Research ResultsOther Related NCER Research
EPA PM Research
Research Project Search
- Particulate Matter and Related Pollutants in a Changing World - Open: January 09, 2014 - Closing:March 14, 2014
What are some basic questions that we are trying to answer?
NCER's main PM research areas and the associated research questions that we hope to answer through currently funded research are:
- Toxicology: Which constituents or properties of PM are most responsible for human health effects? Through what biological mechanisms do these effects occur?
- Dosimetry and Modeling: How does the amount of particulate matter deposited in the lungs of exposed individuals vary among members of the general population and susceptible subpopulations?
- Exposure: What is the relationship between personal exposures to PM and ambient measurements? How can we improve assessments of exposures in normal human populations and in sensitive populations (i.e., the elderly, individuals with respiratory or cardiovascular disease, and children)?
- Epidemiology: Which groups are particularly susceptible to health effects from PM exposure? What are the effects of long-term exposures to particle constituents, including ultrafine particles? What is the influence of gaseous co-pollutants on effects of long-term exposure to PM?
- Implementation: What are the characteristics of PM emitted from primary sources in the U.S. and what are the emissions of reactive gases leading to secondary particle formation? What is the relationship between emission sources and ambient concentrations of biologically important constituents of PM?
To view a list of grants funded under each solicitation, see "Recipients and Their Research Projects"
Innovative Approaches to Particulate Matter Health, Composition, and Source Questions - Open: June 6, 2007 - Closing: September 11, 2007 - Closed
This soliciation sought applications proposing to improve the ability of epidemiologic studies to link health outcomes to sources and components of air pollution.
Sources and Atmospheric Formation of Organic Particulate Matter: Open: November 20, 2006 - Closing: February 27, 2007 - Closed
This solicitation sought applications proposing to understand the sources and formation processes that produce organic compounds in atmospheric fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
Sources, Composition, and Health Effects of Coarse Particulate Matter: Open: July 21, 2006 - Extended Closing: November 30, 2006 - Closed
This solicitation sought applications proposing studies of thoracic coarse particulate matter (PM10-2.5); its sources, composition, variability and health effects.
Continuous Measurement Methods for Particulate Matter Composition: Open: March 3, 2005 - Closing: June 7, 2005 - Closed
This solicitation sought applications proposing continuous measurement techniques that determine the composition of fine atmospheric particulate matter (PM). These improved continuous measurement techniques should provide insight into the sources contributing to measured concentrations in ambient air, into the effectiveness of potential control strategies, and into the possibility of composition-specific PM regulatory standards.
Source Apportionment of Particulate Matter - Open: December 2, 2003 - Closing: March 31, 2004 - Closed
This solicitation sought applicationsfor innovative methods to quantify source-receptor relationships that explore current and future relative source contributions of particulate matter for various regions of the US.
Particulate Matter Research Centers: Open: March 29, 2004 -
Original Closing: August 31, 2004 NEW CLOSING DATE: September 3, 2004 - Closed
This RFA sought applications for Particulate Matter Research Centers to study priority issues related to airborne particulate matter, including susceptibility, mechanisms of health effects, exposure-response relationships, and source linkages.
Epidemiologic Research on Health Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Ambient Particulate Matter and Other Air Pollutants: Opens February 24, 2003 - Closing: July 24th, 2003 - Closed
This RFA sought applications for a prospective observational study of cardiovascular disease initiation and progression associated with long-term exposure to ambient particulate matter and other air pollutants in a population-based sample.
Measurement, Modeling, and Analysis Methods for Airborne Carbonaceous Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5): Open: October 31, 2002 - Closing: February 5, 2003 - Closed
This RFA covers research on the sources and the accumulation of airborne, carbonaceous, fine particulate matter (PM2.5). EPA seeks research to develop and evaluate:
- Carbonaceous PM2.5 measurement methods. Using advanced, comparable measurement and analysis methods for the carbonaceous fraction of ambient PM2.5,
- Carbonaceous PM2.5 emissions sources. Using available and emerging methods to measure and speciate carbonaceous PM2.5 for major combustion source categories including fossil fuel, agricultural burning, and wildfires; and
- Air quality processes analysis and modeling. Using available and emerging data to explain the chemical and physical transformation and transport of carbonaceous PM2.5 and improve fundamental processes for understanding air quality model development.
