Environmental Protection

EPA Awards $25M to Support HEI Research on Air Quality

The Health Effects Institute will develops tools to examine the combined effects of air pollution exposures on public health and the relationship between air quality and climate change.

Over the course of five years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $25 million to the Health Effects Institute (HEI) to help address the latest challenges to improving air quality and protecting health.

With the funding, HEI will develop the next generation of tools and scientific information to examine the combined effects of air pollution exposures on people’s health and the relationship between air quality and climate change.

“This grant continues a long and fruitful partnership to address air quality issues,” said Paul Anastas, Ph.D., assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “The scientific contributions by HEI complement and augment EPA’s extensive clean air research program, which is providing the critical science needed to improve air quality.”

HEI has funded more than 250 studies in North America, Europe, and Asia that have:

  • produced important research on the effects of particulate matter,
  • initiated new research to track health outcomes of air quality improvements, and
  • conducted special scientific reviews on air toxics from mobile sources.

HEI is an independent, non-profit research organization that provides impartial science to help address air quality problems in the nation. Established in 1980, HEI receives joint funding from EPA and the motor vehicle industry. The partnership has produced critical research that is often used in important EPA decision-making processes.

The organizations' funding base rests on core funding provided by longer-term sponsors supplemented by leveraged contributions to its ongoing research program in three- to five-year additional commitments to major programs from new and existing sponsors. The core funding has remained at the same level for the past 10 years.

According to HEI, the organization will continue its efforts to leverage its core budget with additional special program sponsors and through joint funding of research programs with other institutions. Its ongoing collaborations with the Department of Energy (to support ACES, a large project testing the emissions and health effects of new diesel engines with strong emissions control) and the recently completed collaboration with the European Commission to support Air Pollution and Health: A Combined European and North American Approach (APHENA) are examples of the kind of collaborations that HEI continues to seek and implement.

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