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Ross Z.,ZevRoss Spatial Analysis | Eisl H.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems | Gorczynski J.E.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems | Markowitz S.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems | Clougherty J.E.,University of Pittsburgh
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology | Year: 2013

Routine air monitoring provides data to assess urban scale temporal variation in pollution concentrations in relation to regulatory standards, but is not well suited to characterizing intraurban spatial variation in pollutant concentrations from local sources. To address these limitations and inform local control strategies, New York City developed a program to track spatial patterns of multiple air pollutants in each season of the year. Monitor locations include 150 distributed street-level sites chosen to represent a range of traffic, land-use and other characteristics. Integrated samples are collected at each distributed site for one 2-week session each season and in every 2-week period at five reference locations to track city-wide temporal variation. Pollutants sampled include PM 2.5 and constituents, nitrogen oxides, black carbon, ozone (summer only) and sulfur dioxide (winter only). During the first full year of monitoring more than 95% of designed samples were completed. Agreement between colocated samples was good (absolute mean % difference 3.2-8.9%). Street-level pollutant concentrations spanned a much greater range than did concentrations at regulatory monitors, especially for oxides of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide. Monitoring to characterize intraurban spatial gradients in ambient pollution usefully complements regulatory monitoring data to inform local air quality management. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ito K.,New York University | Ross Z.,ZevRoss Spatial Analysis | Nadas A.,New York University | Thurston G.,New York University | Matte T.,York College - The City University of New York
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2011

Background: Recent time-series studies have indicated that both cardiovascular disease (CVD)mortality and hospitalizations are associated with particulate matter (PM). However, seasonal patterns of PM associations with these outcomes are not consistent, and PM components responsible for these associations have not been determined. We investigated this issue in New York City (NYC), where PM originates from regional and local combustion sources. Objective: In this study, we examined the role of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM 2.5) and its key chemical components on both CVD hospitalizations and on mortality in NYC. Methods: We analyzed daily deaths and emergency hospitalizations for CVDs among persons ≥ 40 years of age for associations with PM 2.5, its chemical components, nitrogen dioxide (NO 2), carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide for the years 2000-2006 using a Poisson time-series model adjusting for temporal and seasonal trends, temperature effects, and day of the week. We estimated excess risks per interquartile-range increases at lags 0 through 3 days for warm (April through September) and cold (October through March) seasons. Results: The CVD mortality series exhibit strong seasonal trends, whereas the CVD hospitalization series show a strong day-of-week pattern. These outcome series were not correlated with each other but were individually associated with a number of PM 2.5 chemical components from regional and local sources, each with different seasonal patterns and lags. Coal-combustion-related components (e.g., selenium) were associated with CVD mortality in summer and CVD hospitalizations in winter, whereas elemental carbon and NO 2 showed associations with these outcomes in both seasons. Conclusion: Local combustion sources, including traffic and residual oil burning, may play a year-round role in the associations between air pollution and CVD outcomes, but transported aerosols may explain the seasonal variation in associations shown by PM 2.5 mass.

Clougherty J.E.,University of Pittsburgh | Eisl H.M.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems | Ross Z.,ZevRoss Spatial Analysis | Gorczynski J.E.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems | Markowitz S.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology | Year: 2013

Although intra-urban air pollution differs by season, few monitoring networks provide adequate geographic density and year-round coverage to fully characterize seasonal patterns. Here, we report winter intra-urban monitoring and land-use regression (LUR) results from the New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS). Two-week integrated samples of fine particles (PM 2.5), black carbon (BC), nitrogen oxides (NO x) and sulfur dioxide (SO 2) were collected at 155 city-wide street-level locations during winter 2008-2009. Sites were selected using stratified random sampling, randomized across sampling sessions to minimize spatio-temporal confounding. LUR was used to identify GIS-based source indicators associated with higher concentrations. Prediction surfaces were produced using kriging with external drift. Each pollutant varied twofold or more across sites, with higher concentrations near midtown Manhattan. All pollutants were positively correlated, particularly PM 2.5 and BC (Spearman's r=0.84). Density of oil-burning boilers, total and truck traffic density, and temporality explained 84% of PM 2.5 variation. Densities of total traffic, truck traffic, oil-burning boilers and industrial space, with temporality, explained 65% of BC variation. Temporality, built space, bus route location, and traffic density described 67% of nitrogen dioxide variation. Residual oil-burning units, nighttime population and temporality explained 77% of SO 2 variation. Spatial variation in combustion-related pollutants in New York City was strongly associated with oil-burning and traffic density. Chronic exposure disparities and unique local sources can be identified through year-round saturation monitoring. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ross Z.,ZevRoss Spatial Analysis | Clougherty J.E.,University of Pittsburgh | Ito K.,New York University | Markowitz S.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems | Eisl H.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems
Environmental Research | Year: 2011

