Research Screening Committee Meeting
March 29-30, 2001

This page updated June 30, 2005.

State of California


Research Screening Committee Meeting

Cal/EPA Headquarters Building
1001 I Street, Room 550
Sacramento, CA 95814

March 29, 2001 - 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m
 March 30, 2001 - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.



"Collection and Analysis of Weekend / Weekday Activity Data in the South Coast Air Basin," RFP 00-313 (Two Responses)
  Over the years, various analyses of ambient air monitoring data have revealed that ambient ozone concentrations at many monitoring sites (primarily in urban areas) tend to be higher on weekends than on weekdays. This phenomenon has been called the ozone weekend effect (WE Effect). Although the exact cause of the WE Effect is not definitively known, it has been associated with differences in human activities on weekends compared to weekdays.
  The objective of this project is to collect anthropogenic activity data that will improve the activity estimates, particularly for weekends. These data will enable improved weekday and weekend emissions inventories and will support further analysis of the WE Effect. Specifically, on-road and off-road mobile source and stationary source activity data will be collected and analyzed for a modeling domain that encompasses the South Coast Air Basin. Existing activity data will be supplemented with new activity data for under-represented portions of the emission inventory. The activity data will better characterize the differences between weekdays and weekends, and will eventually enable sound testing of the various hypotheses as to the cause(s) of the WE Effect. Two proposals were received in response to the RFP.


"Economic Impacts of Extended Emission Warranties," RFP 00-604 (One Response)
  Recent modifications to California's zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) requirements allow automobile manufacturers to meet a portion of their ZEV obligations by accumulating partial ZEV credits. These partial ZEV credits may be earned through the production of super-ultra-low-emission vehicles (SULEVs) that also meet additional stringent criteria. One of the added criteria is that the emission-related components of these SULEVs must be covered by a manufacturer warranty for 15 years/150,000 miles. Another recent regulatory change allows manufacturers to earn additional non-methane organic gas (NMOG) credits toward compliance with the fleet average requirements by certifying to an optional 150,000 mile NMOG standard. Manufacturers that certify to this optional standard must increase emission warranty requirements for high cost warranty parts from seven years / 70,000 miles to eight years / 100,000 miles. The primary goal of this study is to characterize and assess the degree to which the independent automobile service and aftermarket parts industry may be potentially impacted by these optional extended warranty requirements adopted by ARB and to search for ways to mitigate any undesirable effects.


"Environmental Health Conditions in Portable Classrooms," Research Triangle Institute, $121,999
  The objective of this project is to fund the analysis of the vacuumed dust samples that will be collected in classrooms as part of the California Study of Environmental Conditions in Portable Classrooms. The ARB and the Department of Health Services (DHS) are jointly responsible for the study, with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) conducting the major field portion of the work under contract to the ARB. Under the current contract, RTI will collect and process samples from 48 classrooms, and DHS will analyze one portion of each sample for animal and arthropod (dust mite, cockroach) allergens. The remainder would be preserved for future analysis. As requested in the Request for Proposals for the main study, RTI included optional cost estimates for the analysis of the dust samples for pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals, and polychlorinated biphenyls. These components have been found at high levels in residential house dust, particularly from carpeted areas. They also provide a rich history of previous infiltration, emissions, and deposition of toxic contaminants in the indoor environments which short-term air monitoring is not likely to capture. Dust analysis provides a history of potential exposure for the children using the classrooms. The requested funds would augment the original contract of $675,000 for the statewide study.


"Determination of the Contributions of Light-duty and Heavy-duty Vehicle Emissions to Ambient Particles in California," University of California, Riverside, $333,790
  California needs to develop controls to reduce ambient concentrations of aerosols in order to attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter (PM). Research is required so that a scientific foundation can be created for future PM controls. This research will need to include characterizing directly emitted "primary" aerosols in sufficient detail to link them to particular sources studying the dynamics of particle aging in ambient air, and investigating "secondary" particle formation from gaseous precursors in direct gas-to-particle, droplet, and condensation processes. The principal investigator's previous work with Aerosol Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (ATOFMS) has demonstrated that ATOFMS can overcome many of the limitations of conventional aerosol analysis. It provides real-time data. Real-time data eliminates problems of long-time sample integration, lags between sample collection and data availability, and positive and negative chemical artifacts. It also provides unprecedented specificity regarding particle size and composition within a heterogeneous mix of particles in ambient air. This proposal will address issues regarding the sampling of motor vehicle aerosols in both semi-controlled (tunnel experiment) and ambient settings. The results will be used to support emission inventory, aerosol modeling, risk assessment and health effects research programs.


