Air toxics and asthma: Impacts and end points

W. L. Eschenbacher, A. Holian, R. J. Campion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) hosted a medical/scientific workshop focused on possible asthma/air toxics relationships, with the results of the NUATRC's first research contract with the University of Cincinnati as the point of discussion. The workshop was held at the Texas Medical Center on 4 February 1994 and featured presentations by distinguished academic, government, and industry scientists. This one-day session explored the impact of various environmental factors, including air toxics, on asthma incidence and exacerbation; an emphasis was placed on future research directions to be pursued in the asthma/air toxics area. A key research presentation on the association of air toxics and asthma, based on the study sponsored by NUATRC, was given by Dr. George Leikauf of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Additional presentations were made by H.A. Boushey, Jr., Cardiovascular Research Institute/University of California at San Francisco, who spoke on of the Basic Mechanisms of Asthma; K. Sexton, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who spoke on hazardous air pollutants: science/policy interface; and D.V. Bates, Department of Health Care and Epidemiology at the University of British Columbia, who spoke on asthma epidemiology. H. Koren, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and M. Yeung, of the Respiratory Division/University of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital, discussed occupational health impacts on asthma. Doyle Pendleton, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, reviewed air quality measurements in Texas. The information presented at the workshop suggested a possible association of asthma exacerbations with ozone and particulate matter (PM10); however, direct relationships between worsening asthma and air toxic ambient levels were not established. Possible respiratory health effects associated with air toxics will require considerably more investigation, especially in the area of human exposure assessment. Two major recommendations for future research resulted from this workshop and an accompanying NUATRC Scientific Advisory Panel meeting: a need for more complete individual personal exposure assessments so that accurate determinations of actual personal exposures to various pollutants can be made; and a need for field experiments utilizing biomarkers of exposure and effect to more accurately assess the extent and variability of the biological effects, if any, of individual air toxics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-211
Number of pages3
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
StatePublished - 1995


  • Air pollution
  • Air toxics
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory disease


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