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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jane Q Koenig
ENV H 449
Seattle Campus

Health Effects of Air Pollution

Structure and function of the respiratory system and the changes that may be produced by specific air pollutants, such as ozone, SO2 and fine particles. Air quality criteria and the economic costs of disease are discussed. Several classroom demonstrations. Offered: even years; W.

Class description

1. Brief review of the structure of the respiratory system, both lower and upper respiratory tracts.

2. Methods of assessment of respiratory function: a. Pulmonary mechanics b. Posterior rhinomanometry c. Bronchial lavage d. Nasal lavage

3. Laboratory demonstration of pulmonary mechanics and nasal lavage

4. Characterization of atmospheric pollutants; O3, SO2, H2SO4, NO2, CO, PM.

5. Fate of inhaled gases and aerosols. Deposition, clearance and retention.

6. Description of susceptible populations with respect to air pollution, such as those with asthma.

7. Health effects of SO2, oxidants (O3 and NO2), H2SO4 and fine particulate matter (PM10)

8. Brief review of indoor air pollution health effects, including health effects of environmental tobacco smoke, wood smoke, formaldehyde, radon. 9. Discussion of the "sick building syndrome" and indoor air research protocols

10. Occupational asthma

11. Health effects of global warming

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The primary method of instruction is lectures. Students are supplied with a syllabus containing approximately 10 of the most current journal articles in the field of air pollution health effects.

Students also are required to select one journal article and present an oral critique of that article in class.

Recommended preparation

Some background in biology is recommended. This course was designed as an upper level (seniors and graduate students) course in the Department of Environmental Health. Undergraduate students from environmental health and biology have enrolled in the course as well as graduate students in engineering and environmental health.

Background in biology (can be waived) At least junior class level

Class assignments and grading

Attending lectures and reading the required material.

Students also are required to select one journal article and present an oral critique of that article in class. Grades are based on the following: Mid-term take home exam 30% Oral/written presentation of a journal article on air pollutant health effects 30% Take home final exam 40%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sandra S. Jones
Date: 07/06/1998