Simulated Roadway Exposure Atmospheres for Laboratory Animal and Human Studies

EPA Grant Number: R834796C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R834796
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: University of Washington Center for Clean Air Research
Center Director: Vedal, Sverre
Title: Simulated Roadway Exposure Atmospheres for Laboratory Animal and Human Studies
Investigators: McDonald, Jacob D. , Doyle-Eisele, Melanie , Larson, Timothy V. , Mauderly, Joe L.
Current Investigators: McDonald, Jacob D.
Institution: Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: December 1, 2010 through November 30, 2015 (Extended to November 30, 2017)
RFA: Clean Air Research Centers (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health Effects , Air


This Project will develop inhalation exposure atmospheres for animal and human laboratory studies, with the primary objective of simulating environments containing key components of roadway emissions and the products of environmental factors that transform them. The exposures will help determine air contaminants that cause or potentiate the toxicity of roadway emissions or confound interpretations based on roadway proximity alone. Our hypotheses are that combined gasoline and diesel motor vehicle emissions toxicity decreases when transformed in the atmosphere. We further hypothesize that background air and nonexhaust roadway emissions (road surface dust, tire and brake wear material, inorganic ions, metals, and ozone) do not contribute significantly to roadway-associated cardiovascular morbidity, nor do they potentiate the morbidity associated with roadway emissions. The animal and human toxicology projects will utilize the experimental exposure atmospheres generated in this project to determine the relative potency of different simulated roadway environments, and thus test hypotheses regarding causal components and combinations. The results of the animal studies will be used to select atmospheres for confirmatory human inhalation studies.


We will develop novel inhalation exposure atmospheres that simulate near roadway and downwind motor vehicle emissions after physical and chemical transformation in the air. Physical aging will be used to convert ultrafine particles that are emitted from the tailpipe at 10-20 nm to agglomerated particles that are 100-150 nm. A third atmosphere will utilize an irradiation chamber to chemically transform motor vehicle emissions. Non-tailpipe roadway emissions will be simulated by a road dust atmosphere with and without motor vehicle emissions. Urban background will be created to include a mixture on non-motor vehicle exhaust that includes ozone, hydrocarbons, metals and inorganic ions (sulfate/nitrate). Urban background potency will be compared against and in combination with motor vehicle emissions. We will define the biological potency of each atmosphere based on lipid peroxidation in ApoE-/-mice (further described in Project 3).

Expected Results:

We will elucidate the important characteristics that define toxicity resulting from roadway emissions and their interaction with background air. We expect that fresh whole exhaust containing ultrafine particles and vapor will confer the most potent atmosphere. These results will be confirmed in both rodent and human studies.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 14 publications for this subprojectView all 187 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 5 journal articles for this subprojectView all 86 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, ozone, chemical transformation, motor vehicle, road dust,, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Air Quality, air toxics, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, mobile sources, Biochemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Risk Assessment, ambient air quality, atmospheric particulate matter, particulate matter, aerosol particles, air pollutants, motor vehicle emissions, vehicle emissions, air quality models, motor vehicle exhaust, airway disease, bioavailability, air pollution, particle exposure, atmospheric aerosols, ambient particle health effects, vascular dysfunction, cardiotoxicity, atmospheric chemistry, exposure assessment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2011 Progress Report
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2014
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R834796    University of Washington Center for Clean Air Research

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R834796C001 Exposure Mapping – Characterization of Gases and Particles for ExposureAssessment in Health Effects and Laboratory Studies
    R834796C002 Simulated Roadway Exposure Atmospheres for Laboratory Animal and Human Studies
    R834796C003 Cardiovascular Consequences of Immune Modification by Traffic-Related Emissions
    R834796C004 Vascular Response to Traffic-Derived Inhalation in Humans
    R834796C005 Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Traffic-Derived Particles and Gases on Subclinical Measures of Cardiovascular Disease in a Multi-Ethnic Cohort