Background: Epidemiological studies have linked both noise and air pollution to common adverse health outcomes such as increased blood pressure and myocardial infarction. In urban settings, noise and air pollution share important sources, notably traffic, and several recent studies have shown spatial correlations between noise and air pollution. The temporal association between these exposures, however, has yet to be thoroughly investigated despite the importance of time series studies in air pollution epidemiology and the potential that correlations between these exposures could at least partly confound statistical associations identified in these studies.Methods: An aethelometer, for continuous elemental carbon measurement, was co-located with a continuous noise monitor near a major urban highway in New York City for six days in August 2009. Hourly elemental carbon measurements and hourly data on overall noise levels and low, medium and high frequency noise levels were collected. Hourly average concentrations of fine particles and nitrogen oxides, wind speed and direction and car, truck and bus traffic were obtained from nearby regulatory monitors. Overall temporal patterns, as well as day-night and weekday-weekend patterns, were characterized and compared for all variables. Results: Noise levels were correlated with car, truck, and bus traffic and with air pollutants. We observed strong day-night and weekday-weekend variation in noise and air pollutants and correlations between pollutants varied by noise frequency. Medium and high frequency noise were generally more strongly correlated with traffic and traffic-related pollutants than low frequency noise and the correlation with medium and high frequency noise was generally stronger at night. Correlations with nighttime high frequency noise were particularly high for car traffic (Spearman rho=0.84), nitric oxide (0.73) and nitrogen dioxide (0.83). Wind speed and direction mediated relationships between pollutants and noise. Conclusions: Noise levels are temporally correlated with traffic and combustion pollutants and correlations are modified by the time of day, noise frequency and wind. Our results underscore the potential importance of assessing temporal variation in co-exposures to noise and air pollution in studies of the health effects of these urban pollutants. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Ross Z.,ZevRoss Spatial Analysis | Eisl H.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems
Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source | Year: 2012

Background: Hazardous air pollutant exposures are common in urban areas contributing to increased risk ofcancer and other adverse health outcomes. While recent analyses indicate that New York City residents experience significantly higher cancer risks attributable to hazardous air pollutant exposures than the United States as a whole, limited data exist to assess intra-urban variability in air toxics exposures. Methods: To assess intra-urban spatial variability in exposures to common hazardous air pollutants, street-level air sampling for volatile organic compounds and aldehydes was conducted at 70 sites throughout New York City during the spring of 2011. Land-use regression models were developed using a subset of 59 sites and validated against the remaining 11 sites to describe the relationship between concentrations of benzene, total BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes) and formaldehyde to indicators of local sources, adjusting for temporal variation. Results: Total BTEX levels exhibited the most spatial variability, followed by benzene and formaldehyde (coefficient of variation of temporally adjusted measurements of 0.57, 0.35, 0.22, respectively). Total roadway length within 100 m, traffic signal density within 400 m of monitoring sites, and an indicator of temporal variation explained 65% of the total variability in benzene while 70% of the total variability in BTEX was accounted for by traffic signal density within 450 m, density of permitted solvent-use industries within 500 m, and an indicator of temporal variation. Measures of temporal variation, traffic signal density within 400 m, road length within 100 m, and interior building area within 100 m (indicator of heating fuel combustion) predicted 83% of the total variability of formaldehyde. The models built with the modeling subset were found to predict concentrations well, predicting 62% to 68% of monitored values at validation sites. Conclusions: Traffic and point source emissions cause substantial variation in street-level exposures to common toxic volatile organic compounds in New York City. Land-use regression models were successfully developed or benzene, formaldehyde, and total BTEX using spatial indicators of on-road vehicle emissions and emissions from stationary sources. These estimates will improve the understanding of health effects of individual pollutants in complex urban pollutant mixtures and inform local air quality improvement efforts that reduce disparities in exposure. © 2012 Kheirbek et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Ross Z.,ZevRoss Spatial Analysis | Clougherty J.E.,University of Pittsburgh | Savitz D.,Brown University
Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source | Year: 2013

