2003 Progress Report: Biomarker Core

EPA Grant Number: R827355C010
Subproject: this is subproject number 010 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827355
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Airborne PM - Northwest Research Center for Particulate Air Pollution and Health
Center Director: Koenig, Jane Q.
Title: Biomarker Core
Investigators: Simpson, Chris , Dills, Russell , Kalman, Dave , Katz, Bethany , Paulsen, Michael
Current Investigators: Kalman, Dave , Dills, Russell , Simpson, Chris
Institution: University of Washington
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: June 1, 1999 through May 31, 2004 (Extended to May 31, 2006)
Project Period Covered by this Report: June 1, 2002 through May 31, 2003
RFA: Airborne Particulate Matter (PM) Centers (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Particulate Matter , Air


The objectives of this research project are to: (1) validate the use of organic tracers to apportion woodsmoke contribution to ambient particulate matter (PM) and to determine environmental levels of and personal exposures to biomass-generated PM; (2) validate a urinary biomarker of exposure to woodsmoke; and (3) develop the dithiothreitol (DTT) assay as a measure of the oxidative potential of PM samples.

Progress Summary:

Validation of the Use of Organic Tracers To Apportion Woodsmoke Contribution to Ambient PM and To Determine Environmental Levels of and Personal Exposures to Biomass-Generated PM

  • Analyzed more than 200 personal filters from the Seattle Panel Study for the woodsmoke tracer levoglucosan. These data will be used to estimate personal exposures to woodsmoke.
  • Measured levoglucosan levels in approximately 150 personal and central site filters from the study of health effects of exposure to agricultural burning smoke in Pullman, WA. These data will be used to define episodes of field-burning smoke impacts in Pullman and to assess personal exposures to biomass smoke. Methoxyphenol levels also were measured in approximately 100 personal and central site filters from this study.
  • Twenty-three filter samples containing various types of PM collected in Thailand were analyzed for levoglucosan and methoxyphenols. These data are being used to construct source profiles for rice burning and urban aerosol in Thailand and will be used in source apportionment studies (collaborative with the Fogarty Grant).

Validation of a Urinary Biomarker of Exposure to Woodsmoke

  • Assisted with a managed human exposure to woodsmoke study in which 10 individuals were exposed to approximately 1,000 μ/m3 of woodsmoke for hours. Personal exposure and urine samples were collected, and health endpoints (exhaled nitric oxide, exhaled breath condensate) were monitored (collaborative with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH] R03 Grant and Health Core).
  • Measured methoxyphenol levels in 100 urine samples from the study of health effects of exposure to agricultural burning smoke in Pullman, WA. These data will be used to determine if urinary markers of biomass smoke are associated with biomass smoke exposures in a community exposed to smoke from field burning. Associations between the urinary biomarker levels and measures of health effects also will be explored.
  • Sixteen personal filter samples and 20 urine samples were collected from farmers exposed to smoke from field burning. Associations between smoke exposure and the urinary biomarker are being investigated (collaborative with the NIOSH Agricultural Center).

Development of the DTT Assay as a Measure of the Oxidative Potential of PM Samples

  • Work has continued to validate the DTT assay for oxidative potential of PM in our laboratory. This assay has been applied to PM samples from various sources, including woodsmoke, diesel standard reference material, and fresh diesel exhaust from our exposure facility. Of all these samples, woodsmoke showed the highest response. Organic extracts from the PM samples were fractionated on silca gel into acid, base, and neutral fractions, and each fraction was further subfractionated by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). For both woodsmoke and diesel exhaust particles, the neutral fraction had the highest DTT activity. Furthermore, the HPLC subfractions of woodsmoke with the highest DTT activity contained abundant methoxylated phenolic compounds. In contrast, a synthetic mix of approximately 15 methoxyphenols we use as woodsmoke tracers did not show appreciable reactivity in the DTT assay.

Future Activities:

We will complete manuscripts, including: (1) a methods paper describing a technique for analysis of methoxyphenols in PM samples; (2) a description of methoxyphenol levels in outdoor ambient PM samples in Seattle; (3) a source apportionment paper for Beacon Hill, including woodsmoke tracers in a positive matrix factorization model; (4) an investigation of indoor/outdoor ratios of woodsmoke tracers in Seattle homes; (5) one or two papers describing methoxyphenol levels in urine and their relationship to PM exposures; and (6) results from the managed exposure to woodsmoke study.

