2011 Progress Report: Health Effects and Characterization of Urban and Rural Coarse ParticulateMatter in Northeastern Colorado

EPA Grant Number: R833744
Title: Health Effects and Characterization of Urban and Rural Coarse ParticulateMatter in Northeastern Colorado
Investigators: Hannigan, Michael P. , Milford, Jana B. , Miller, Shelly , Navidi, William C. , Peel, Jennifer
Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder , Colorado School of Mines , Colorado State University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2012 (Extended to June 30, 2013)
Project Period Covered by this Report: January 1, 2011 through December 31,2011
Project Amount: $1,200,000
RFA: Sources, Composition, and Health Effects of Coarse Particulate Matter (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Particulate Matter


The proposed research is designed to investigate associations between coarse particulate matter (PM10-2.5) mass concentrations and several health outcomes in a pair of urban and rural communities: Denver and Greeley, CO, and to characterize the particle composition and origin in both communities.

Progress Summary:

During the third year, we were focused on data collection. At the core, CRUSH is a time-series population epidemiology study comparing rural effects to urban effects with some coarse PM characterization efforts added on to help inform any differences observed. As such, until the end of the project, our progress reports focus on collection of PM concentration measurements and health effect measurements. The third year of this study typifies this situation as we spent most of our time collecting data.
Continuous Mass Concentration Results. As of the close of 2011, we have collected nearly 3 years of hourly PM10-2.5 and PM2.5 mass concentrations at two locations in Denver and one location in Greeley. The same information was collected for 1 year at a second location in Greeley, but the strong correlation between the two Greeley sites allowed us to stop collection of measurements at the second site and conserve measurement resources. For the three sites, we have continued to have greater than 85% coverage, or, in other words, less than 15% of down time. In addition, we have continued to use these time series and the volatility correction made the TEOM-DF to explore PM characteristics and origins.
Characterization via Filter Sample Collection. To characterize PM10-2.5 and PM2.5, we created, validated and deployed four filter samplers to allow us to explore spatial variability of the chemical species within both Denver and Greeley. We deployed those four filter samplers at the same locations where we deployed the continuous PM mass concentration measurement tools. We operated those filter samplers for 24 hours every sixth day as per the EPA regulatory air quality calendar and completed 1 year of collection in the spring of 2011. Subsequently, we undertook a second PM sampling campaign where (1) we collected a 24-hr sample every month instead of every sixth day and (2) we added a TSP filter sampler as each site. The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment was kind enough to loan us four of their TSP samplers, so we are able to collect regulatory quality samples at no added equipment cost. This second campaign will improve our understanding of the chemistry of the complete PM size distribution. As a result, we will gain a more complete understanding of PM origin. To date, we have analyzed the filters for mass, organic/elemental carbon, and biological taxa. The figure below shows the relative variability of the bacterial orders for the sixth day PM samples. One can observe that there are differences in the relative abundances of bacterial orders across time, space and PM size. In addition to those analyses, we initiated metals and ROS analysis of monthly composites of the sixth day samples and anticipate completion of those analyses in spring 2012.
Health Data Collection. During the past year, we renewed the IRB approval for the project and continued to collect emergency department data from NCMC. The completeness of the data has been examined using the methods described in the quality assurance plan for the project. We have also obtained emergency department data from University of Colorado Hospital and Denver Health through December 31, 2011.

Future Activities:

In the coming year, 2012, we will complete our efforts with the continuous mass concentration measurement network and data analysis, health data collection, operation of the filter sampling network, and we should be nearing completion of the chemical analysis of the collected filters as well as the epidemiological health model runs.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 14 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

exposure, human health, dose-response, metals, epidemiology, modeling, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, particulate matter, Health Risk Assessment, State, Biology, atmospheric particulate matter, PM10, atmospheric particles, cardiopulmonary responses, human health effects, bioavailability, cardiovascular vulnerability, cardiotoxicity, coarse pm, exposure assessment, chemical speciation sampling

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2008 Progress Report
  • 2009 Progress Report
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • Final Report