Public Health Department Faculty Publication Series

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  • Publication
    Investigation of the correlation between odd oxygen and secondary organic aerosol in Mexico City and Houston
    (2010-01-01) Wood, Ezra; Canagaratna, M.; Herndon, S.; Kroll, J.; Onasch, T.; Kolb, C.; Worsnop, D.; Knighton, W.; Seila, R.; Zavala, M.; Molina, L.; DeCarlo, P.; Jimenez, J.; Weinheimer, A.; Knapp, D.; Jobson, B.; Stutz, J.; Kuster, W.; Williams, E.
    Many recent models underpredict secondary organic aerosol (SOA) particulate matter (PM) concentrations in polluted regions, indicating serious deficiencies in the models' chemical mechanisms and/or missing SOA precursors. Since tropospheric photochemical ozone production is much better understood, we investigate the correlation of odd-oxygen ([Ox]≡[O3]+[NO2]) and the oxygenated component of organic aerosol (OOA), which is interpreted as a surrogate for SOA. OOA and Ox measured in Mexico City in 2006 and Houston in 2000 were well correlated in air masses where both species were formed on similar timescales (less than 8 h) and not well correlated when their formation timescales or location differed greatly. When correlated, the ratio of these two species ranged from 30 μg m−3/ppm (STP) in Houston during time periods affected by large petrochemical plant emissions to as high as 160 μg m−3/ppm in Mexico City, where typical values were near 120 μg m−3/ppm. On several days in Mexico City, the [OOA]/[Ox] ratio decreased by a factor of ~2 between 08:00 and 13:00 local time. This decrease is only partially attributable to evaporation of the least oxidized and most volatile components of OOA; differences in the diurnal emission trends and timescales for photochemical processing of SOA precursors compared to ozone precursors also likely contribute to the observed decrease. The extent of OOA oxidation increased with photochemical aging. Calculations of the ratio of the SOA formation rate to the Ox production rate using ambient VOC measurements and traditional laboratory SOA yields are lower than the observed [OOA]/[Ox] ratios by factors of 5 to 15, consistent with several other models' underestimates of SOA. Calculations of this ratio using emission factors for organic compounds from gasoline and diesel exhaust do not reproduce the observed ratio. Although not succesful in reproducing the atmospheric observations presented, modeling P(SOA)/P(Ox) can serve as a useful test of photochemical models using improved formulation mechanisms for SOA.
  • Publication
    Short-term variation in near-highway air pollutant gradients on a winter morning
    (2010-01-01) Durant, J.; Ash, C.; Wood, Ezra; Herndon, S.; Jayne, J.; Knighton, W.; Canagaratna, M.; Trull, J.; Brugge, D.; Zamore, W.; Kolb, C.
    Quantification of exposure to traffic-related air pollutants near highways is hampered by incomplete knowledge of the scales of temporal variation of pollutant gradients. The goal of this study was to characterize short-term temporal variation of vehicular pollutant gradients within 200–400 m of a major highway (>150 000 vehicles/d). Monitoring was done near Interstate 93 in Somerville (Massachusetts) from 06:00 to 11:00 on 16 January 2008 using a mobile monitoring platform equipped with instruments that measured ultrafine and fine particles (6–1000 nm, particle number concentration (PNC)); particle-phase (>30 nm) equation M1, equation M2, and organic compounds; volatile organic compounds (VOCs); and CO2, NO, NO2, and O3. We observed rapid changes in pollutant gradients due to variations in highway traffic flow rate, wind speed, and surface boundary layer height. Before sunrise and peak traffic flow rates, downwind concentrations of particles, CO2, NO, and NO2 were highest within 100–250 m of the highway. After sunrise pollutant levels declined sharply (e.g., PNC and NO were more than halved) and the gradients became less pronounced as wind speed increased and the surface boundary layer rose allowing mixing with cleaner air aloft. The levels of aromatic VOCs and equation M3, equation M4 and organic aerosols were generally low throughout the morning, and their spatial and temporal variations were less pronounced compared to PNC and NO. O3 levels increased throughout the morning due to mixing with O3-enriched air aloft and were generally lowest near the highway reflecting reaction with NO. There was little if any evolution in the size distribution of 6–225 nm particles with distance from the highway. These results suggest that to improve the accuracy of exposure estimates to near-highway pollutants, short-term (e.g., hourly) temporal variations in pollutant gradients must be measured to reflect changes in traffic patterns and local meteorology.
