We propose a CBPR study of the relationship between air pollution gradients and health effects in individuals living next to major highways. There is evidence that (1) people living close to highways experience significantly elevated exposures to constituents of motor vehicle exhaust including ultrafine particles (UFP;0.01-1 microns) and black carbon;and (2) that motor vehicle pollution is associated with cardiac mortality and morbidity in adults, and asthma and reduced lung function in children. C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker of risk for cardiac illness, has been shown to increase in response to changes in particulate exposure, making it a viable indicator of the potential impact on cardiac health. Our core study involves measuring 5 traffic-related pollutants (i.e., UFP, PM2.5, NOx, CO, black carbon, particulate PAH) in 6 neighborhoods within 400 meters of highways through in the Boston area. A background site >1000 m from highways will also be monitored. We will compete a scientific survey of residents living in the neighborhoods to determine pediatric asthma prevalence. We will determine the time residents spent within the near highway zone currently and rigorously measure highway pollution gradients in the neighborhoods. We will document exposures at work, school and while commuting. For a subset of non-smoking households we will obtain pulmonary function tests from children and analyze multiple blood samples per person from adults for CRP and fibrinogen. Our study will be (1) the first to test associations between highway pollution gradients and biological markers of health, (2) the first CBPR study of highway pollution, and (3) the most comprehensive collection of data on time spent in the exposure zone and many confounders and effect modifiers. We will conduct bivariate and regression analyses and have developed preliminary mathematical models that frame our approach to analyzing the large set of data. Our team consists of faculty at Tufts University and 6 co- investigators from community organizations that are concerned about the impact of highways on the health of residents in their communities. We will train and hire field staff from the communities and have an advisory board. We will link community participation to the science through participation in our steering committee and through our advisory board. Our study is designed to report useful information locally as well as influence pressing national policy needs. This proposal was developed to actively involve communities living very near to major highways in scientific research on the health effects of pollutant gradients coming off the highways (to about 200 meters). The study emphasizes the role of ultrafine particles on development of asthma in children, reduction of lung function in non-asthmatic children and increases in markers of inflammation and heart disease risk (C-reactive protein) in adults.
This proposal was developed to actively involve communities living very near to major highways in scientific research on the health effects of pollutant gradients coming off the highways (to about 200 meters). The study emphasizes the role of ultrafine particles on development of asthma in children, reduction of lung function in non-asthmatic children and increases in markers of inflammation and heart disease risk (C-reactive protein) in adults.
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