Airborne Particulate Matter Research Centers - Original (1998)
In May 1998, EPA's STAR Program issued a request for applications (RFA) for research grant proposals to establish five Particulate Matter (PM) Centers following the recommendations from the National Research Council report, Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter: 1) Immediate Priorities and Long-Range Research Portfolio, and direction from Congress in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 1998 appropriation. Five centers were established in June 1999, selected from 22 applicants, after a merit review by a panel of external scientific experts. These centers advance the understanding of PM health effects, how they occur, and improve understanding of populations who are susceptible to health effects from exposure.
The PM Research Centers are a central component of EPA's on-going integrated research program for PM which also includes ORD's intramural research program, interagency research and other STAR Program RFAs for individual research grants. The centers are advancing scientific understanding of the health effects of PM in the following priority areas:
Exposure: Improve assessments of personal exposures to PM in normal human populations and in sensitive populations (i.e., the elderly, individuals with respiratory or cardiovascular disease, and children).
Dosimetry and Modeling: Develop new models regarding the amount of particulate matter deposited in the lungs of exposed individuals. This is critical in understanding the relationships between individual exposure and health responses of sensitive populations.
Toxicology: Identify which constituents or properties of PM are most responsible for human health effects and how these effects occur. Reducing uncertainty in this area is important for human health risk assessment.
Epidemiology: Improve understanding of which groups are particularly susceptible to health effects from PM exposure.