UW News

January 13, 2005

Symposium to cover research on particulate matter pollution

Recent research on air pollution caused by particulate matter from combustion sources such as woodsmoke, agricultural burning and diesel exhaust will be presented at a one-day symposium this month.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, is organized by the Northwest Research Center for Particulate Air Pollution and Health. The Northwest Center, along with others around the country, is supported by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Dr. Jane Koenig, professor of environmental and occupational health science in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, is the center’s director.

Symposium sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 24, and will continue until 5 p.m., with a break for lunch. The purpose of the symposium, Koenig said, is to highlight new research accomplishments over the six-year period of the Center. Morning topics include ways to assess exposures, such as measuring particles in the air in certain places, or measuring biomarkers. Source apportionment, or figuring out how much of a person’s exposure to pollution is due to certain sources, will also be discussed.

The morning sessions will also include several presentations on studies done to determine acute health effects of particulate pollution, and on epidemiology studies, the Women’s Health Initiative among them.

Afternoon sessions will cover studies on effects of diesel exhaust, including a study of children’s exposure to diesel bus exhaust; air quality studies such as one covering the American-Canadian border area between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.; and a discussion of directions for future particulate matter research.

A gathering in the Health Sciences Lobby, with research posters on display, will follow the symposium.

For a complete schedule, see the Web site at http://depts.washington.edu/pmcenter/.