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A cross-divisional department spanning

Dr. Kirsten Koehler Faculty Research

Particulate Exposures in Asthmatic Kids (PEAK)

This project is part of the Obese Asthma Center (PI: Nadia Hansel), funded by the NIEHS and EPA. The broad aim of this work is to determine which potentially modifiable factors of fine particulate matter, including ultrafine particulates (UFP; particles with diameter <100 nm), microenvironment (home vs. school vs. transit), and peak exposure, are associated with respiratory effects in inner-city children with asthma.

A second, related objective is to evaluate the effects of these fine PM factors on overweight children with asthma, a susceptible population recently identified by our research team. To do so, we will examine the effects of PNC, microenvironment, and peak PM exposure in a panel study of 50 children aged 12-17 with asthma (half lean, half overweight) living in Baltimore City.

  • Each child will be followed for 7 days, with 4 days of continuous personal monitoring of PNC and PM2.5 mass, geographic location, biomarkers, and asthma outcomes using a backpack containing air quality and other instruments.
  • This study will represent the largest examination of children’s personal PNC and PM2.5 mass exposures at high temporal and spatial resolution.
  • We expect that this study will provide unprecedented ability to assess the importance of fine PM factors (particle size, variability in concentrations, peak exposures) on asthma outcomes in children.
  • Such evidence will allow for the development of more effective and individualized environmental intervention strategies that target susceptible populations.