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Petaluma, CA, United States

Brandt S.J.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Perez L.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Kunzli N.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Lurmannp F.,Sonoma Technology Inc. | McConnell R.,University of Southern California
European Respiratory Journal | Year: 2012

Recent research suggests the burden of childhood asthma that is attributable to air pollution has been underestimated in traditional risk assessments, and there are no estimates of these associated costs. We aimed to estimate the yearly childhood asthma-related costs attributable to air pollution for Riverside and Long Beach, CA, USA, including: 1) the indirect and direct costs of healthcare utilisation due to asthma exacerbations linked with traffic-related pollution (TRP); and 2) the costs of health care for asthma cases attributable to local TRP exposure. We calculated costs using estimates from peer-reviewed literature and the authors' analysis of surveys (Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, California Health Interview Survey, National Household Travel Survey, and Health Care Utilization Project). A lower-bound estimate of the asthma burden attributable to air pollution was US$18 million yearly. Asthma cases attributable to TRP exposure accounted for almost half of this cost. The cost of bronchitic episodes was a major proportion of both the annual cost of asthma cases attributable to TRP and of pollution-linked exacerbations. Traditional risk assessment methods underestimate both the burden of disease and cost of asthma associated with air pollution, and these costs are borne disproportionately by communities with higher than average TRP. Copyright©ERS 2012.

Valin L.C.,University of California at Berkeley | Valin L.C.,Sonoma Technology Inc. | Russell A.R.,University of California at Berkeley | Cohen R.C.,University of California at Berkeley
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2013

The evolution of atmospheric composition downwind of a city depends strongly on the concentration of OH within the plume. We use space-based observations of NO2, a molecule that affects both the sources and sinks of OH, to examine the functional dependence of OH concentration on the speed of the wind over Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. These observations illustrate the nonlinear dependence of the OH concentration on NO2 and on the rate of atmospheric mixing. We derive a range of NOx lifetimes of 5.5-8.0 h, lifetimes that correspond to an effective plume-averaged OH concentration of 7.6 × 106 molecules cm-3 at fast (26 km h -1) and 5.2 × 106 molecules cm-3 at slow (4 km h-1) wind speeds. Key PointsThe lifetime of NOx depends on the wind speedNO2 spatial patterns depend on wind speedInferring the NOx lifetime from space requires spatially-detailed measurements ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Salam M.T.,University of Southern California | Byun H.-M.,Harvard University | Lurmann F.,Sonoma Technology Inc. | Breton C.V.,University of Southern California | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2012

Background: Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS; encoded by nitric oxide synthase isoform 2 [NOS2]) is the major enzyme for nitric oxide synthesis in airways. As such, measurement of fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (Feno) provides an in vivo assessment of iNOS activity. Short-term exposure to air pollution, haplotypes, and DNA methylation in the NOS2 promoter has been associated independently with iNOS expression, Feno levels, or both. Objective: We aimed to examine the effects of ambient air pollutants, NOS2 promoter haplotypes, and NOS2 promoter methylation on Feno levels in children. Methods: We selected 940 participants in the Children's Health Study who provided buccal samples and had undergone Feno measurement on the same day. DNA methylation was measured with a bisulfite-PCR Pyrosequencing assay. Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms captured the haplotype diversity in the NOS2 promoter. Average particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM 2.5) and 10 μm (PM 10) or less and ozone and nitrogen dioxide levels 7 days before Feno measurement were estimated based on air pollution data obtained at central monitoring sites. Results: We found interrelated effects of PM 2.5, NOS2 promoter haplotypes, and iNOS methylation on Feno levels. Increased 7-day average PM 2.5 exposure was associated with lower iNOS methylation (P =.01). NOS2 promoter haplotypes were globally associated with NOS2 promoter methylation (P = 6.2 × 10 -8). There was interaction among 1 common promoter haplotype, iNOS methylation level, and PM 2.5 exposure on Feno levels (P interaction =.00007). Conclusion: Promoter variants in NOS2 and short-term PM 2.5 exposure affect iNOS methylation. This is one of the first studies showing contributions of genetic and epigenetic variations in air pollution-mediated phenotype expression. © 2011 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Hall J.V.,California State University, Fullerton | Brajer V.,California State University, Fullerton | Lurmann F.W.,Sonoma Technology Inc.
Ecological Economics | Year: 2010

This paper reviews and compares two air quality benefit assessments completed for California's South Coast Air Basin in 1989 and 2008. Specifically, we separate the influence of changes in population and air quality from that of newer health concentration-response relationships and changing economic values. The dynamic interaction of key variables, including health and economic, as well as changes in population and air quality, lead to significant changes in results over time. Results show dramatic reductions in exposures to ozone and particulate concentrations between the two time periods, a continually evolving health literature, and in contrast, fairly constant real economic unit values assigned to adverse health outcomes. Such research is important because highly technical analyses of the expected benefits of proposed air quality regulatory programs have become an increasingly important component of many decision-making processes. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Russell A.R.,University of California at Berkeley | Russell A.R.,Sonoma Technology Inc. | Valin L.C.,University of California at Berkeley | Cohen R.C.,University of California at Berkeley
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2012

Observations of tropospheric NO2 vertical column densities over the United States (US) for 2005-2011 are evaluated using the OMI Berkeley High Resolution (BEHR) retrieval algorithm. We assess changes in NO2 on day-of-week and interannual timescales to assess the impact of changes in emissions from mobile and non-mobile sources on the observed trends. We observe consistent decreases in cities across the US, with an average total reduction of 32 ± 7% across the 7 yr. Changes for large power plants have been more variable (-26 ± 12%) due to regionally-specific regulation policies. An increasing trend of 10-20% in background NO2 columns in the northwestern US is observed. We examine the impact of the economic recession on emissions and find that decreases in NO2 column densities over cities were moderate prior to the recession (-6 ± 5% yr−1), larger during the recession (-8 ± 5% yr−1), and then smaller after the recession (-3 ± 4% yr−1). Differences in the trends observed on weekdays and weekends indicate that prior to the economic recession, NO2 reductions were dominated by technological improvements to the light-duty vehicle fleet but that a decrease in diesel truck activity has contributed to emission reductions since the recession. We use the satellite observations to estimate a 34% decrease in NO2 from mobile sources in cities for 2005-2011 and use that value to infer changes in non-mobile sources. We find that reductions in NO2 from non-mobile sources in cities have been both more modest and more variable than NO 2 reductions from mobile sources (-10 ± 13%). © 2012 Author(s).

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