  • Publication
    Application of positive matrix factorization to on-road measurements for source apportionment of diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicle emissions in Mexico City
    (2010-01-01) Thornhill, D.; Williams, A.; Onasch, T.; Wood, Ezra; Herndon, S.; Kolb, C.; Knighton, W.; Zavala, M.; Molina, L.; Marr, L.
    The goal of this research is to quantify diesel- and gasoline-powered motor vehicle emissions within the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) using on-road measurements captured by a mobile laboratory combined with positive matrix factorization (PMF) receptor modeling. During the MCMA-2006 ground-based component of the MILAGRO field campaign, the Aerodyne Mobile Laboratory (AML) measured many gaseous and particulate pollutants, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), benzene, toluene, alkylated aromatics, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, ammonia, particle number, fine particulate mass (PM2.5), and black carbon (BC). These serve as inputs to the receptor model, which is able to resolve three factors corresponding to gasoline engine exhaust, diesel engine exhaust, and the urban background. Using the source profiles, we calculate fuel-based emission factors for each type of exhaust. The MCMA's gasoline-powered vehicles are considerably dirtier, on average, than those in the US with respect to CO and aldehydes. Its diesel-powered vehicles have similar emission factors of NOx and higher emission factors of aldehydes, particle number, and BC. In the fleet sampled during AML driving, gasoline-powered vehicles are found to be responsible for 97% of total vehicular emissions of CO, 22% of NOx, 95–97% of each aromatic species, 72–85% of each carbonyl species, 74% of ammonia, negligible amounts of particle number, 26% of PM2.5, and 2% of BC; diesel-powered vehicles account for the balance. Because the mobile lab spent 17% of its time waiting at stoplights, the results may overemphasize idling conditions, possibly resulting in an underestimate of NOx and overestimate of CO emissions. On the other hand, estimates of the inventory that do not correctly account for emissions during idling are likely to produce bias in the opposite direction.The resulting fuel-based estimates of emissions are lower than in the official inventory for CO and NOx and higher for VOCs. For NOx, the fuel-based estimates are lower for gasoline-powered vehicles but higher for diesel-powered ones compared to the official inventory. While conclusions regarding the inventory should be interpreted with care because of the small sample size, 3.5 h of driving, the discrepancies with the official inventory agree with those reported in other studies.
  • Publication
    A Nearly Continuous Measure of Birth Weight for Gestational Age Using a United States National Reference
    (2003-01-01) Kleinman, Ken; Oken, Emily; Rich-Edwards, Janet; Gillman, Matthew
    Background Fully understanding the determinants and sequelae of fetal growth requires a continuous measure of birth weight adjusted for gestational age. Published United States reference data, however, provide estimates only of the median and lowest and highest 5th and 10th percentiles for birth weight at each gestational age. The purpose of our analysis was to create more continuous reference measures of birth weight for gestational age for use in epidemiologic analyses. Methods We used data from the most recent nationwide United States Natality datasets to generate multiple reference percentiles of birth weight at each completed week of gestation from 22 through 44 weeks. Gestational age was determined from last menstrual period. We analyzed data from 6,690,717 singleton infants with recorded birth weight and sex born to United States resident mothers in 1999 and 2000. Results Birth weight rose with greater gestational age, with increasing slopes during the third trimester and a leveling off beyond 40 weeks. Boys had higher birth weights than girls, later born children higher weights than firstborns, and infants born to non-Hispanic white mothers higher birth weights than those born to non-Hispanic black mothers. These results correspond well with previously published estimates reporting limited percentiles. Conclusions Our method provides comprehensive reference values of birth weight at 22 through 44 completed weeks of gestation, derived from broadly based nationwide data. Other approaches require assumptions of normality or of a functional relationship between gestational age and birth weight, which may not be appropriate. These data should prove useful for researchers investigating the predictors and outcomes of altered fetal growth.
  • Publication
    Systemic sclerosis is associated with increased in-patient mortality in patients hospitalized for heart failure
    (2024-01-01) Rajendran, Aiswarya
    Aims We aimed to analyse the characteristics and in-hospital outcomes of patients hospitalized for heart failure (HF) with co-morbid systemic sclerosis (SSc) and compare them to those without SSc, using data from the National Inpatient Sample from years 2016 to 2019. Conclusions In patients hospitalized for HF, those with SSc were noted to have higher odds of in-hospital mortality than those without SSc. Patients with HF and SSc were more likely to be younger, female, and have higher rates of co-morbid in-terstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension at baseline with fewer traditional cardiovascular risk factors.