Deconvoluting Mixtures of Emissions Sources to Investigate PM2.5’s Ability to Generate Reactive Oxygen Species and its Associations with Cardiorespiratory Effects
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
It is hypothesized that fine particulate matter (PM2.5) inhalation can catalytically generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in excess of the body’s antioxidant capacity, leading to oxidative stress and ultimately adverse health. PM2.5 emissions from different sources vary widely in chemical composition, with varied effects on the body. Here, the ability of mixtures of different sources of PM2.5 to generate ROS and associations of this capability with acute health effects were investigated. A dithiothreitol (DTT) assay that integrates over different sources was used to quantify ROS generation potential of ambient water-soluble PM2.5 in Atlanta from June 2012 - June 2013. PM2.5 source impacts, estimated using the Chemical Mass Balance method with ensemble-averaged source impact profiles, were related to DTT activity using a linear regression model, which provided information on intrinsic DTT activity (i.e., toxicity) of each source. The model was then used to develop a time series of daily DTT activity over a ten-year period (1998-2010) for use in an epidemiologic study. Light-duty gasoline vehicles exhibited the highest intrinsic DTT activity, followed by biomass burning and heavy-duty diesel vehicles. Biomass burning contributed the largest fraction to total DTT activity, followed by gasoline and diesel vehicles (45%, 20% and 14%, respectively). These results suggest the importance of aged oxygenated organic aerosols and metals in ROS generation. Epidemiologic analyses found significant associations between estimated DTT activity and emergency department visits for congestive heart failure and asthma/wheezing attacks in the 5-county Atlanta area. Estimated DTT activity was the only pollutant measure out of PM2.5, O3, and PM2.5 constituents elemental carbon and organic carbon) that exhibited a significant link to congestive heart failure. In two-pollutant models, DTT activity was significantly associated with asthma/wheeze and congestive heart failure while PM2.5 was not, which supports the hypothesis that PM2.5 health effects are, in part, due to oxidative stress and that DTT activity may be a better indicator of some aerosol-related health effects than PM2.5 mass.