Background: Recent epidemiological studies have examined the associations between air pollution and birth outcomes. Regulatory air quality monitors often used in these studies, however, were spatially sparse and unable to capture relevant within-city variation in exposure during pregnancy. Methods. This study developed two-week average exposure estimates for fine particles (PM 2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) during pregnancy for 274,996 New York City births in 2008-2010. The two-week average exposures were constructed by first developing land use regression (LUR) models of spatial variation in annual average PM2.5 and NO2 data from 150 locations in the New York City Community Air Survey and emissions source data near monitors. The annual average concentrations from the spatial models were adjusted to account for city-wide temporal trends using time series derived from regulatory monitors. Models were developed using Year 1 data and validated using Year 2 data. Two-week average exposures were then estimated for three buffers of maternal address and were averaged into the last six weeks, the trimesters, and the entire period of gestation. We characterized temporal variation of exposure estimates, correlation between PM2.5 and NO2, and correlation of exposures across trimesters. Results: The LUR models of average annual concentrations explained a substantial amount of the spatial variation (R§ssup§2§esup§ = 0.79 for PM 2.5 and 0.80 for NO2). In the validation, predictions of Year 2 two-week average concentrations showed strong agreement with measured concentrations (R§ssup§2§esup§ = 0.83 for PM2.5 and 0.79 for NO2). PM2.5 exhibited greater temporal variation than NO2. The relative contribution of temporal vs. spatial variation in the estimated exposures varied by time window. The differing seasonal cycle of these pollutants (bi-annual for PM2.5 and annual for NO2) resulted in different patterns of correlations in the estimated exposures across trimesters. The three levels of spatial buffer did not make a substantive difference in estimated exposures. Conclusions: The combination of spatially resolved monitoring data, LUR models and temporal adjustment using regulatory monitoring data yielded exposure estimates for PM2.5 and NO2 that performed well in validation tests. The interaction between seasonality of air pollution and exposure intervals during pregnancy needs to be considered in future studies. © 2013 Ross et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Neitzel R.,University of Michigan | Kim J.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems | Ross Z.,ZevRoss Spatial Analysis | Eisl H.,Center for the Biology of Natural Systems
Journal of Urban Health | Year: 2014

Exposure to environmental noise from traffic is common in urban areas and has been linked to increased risks of adverse health effects including cardiovascular disease. Because traffic sources also produce air pollutants that increase the risk of cardiovascular morbidity, associations between traffic exposures and health outcomes may involve confounding and/or synergisms between air pollution and noise. While prior studies have characterized intraurban spatial variation in air pollution in New York City (NYC), limited data exists on the levels and spatial variation in noise levels. We measured 1-week equivalent continuous sound pressure levels (Leq) at 56 sites during the fall of 2012 across NYC locations with varying traffic intensity and building density that are routinely monitored for combustion-related air pollutants. We evaluated correlations among several noise metrics used to characterize noise exposures, including Leq during different time periods (night, day, weekday, weekend), Ldn (day-night noise), and measures of intermittent noise defined as the ratio of peak levels to median and background levels. We also examined correlations between sound pressure levels and co-located simultaneous measures of nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and black carbon (BC) as well as estimates of traffic and building density around the monitoring sites. Noise levels varied widely across the 56 monitoring sites; 1-week L eq varied by 21.6 dBA (range 59.1-80.7 dBA) with the highest levels observed during the weekday, daytime hours. Indices of average noise were well correlated with each other (r∈>∈0.83), while indices of intermittent noise were not well correlated with average noise levels (r∈<∈0.41). One-week Leq correlated well with NO, NO2, and EC levels (r∈=∈0.61 to 0.68) and less so with PM2.5 levels (r∈=∈0.45). We observed associations between 1-week noise levels and traffic intensity within 100 m of the monitoring sites (r∈=∈0.58). The high levels of noise observed in NYC often exceed recommended guidelines for outdoor and personal exposures, suggesting unhealthy levels in many locations. Associations between noise, traffic, and combustion air pollutants suggest the possibility for confounding and/or synergism in intraurban epidemiological studies of traffic-related health effects. The different spatial pattern of intermittent noise compared to average noise level may suggest different sources. © 2014 The New York Academy of Medicine.

