2011 Progress Report: Near Roadways Exposure to Urban Air Pollutants Study (NEXUS)

EPA Grant Number: R834117
Title: Near Roadways Exposure to Urban Air Pollutants Study (NEXUS)
Investigators: Batterman, Stuart A. , Lewis, Toby C. , Mukherjee, Bhramar , Robins, Thomas
Current Investigators: Batterman, Stuart A. , Lewis, Toby C. , Mukherjee, Bhramar , Dion, F , Robins, Thomas
Institution: University of Michigan
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: March 1, 2009 through February 29, 2012 (Extended to February 28, 2014)
Project Period Covered by this Report: March 1, 2011 through February 29,2012
Project Amount: $1,399,973
RFA: Health Effects of Near-Roadway Exposures to Air Pollution (2008) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Particulate Matter , Air


The Near Roadways Exposure to Urban Air Pollutants Study (NEXUS) has the objectives of: (1) understanding the types and severity of respiratory and cardiovascular outcomes in children with asthma that are associated with near-road exposures to air pollutants and (2) characterizing the pollutants and exposures associated with these outcomes. We will examine a diverse and innovative set of respiratory health outcomes and interactions that are hypothesized to be associated with near-road-way exposures to air pollutants. Specifically, we will evaluate three health effect domains: asthma aggravation (lung function, symptoms), inflammation and oxidative stress (exhaled nitric oxide, nasal cytokines, urinary isoprostanes), and respiratory viral infections (frequency, severity, type) in order to explore a number of hypotheses: Which measures of traffic-associated pollution are most closely associated with asthma aggravation? Do children with asthma who are highly exposed to traffic, particularly diesel exhaust, exhibit more inflammation and oxidative stress? Does traffic exposure influence the likelihood of respiratory viral infections? How much error (exposure misclassification) is caused by the use of community monitoring versus indoor monitoring and exposure modeling, and what impact does this have on the effect size and statistical confidence of odds ratios relating exposures to health outcomes? These and other questions will be examined using an observational approach, which is highly relevant to real world conditions, focusing on children with persistent asthma, who tend to be highly susceptible to air pollutants. 

This research is undertaken as a cooperative agreement with US EPA, which is partnering with the University of Michigan (UM) researchers. In brief, US EPA is conducting most of the exposure related measurements; UM is conducting most of the health related measurements. The study is designed and implemented as a community-based participatory research (CBPR) and includes monthly meetings and other interactions of a community- and Detroit-based steering committee, an element of the Community Action Against Asthma (CAAA) coalition.

Progress Summary:

In Year 3, we both initiated and concluded recruiting participants for NEXUS cohort II, which was designed to increase the total cohort size. Key activities included: (1) enrolling 87 study participants in the NEXUS study; (2) collecting health measurement data; (3) collecting exposure measurements; (4) engaging in processes to ensure regular, ongoing, coordinated interaction, planning, learning and feedback between UM, EPA, and community partners, including effective use of shared resources and optimal efficiency; (5) convening a NEXUS US EPA and UM team meeting in Ann Arbor, MI, to discuss dispersion modeling, exposure modeling, health measures and planned analyses; (6) coauthoring manuscripts and conference proceedings describing the NEXUS study; (7) maintaining regular meetings/teleconferences/etc. to plan analyses, publications, etc.; (8) setting up protocols and websites for data exchange and collaboration; and (9) engaging in activities related to dispersion modeling for exposure assessment pruposes, including exchanging data and training of a post-doctoral scientist (Rajiv Ganguly) at EPA-RTP, who now is working in Ann Arbor.

We submitted a request for a 1-year no-cost extension, which was approved by US EPA.

Future Activities:

We will complete data collection in December 2012. We will continue to be guided by CBPR principles and community partners will continue to be involved in all aspects of our research. We believe that their input ensures the appropriateness of study methods, thereby improving recruitment, retention and the relevance and quality of the research. 

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 39 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

ambient air, health effects, susceptibility, epidemiology, Midwest, Region 5, transportation, human health, air, scientific discipline, RFA, physical aspects, health, health risk assessment, physical processes, particulate matter, allergens, children's health, air toxics, air pollution, airborne pollutants, children, exposure, asthma triggers, asthma, human exposure, PM, RFA, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Health, Air, HUMAN HEALTH, particulate matter, Health Risk Assessment, Allergens/Asthma, Health Effects, Physical Processes, asthma, asthma triggers, children's health, air toxics, exposure, air pollution, children, airborne pollutants, human exposure, air pollutant, PM

Progress and Final Reports:

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