Schools Get $3.5 M for Particulate Matter Research

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded four grants to universities to research the relationship between the chemical composition of particulate matter (PM) and health effects, according to an April 3 press release. PM is a complex mixture that consists of direct emissions and reaction products formed in the atmosphere.

"These EPA Science to Achieve Results grants will build bridges between two different research communities—epidemiology and air quality engineering," said Lek Kadeli, EPA's acting assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development. "The collaboration of expert researchers in both fields could result in major advances in data, methods, and tools available to link health problems with sources and components of air pollution."

Grants were awarded to:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, $899,956
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, $893,439
  • University of California, Davis, $900,000
  • University of Iowa, Iowa City, $899,401

The health effects of exposure to ambient PM include premature death, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravated asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, and increased risk of heart attacks.