependent (health outcome) variables, will be performed over a 12-month observation period. Repeated measurement of established confounder variables also will be performed serially over the 12-month period.

The specific objectives of this research project are to evaluate: (1) the association between personal air concentrations of total carbonyls and variability of lung function (peak expiratory flow rate and forced expired volume in the first second) in a sample of middle school children with labile, persistent asthma; and (2) the association between personal air concentrations of total carbonyls and the variability of selected clinical indicators (asthma symptoms and medication use) in a sample of middle school children with labile, persistent asthma.

Progress Summary:

This project was developed in response to National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) Request for Application 2000-02 entitled: "Association Between Exposures to Oxygenated Air Toxics and Asthma: An Exposure and Health Effects Study of Houston Area School Children." The contract was signed on December 6, 2001. The study is in compliance with the Institutional Review Board of the University of Texas. Human consent procedures met governmental guidelines.

Activities during this study period included continued subject recruitment and preliminary analysis of the aldehyde data. The study subject recruitment continues to take longer than expected. New personnel have been added to the team to provide better coordination of project activities, in-depth statistical expertise, and support for field data collection. Progress reported to date includes the following:

· The original proposed sample size was 40 children. Power calculation for three sample sizes (n = 20, 30, and 40) at 10 days of sampling per child showed that with the longer follow-up proposed, a final sample size of 30 children should be sufficient to assure 80 percent power at a significance level of 0.05 for the main study hypothesis. This approach was approved by the Center’s Scientific Advisory Panel.

· Breakdown of the recruitment effort to date is: (1) 203 potential study subjects contacted via the phone; (2) 47 potential study subjects who completed the methacholine challenge; (3) 27 study subjects who have met the study criteria; and (4) 10 potential study subjects scheduled for or awaiting methacholine challenge.

· The first wave of sampling has been completed on 19 children.

· The data on the first seven children, however, were invalid due to problems with the cartridge used for the aldehyde measurements. In the original application, the investigators proposed using the DNSH protocol for measurement of aldehyde that was successfully employed in the Relationship Among Indoor, Outdoor, and Personal Air (RIOPA)Study, based on the methods of J. Zhang and colleagues at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute in New Jersey. However, when samples from the first seven study subjects were analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), few to no identifiable chromatographic peaks were visualized for the carbonyl compounds. This led to a systematic investigation by Dr. Morandi that took a few weeks, and impacted the timeline for the first sampling wave. Sources of the problem included differences in the cartridge preparation by the manufacturer, including the amount of C-18 present in each cartridge. The children will be sampled again during the fourth wave of samples.

In addition to the issues described above, there was a problem with the HPLC-fluorescence detector equipment. This problem also has been successfully resolved.

A subsample consisting of 25 percent of subject homes will be used to obtain estimates of co-exposures to PM2.5, ozone, and nitrous oxide. These homes will be representative of the total homes in the project, based on the characteristics such as home size (volume; type of home; year built; type of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; type of cooking source; type of garage; and household size. In addition, central-site exposure determination of PM2.5, ozone, and NOx concentration are gathered at the Aldine fixed site monitoring station. The following data also have been collected during the personal exposure sampling:

· Health outcomes measured for the study are peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), forced expiratory volume 1 (FEV1), asthma symptom variability, and medication (rescue and maintenance) use.

· To date, the investigators have collected and analyzed daily mean AM and PM FEV1 values, respectively, for the 10-day period for each child, and daily mean 24-hour total aldehyde concentration per child.

· Personal exposure data (carbonyls) have been analyzed for 10 children.

· These very preliminary data analyses indicate that levels of both total and individual aldehydes vary within subject. This also is seen between subjects. The variation is greater for individual compounds than for total aldehydes.

· An initial regression analysis of the change in FEV1 AM and PM for the 10-day period versus the 24-hour total aldehyde concentration from the previous day for all of the children suggests that not adjusting for confounder and colinearity, together with small sample size, indicates a slight inverse relationship between 24-hour aldehyde concentration and changes in both AM and PM FEV1 values for the following day. However, these results are not statistically significant.

Future Activities:

Once the sample size is reached, the recruitment phase will be concluded, and field data collection and analysis will continue. The investigators have and will continue to develop the various study databases. Tables for initial questionnaire data, activity questionnaire, time-activity logs, air exchange rate, aldehyde measurements, health outcomes, and medication are being designed for data storage. These tables will be related through a central table containing study participant identification codes; it is termed the "Baseline" table. The 14-digit subject code will be scanned directly into the access database using a barcode scanner, and the hardcopy forms will be entered into the database using access forms.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 2 publications for this subproject

Supplemental Keywords:

exposure, oxygenated air, toxics, carbonyl concentration, asthma, health outcomes, Houston, Texas, TX., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, HUMAN HEALTH, particulate matter, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Exposure, Chemicals, Epidemiology, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Health Effects, Physical Processes, Children's Health, Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Policy, Biology, Risk Assessment, asthma, copollutant exposures, sensitive populations, urban air, asthma triggers, atmospheric particulate matter, fine particles, PM 2.5, long term exposure, inhaled pollutants, acute lung injury, acute cardiovascular effects, airway disease, air pollution, children, susceptible subpopulations, cardiac arrest, chronic health effects, human exposure, lung inflammation, particulate exposure, assessment of exposure, Acute health effects, indoor air, inhaled, human susceptibility, children's environmental health, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), acute exposure, air quality, exposure assessment, human health risk, toxics, environmental hazard exposures, air contaminant exposure, co-pollutants

Relevant Websites:

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

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • 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