We also will conduct additional chemical analysis, including: (1) a determination of woodsmoke tracer levels in size-fractionated PM samples to determine the relationship between size distribution and organic tracer concentrations; (2) analysis of urines and filters from wildland firefighters exposed to biomass smoke (~ 150 samples—collaborative with Luke Naeher and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention); (3) analysis of urine and filter samples from a randomized controlled intervention study to replace traditional cookstoves with lower emissions stoves in Guatemala smoke (~ 100 samples— collaborative with Kirk Smith, University of California at Berkeley); and (4) analysis of wildfire-impacted woodsmoke samples from Missoula, MT, to determine woodsmoke tracer levels (~ 50 samples).

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 19 publications 12 publications in selected types All 12 journal articles
Other center views: All 209 publications 113 publications in selected types All 109 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Simpson CD, Paulsen M, Dills RL, Liu L-JS, Kalman DA. Determination of methoxyphenols in ambient atmospheric particulate matter:tracers for wood combustion. Environmental Science & Technology 2005;39(2):631-637. R827355 (2004)
R827355 (Final)
R827355C003 (2004)
R827355C003 (Final)
R827355C010 (2003)
R827355C010 (Final)
R829584 (2004)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: ACS-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: ACS-Abstract
  • Other: ACS-Full Text PDF
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    ambient particles, fine particles, combustion, health, exposure, biostatistics, susceptibility, human susceptibility, sensitive populations, air toxics, genetic susceptibility, indoor air, indoor air quality, indoor environment, tropospheric ozone, California, CA, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs, hydrocarbons, acute cardiovascular effects, aerosols, air pollutants, air pollution, air quality, airborne pollutants, airway disease, airway inflammation, allergen, ambient aerosol, ambient aerosol particles, ambient air, ambient air quality, ambient particle health effects, animal model, assessment of exposure, asthma, atmospheric aerosols, atmospheric chemistry, biological markers, biological response, cardiopulmonary response, cardiovascular disease, children, children’s vulnerability, combustion, combustion contaminants, combustion emissions, epidemiology, exposure, exposure and effects, exposure assessment, harmful environmental agents, hazardous air pollutants, health effects, health risks, human exposure, human health effects, human health risk, incineration, inhalation, lead, morbidity, mortality, mortality studies, particle exposure, particle transport, particulates, particulate matter, risk assessment,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Geographic Area, particulate matter, Toxicology, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Air Pollutants, Epidemiology, State, Air Pollution Effects, Northwest, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Biochemistry, Physical Processes, genetic susceptability, Atmospheric Sciences, Risk Assessment, biostatistics, health effects, ambient aerosol, particulates, sensitive populations, ambient air quality, morbidity, cardiopulmonary responses, human health effects, exposure and effects, health risks, acute cardiovascular effects, hazardous air pollutants, exposure, epidemelogy, dose-response, air pollution, particle exposure, Human Health Risk Assessment, atmospheric aerosols, ambient particle health effects, mortality studies, cardiopulmonary response, inhalation, human exposure, human susceptibility, mortality, California (CA), biomarker based exposure inference, air quality, particle transport, cardiovascular disease, human health risk, aerosols, atmospheric chemistry, exposure assessment, environmental hazard exposures, toxics

    Relevant Websites:

    http://depts.washington.edu/pmcenter/ Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

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

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827355    Airborne PM - Northwest Research Center for Particulate Air Pollution and Health

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827355C001 Epidemiologic Study of Particulate Matter and Cardiopulmonary Mortality
    R827355C002 Health Effects
    R827355C003 Personal PM Exposure Assessment
    R827355C004 Characterization of Fine Particulate Matter
    R827355C005 Mechanisms of Toxicity of Particulate Matter Using Transgenic Mouse Strains
    R827355C006 Toxicology Project -- Controlled Exposure Facility
    R827355C007 Health Effects Research Core
    R827355C008 Exposure Core
    R827355C009 Statistics and Data Core
    R827355C010 Biomarker Core
    R827355C011 Oxidation Stress Makers