"Review of Source Apportionment Techniques for Airborne Particulate Matter," University of California, Davis, $13,076
  Airborne particulate matter (PM) has recently been implicated in increased mortality. Airborne PM is actually a broad group of chemically and physically distinct substances. The complexity of the PM problem necessitates not only total mass measurements, but also compositional analyses, source apportionment modeling, and the development of control programs suited to the unique nature of the PM problem in each non-attainment area.
  Strategies to reduce particulate air pollution typically focus on a reduction in emissions at the source. Source apportionment techniques can calculate the contribution that different sources make to airborne particulate matter concentrations. The investigator will conduct a thorough review of statistical and mechanistic source apportionment techniques for airborne PM, and will discuss limitations and uncertainties in the source apportionment calculations. The investigator will also identify future research needs related to PM source apportionment techniques. A review of the techniques will help incorporate these methods into the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone (NARSTO) assessment on airborne particulate matter. This project will also lead to improved knowledge of
state-of-the art PM source apportionment models and a better understanding of the sources of PM in the ambient air. This improved understanding would help in developing more cost effective control programs to reduce
PM pollution.


"Evaluation of Atmospheric Impacts of Selected Coatings Volatile Organic Compound Emissions," University of California, Riverside, $59,984
  The objective of this proposal is to reduce uncertainties in ozone impact estimates for selected volatile organic compounds that are emitted from architectural coatings. Two types of uncertainties, chemical mechanism uncertainty and compositional uncertainty, will be investigated. The project will be accomplished by completing experimental studies of environmental chamber and direct reactivity measurement, and evaluations of reactivity and uncertainty (which will include statistical and modeling analyses). The compounds to be studied include Texanol and selected petroleum distillate mixtures in architectural coatings. The results of this project will provide useful information regarding the feasibility of a reactivity-based control strategy for architectural coatings.


"Economic Valuation of Ozone-Related School Absences in the South Coast Air Basin," California State University, Fullerton, $34,442
  This research will focus on the economic valuation of reducing missed school days. It will identify the illnesses that cause school absences. This valuation is also referred to as benefit estimation. Recent results from the ARB's Children's Health Study provide a basis for the number of days children missed school because of illness due to high ozone concentration levels. This study will assess the children's level of ozone exposure at 5 x 5 kilometer grids. These exposure levels will determine the illnesses that the children are likely to
develop. Well-established methodologies of cost of illness and willingness to pay to avoid absences will be used to assign dollar values to the benefits retrospectively (1990-1999) and prospectively (air quality standards attainment).


"On-Vehicle Emissions Testing System," Analytical Engineering, Inc., $100,004
  This project delivers a first-generation Simple Portable On-Vehicle Testing (SPOT) system and offers an accurate, rugged, rapid-response, low-power, and versatile analyzer for in-use testing with engine diagnostic capabilities. The system is a much simpler on-board unit that is characteristically different from other systems. A wide array of exhaust portability for on-road and off-road engines is envisioned. The unit is also applicable to stationary and small engines. Analytical Engineering, Inc. (AEI) will deliver the system to the ARB. It is an identical sister unit of the SPOT system developed by the applicant for the U.S. EPA. The U.S. EPA recently suggested the ARB form a partnership for the continued development of on-board emissions measurement capabilities. The U.S. EPA is seeking the ARB's participation to leverage funding, complement efforts, and conduct comparative validation and feasibility testing. This partnership will promote and enhance acceptance of universal on-board emission measurement technology. Instruments have been available for real-time measurement of exhaust emissions, but their primary applications have been limited to gaseous emissions in stationary or laboratory sampling settings.