Cooper H.L.F.,Emory University | Des Jarlais D.C.,Rothschild | Tempalski B.,National Development and Research Institutes Inc. | Bossak B.H.,Georgia Southern University | And 2 more authors.
Health and Place | Year: 2012

Drug-related law enforcement activities may undermine the protective effects of syringe exchange programs (SEPs) on local injectors' risk of injection-related infections. We explored the spatial overlap of drug-related arrest rates and access to SEPs over time (1995-2006) in New York City health districts, and used multilevel models to investigate the relationship of these two district-level exposures to the odds of injecting with an unsterile syringe. Districts with better SEP access had higher arrest rates, and arrest rates undermined SEPs' protective relationship with unsterile injecting. Drug-related enforcement strategies targeting drug users should be de-emphasized in areas surrounding SEPs. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Cooper H.,Emory University | Des Jarlais D.,Rothschild | Ross Z.,ZevRoss Spatial Analysis | Tempalski B.,National Development and Research Institutes Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Urban Health | Year: 2012

Despite the 2010 repeal of the ban on spending federal monies to fund syringe exchange programs (SEPs) in the USA, these interventions-and specifically SEP site locations-remain controversial. To further inform discussions about the location of SEP sites, this longitudinal multilevel study investigates the relationship between spatial access to sterile syringes distributed by SEPs in New York City (NYC) United Hospital Fund (UHF) districts and injecting with an unsterile syringe among injectors over time (1995-2006). Annual measures of spatial access to syringes in each UHF district (N=42) were created using data on SEP site locations and site-specific syringe distribution data. Individual-level data on unsterile injecting among injectors (N=4,067) living in these districts, and on individual-level covariates, were drawn from the Risk Factors study, an ongoing cross-sectional study of NYC drug users. We used multilevel models to explore the relationship of district-level access to syringes to the odds of injecting with an unsterile syringe in >75% of injection events in the past 6 months, and to test whether this relationship varied by district-level arrest rates (per 1,000 residents) for drug and drug paraphernalia possession. The relationship between district-level access to syringes and the odds of injecting with an unsterile syringe depended on district-level arrest rates. In districts with low baseline arrest rates, better syringe access was associated with a decline in the odds of frequently injecting with an unsterile syringe (AOR, 0.95). In districts with no baseline syringe access, higher arrest rates were associated with increased odds of frequently injecting with an unsterile syringe (AOR, 1.02) When both interventions were present, arrest rates eroded the protective effects of spatial access to syringes. Spatial access to syringes in small geographic areas appears to reduce the odds of injecting with an unsterile syringe among local injectors, and arrest rates elevate these odds. Policies and practices that curtail syringe flow in geographic areas (e.g., restrictions on SEP locations or syringe distribution) or that make it difficult for injectors to use the sterile syringes they have acquired may damage local injectors' efforts to reduce HIV transmission and other injection-related harms. © 2012 The New York Academy of Medicine.

Cooper H.L.F.,Emory University | Des Jarlais D.C.,Rothschild | Ross Z.,ZevRoss Spatial Analysis | Tempalski B.,National Development and Research Institutes Inc. | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2011

Objectives: We examined relationships of spatial access to syringe exchange programs (SEPs) and pharmacies selling over-the-counter (OTC) syringes with New York City drug injectors' harm reduction practices. Methods: Each year from 1995 to 2006, we measured the percentage of 42 city health districts' surface area that was within 1 mile of an SEP or OTC pharmacy. We applied hierarchical generalized linear models to investigate relationships between these exposures and the odds that injectors (n=4003) used a sterile syringe for at least 75% of injections in the past 6 months. Results: A 1-unit increase in the natural log of the percentage of a district's surface area within a mile of an SEP in 1995 was associated with a 26% increase in the odds of injecting with a sterile syringe; a 1-unit increase in this exposure over time increased these odds 23%. A 1-unit increase in the natural log of OTC pharmacy access improved these odds 15%. Conclusions: Greater spatial access to SEPs and OTC pharmacies improved injectors' capacity to engage in harm reduction practices that reduce HIV and HCV transmission.

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