Epidemiologic Research On Health Effects Of Long-Term Exposure To Ambient Particulate Matter and Other Air Pollutants: Open: August 28, 2001 - Closing: January 18, 2002 - Closed
This RFA covers two types of PM research:(1) retrospective epidemiologic studies that make use of currently available information on health and air quality; (2) methods/model development studies relating to future, prospective epidemiologic research.
Airborne Particulate Matter Health Effects: Cardiovascular Mechanisms: Open: January: 25, 2002 - Closing: April 30, 2002 - Closed
This RFA calls for research on cardiovascular mechanisms of particulate matter health effects and attempts to answer the following questions:
- What are the underlying mechanisms that can explain the epidemiological findings of mortality/morbidity associated with exposure to ambient PM?
- What subpopulations are at increased risk of adverse health outcomes from particulate matter?
The RFA covers several types of studies including:
- Mechanisms of Pathogenesis: Humans and/or Laboratory Animals inducing electrical activity of the heart, processes which damage cardiac cells, cause endothelial cell dysfunction, or alterations in blood viscosity or clotting.
- Models of Susceptibility: use animal models of cardiovascular disease to study the effects of PM, especially newer genetic models that target specific cellular pathways.
- Controlled Exposure Studies in Humans or Animals: demonstrate how inhaled PM directly affects the heart (e.g., through uptake of particles into the circulatory system or through release of soluble substances into the circulatory system) or whether and how PM affects autonomic control of the heart and cardiovascular system.
2002 Related Solicitations
Assessing the Consequences of Global Change for Air Quality: Sensitivity of U.S. Air Quality to Climate Change and Future Global Impacts: Open: May 6, 2002 - Closing: September 10, 2002 - Closed
This RFA sought research projects on the consequences of global change for air quality that will provide information of value to the atmospheric sciences, global change, and regional air quality research communities.
Two related topics were of particular interest: (1) The effect of future global changes including climate change and global economic growth on regional air quality for North America; and (2) The effect of changes in specific meteorological variables on chemical transformations, transport, and ambient atmospheric concentrations for specific locations in the United States.
2001 Airborne Particulate Matter Health Effects: Open: August 4, 2000 - Closing: January 17, 2001 - Closed
This RFA covers two primary PM research areas: combined effects of PM and gaseous copollutants and mechanisms of injury. This RFA specifically calls for research projects on:
- Understanding the potential for PM deposition, target tissue dose, and effects on the lung and related systems in response to PM independently and in combination with other pollutants.
- Understanding the role of PM independently and in combination with other pollutants in epidemiological findings associating PM exposures with health outcomes.
- Identifying the molecular and physiological mechanisms by which ambient air PM mediates adverse health effects;
- Identifying non-pulmonary effects of PM such as cardiac, neurologic, immunologic, etc., and to understand the mechanisms associated with these effects;
- Identifying potential health conditions, such as conditions related to cardiac or immune system status, that would enhance susceptibility to adverse PM health effects and the biological mechanisms by which host susceptibility factors influence the dose response relationship.
Particulate Matter (PM) Supersites Integrated Data Analysis Project - Open: August 4, 2000 - Closing: January 17, 2001 - Closed
This RFA solicited proposals to support development of a single PM Supersites "Integrated Data Analysis Project" (IDAP) designed to facilitate and execute broad-scale (e.g., national and regional) analyses which merge PM Supersites data with other relevant data sets.
