Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Title: Fresno Asthmatic Childrenís Environment Study (FACES)

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Tager, Ira

Contractor: UC Berkeley

Contract Number: 99-322


Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Environmental Justice, Health Effects of Air Pollution


Abstract:

FACES is designed to examine the acute and chronic health effects of particulate matter (PM) air pollution, in combination with other ambient air pollutants and bioaerosols on children with asthma who reside in the Fresno/Clovis area. Exposure assessment will include centrally located ambient monitors as well as neighborhood, home and some personal monitors. The detailed exposure monitoring will allow FACES to evaluate which components of air pollution, in combination with biological agents, influence the natural history of asthma. The detailed descriptive data collected as part of the health assessments will allow FACES to identify biological and environmental characteristics that make some children more susceptible to the health effects of air pollution.
Funding for FACES began in February 2000 for the health component and June 2000 for the exposure component. Data collection began in November 2000. To date (July 2002), approximately 200 children have been enrolled and nearly all of these children have completed between one and three two-week home-monitoring visits. Home intensive panels have been completed in 51 homes.
Preliminary analyses, using traditional regression analyses, suggest increases in ozone, PM2.5 and NO2 are associated with increases in the prevalence of asthma symptoms (cough or wheeze). The effects are similar in magnitude to those published from other asthma cohort studies. In future analyses, causal regression methods will be applied to more accurately estimate the health effects.
Data collection will continue until February 2005. At that point, 2.5 to 4 years of follow-up will have been completed on all children. ETS, NO2, ozone and dust samples will have been collected from all homes during each of three seasons. Children will have completed 2-weeks of pulmonary function monitoring several times during each season. These data will allow for the examination of season-specific responses to air pollutants and biological agents and the subsequent impact on pulmonary function and other health measures.


 

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