Pulmonary Toxicity of Particulate Matter and Ozone

EPA Grant Number: R825268
Title: Pulmonary Toxicity of Particulate Matter and Ozone
Institution: New York University Medical Center
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: November 18, 1996 through November 17, 1998
Project Amount: $172,446
RFA: Air Quality (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air


Increases in morbidity and mortality associated with elevated levels of air pollution suggest that exposure to particulate matter (PM) below the present National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) may adversely affect human health. Yet few toxicologic studies have demonstrated plausible biological mechanisms by which PM could elicit adverse effects. Because of the current state of knowledge, i.e., lack thereof, concerning mechanisms underlying PM toxicity in humans or laboratory animals, it will be useful to demonstrate if exposure to PM enhances the pulmonary effect of ozone, a co-pollutant that has been shown to modify a variety of cellular and biochemical processes and lung function. Our preliminary study has shown that sulfuric acid, a major component of ambient PM, enhanced the severity of pulmonary lesions produced by ozone and that the enhancement is dependent upon particle size. We hypothesize that if ambient PM enhances a clearly defined ozone response, this interaction will provide strong evidence supporting the biological plausibility of ambient PM induced effects. The goal of this project is to investigate the mechanisms through which PM modifies specific ozone induced pulmonary physiologic and pathophysiologic processes and to evaluate the manner in which specific components of PM influence this modification. The proposed research plan will examine, using sensitive and relevant biological endpoints, the interactions of ozone with three factors that we hypothesize strongly influence the toxicity of inhaled PM: 1) particle size; 2) transition metals; and 3) surface content of inorganic acids. The result could be used in developing biological plausibility for the observed epidemiological effects of PM and a more complete understanding of the impact of PM on lung function.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 6 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 5 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

air, ambient air, atmosphere, ozone, exposure, health effects, human health, particulates, biology, Northeast, New York, NY, Region 2., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, particulate matter, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, State, Risk Assessments, tropospheric ozone, Atmospheric Sciences, EPA Region, ambient air quality, copollutant exposures, particle size, particulates, cumulative risk, ecological risk assessment, air toxics, chemical characteristics, human health effects, contaminant transport, exposure, ozone, ambient air, environmental mutagens, particle exposure models, pulmonary toxicity, human exposure, chronic health effects, lung inflammation, inhalation, lung inflamation, Acute health effects, inhaled, sulfuric acid, physicochemical characteristics, Region 2, atmospheric chemistry, New York (NY)

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • Final Report