1999 Airborne Particulate Matter (PM) Centers: Open: May 19, 1998 - Closing: October 28, 1998 - Closed
This RFA solicited proposals to develop PM research centers with well-defined and integrated programs that address PM research needs in the areas of exposure, dosimetry and extrapolation modeling, toxicology, and epidemiology. This RFA was in response to requests by Congress and recommendations of the NRC. (See Background for more detail)
1999 Airborne Particulate Matter Health Effects: Open: February 17, 1999 - Closing: June 2, 1999 - Closed
This RFA covers research in the following areas: Assessment of Hazardous PM Components; Combined Effects of PM and Gaseous Copollutants; and Mechanisms of Injury. This RFA detailed many research needs including: evaluating 11 plausible PM causative constituents and properties were listed at the EPA/NARSTO PM workshop held in Chapel Hill, NC on July 22-23, 1998; determining the role of PM chemistry and biological characteristics in toxicological responses to PM that relate to epidemiological health outcomes; understanding the potential for PM independently and in combination with other pollutants to affect the deposition, target tissue dose, and response of the lung and related systems; developing and evaluating novel hypotheses on the mechanistic basis of PM toxicity from the molecular through physiologic levels; and identification of the neurologic, systemic, and direct cardiac responses to PM.
Particulate Matter "Supersites" Program - Open: March 1, 1999 - Closing: August 4, 1999 - Closed
This RFA solicited proposals to support development of a "Particulate Matter (PM) Supersites" monitoring program that will provide information of value to the atmospheric sciences, human health, and human exposure research communities.
1998 Air Pollution Chemistry and Physics: Open September 26, 1997 - Closing Date: January 29, 1998 - Closed
This RFA covered research to support the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone (NARSTO), a public/private sector cooperative 10-year research effort to both improve the technical understanding of the tropospheric ozone issue and support future evaluations and adjustments to attainment strategies. The EPA/ORD contribution to the NARSTO program emphasized the areas of atmospheric chemistry and modeling, ambient measurement methods, and emissions research. Areas specifically related to PM covered by this RFA included atmospheric chemistry; modeling; and ambient measurement and analysis methods.
1998 Health Effects and Exposures to Particulate Matter and Associated Air Pollutants: Open September 26, 1997 - Closing Date: January 29, 1998 - Closed
This RFA dedicated to PM research covered health effects research areas including: chronic epidemiologic studies with special interest on studies using existing cohorts; mechanisms of PM toxicity including chronic effects of PM exposure and the relationship between acute and chronic biological responses; and dose response relationships for PM toxicity; and studies on the magnitude and variability of the errors in the assessment of exposure due to measurement error.
This RFA covered research to support the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone (NARSTO), a public/private sector cooperative 10-year research effort to both improve the technical understanding of the tropospheric ozone issue and support future evaluations and adjustments to attainment strategies. The EPA/ORD contribution to the NARSTO program emphasized the areas of atmospheric chemistry and modeling, ambient measurement methods, and emissions research. The RFA acknowledged the overlap of research needs for PM and tropospheric ozone and called for exploration of the most important unknowns in tropospheric ozone chemistry: atmospheric oxidation reactions which also play an important role in aerosol formation and modeling the transport and fate of both ozone and particulates.This RFA was NCER's first RFA dedicated solely to PM health effects research. The RFA called for research projects in the following areas:
- Causal mechanisms of PM toxicity including clinical, epidemiological, toxicological, and in vitro research for pulmonary, cardiovascular, and immunological effects.
- Dose-response relationships for PM toxicity.
- Reducing uncertainties in exposure assessment for PM and associated copollutants.
- Characterization of individual and population exposures to PM (concentration, size, composition, fine mode versus coarse mode, etc.) and copollutants, including relationships between personal exposure to ambient PM, indoor PM, and total PM.
- New epidemiological studies to better define relationships between exposure to PM and other atmospheric constituents and adverse health effects.
- The composition of little understood components of PM such as organic compounds (non-volatile and semi-volatile), primary biological materials, and species dissolved in liquid particles.1996This RFA covered a number of air quality issues including air toxics. The questions posed by the RFA included:
- Are there public health risks that result from a) exposures to recurrent acute exposures from both point and area sources, b) chronic exposures from individual facilities or the combined exposures from multiple facilities, and c) mixtures which impact the same or different organ systems?
- Can susceptible subpopulations be identified that are at increased risk due to higher exposures or biological sensitivities?
- What are the emissions of air toxic pollutants from sources of concern in urban areas? The RFA requested projects that used multi disciplinary approaches to investigate source identification and characterization, exposure characterization (modeling/monitoring), and characterization of health outcomes as related to exposure. Eleven projects funded under this RFA were dealing with PM.