"Determination of Elemental Carbon & Organic Carbon Concentrations During the Southern California Children's Health Study, 1999-2001," California Institute of Technology, $55,912
  The objective of this project is to take the quality fiber filters collected for the years 1999-2001 as part of the Children's Health Study, and analyze them for organic and elemental carbon. Under way since 1993, The Epidemiologic Investigation to Identify Chronic Health Effects of Ambient Air Pollutants in Southern California (Children's Health Study) assesses lung development in school-age children exposed to fine particles (<2.5 micrometers in diameter PM 2.5) as well as other pollutants. Fine particle mass and ions are measured continuously every two weeks at 12 communities in southern California using a special
sampler (Two-Week Sampler). Analysis of quartz fiber filters for organic and elemental carbon for the years
1994-1998 have been completed (final report, agenda item No. 16). Continuation of these analyses for the
years 1999-2001 are important in order to maintain continuity of these data as part of the PM2.5 database for the Children's Health Study. This is especially important since health investigators' recent findings have focused their attention on combustion-derived particles as important to human health. Elemental carbon and organic carbon are good tracers for diesel and gasoline sources, respectively. The contractor will analyze all archived quartz fiber filters from the Children's Health Study for the years 1999-2001 by a thermal evolution and combustion procedure. The ARB staff will make the resulting database available to other investigators.


"Particulate Matter Toxicology Review for SB 25," Kent Pinkerton, $31,500
  Under the requirements of the Children's Environmental Health Protection Act (Senate Bill 25, Escutia, 1999), ARB, in consultation with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), performed an initial review of the health-based State Ambient Air Quality Standards. This review determined if the standards adequately protect the public, especially infants and children. This initial review has been published. The ARB approved the recommendation that the standards for particulate matter (PM) and sulfates had the highest priority and should be reviewed first. As part of the review of the standards, the ARB and the OEHHA will document the health effects of PM and sulfates. If necessary, they will recommend that the Board revise the standards based on this information. This contract will generate a literature review of toxicology studies on the effects of PM and sulfates. The literature review will concentrate on the most relevant studies. This will include any new findings, studies from California, studies dealing with coarse particles, and any studies that have particular relevance to children. This literature review is essential to assist the ARB and the OEHHA in completing the review of the PM and sulfate standard by September 2001.


"Yields and Reactions of Intermediate Compounds Formed from the Initial Atmospheric Reactions of Selected Volatile Organic Compounds," University of California, Riverside, $105,932, Contract No. 96-306
  This project consisted of three distinct tasks, all of which dealt with aspects of the atmospheric chemistry of volatile or semi-volatile organic compounds. The major project investigated ambient nitrate radical (NO3) levels in the South Coast Air Basin during the 1997 Southern California Ozone Study. The formation of nitronaphthalenes and methylnitronaphthalenes is a sensitive indicator of the presence of NO3 during nighttime. The second task involved the participation of Professor Roger Atkinson of the Coordinating Research Council, Inc., Review Panel for the Atmospheric Chemistry of Hydrocarbons. This review panel carried out a detailed review and evaluation of literature concerning the atmospheric chemistry of alkenes, a class of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which is important in photochemical air pollution. The last task was the preparation of two review chapters for the NARSTO state-of-the-science assessment for ozone. The two critical review papers dealt with the current status of the kinetics, mechanisms, and products of the atmospheric reactions of VOCs and the "smog" chamber database, and chemical mechanisms used in air quality simulation models.
  Both VOCs and nitrate radicals participate in reactions which can lead to the formation of ozone, secondary organic aerosol, and toxic air contaminants. The knowledge generated by this project will improve ARB's understanding of the process involved in the formation of pollutants which pose health risks and degrade California's visibility.


"Health Effects of Particulate Matter Components on Sensitive Animal Models," University of California, Irvine, $439,998, Contract No. 96-311
  This study was part of a collaborative program between the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Irvine. The primary goal of the program was to examine how the physical and chemical characteristics of particles affected the cardiopulmonary systems in sensitive animal models. The particles chosen for study were ammonium nitrate and elemental carbon. These particles represent a major fraction of the accumulation mode of ambient fine particles. These particles are often in the presence of ozone, and therefore ozone was included in the atmospheres. This investigation focused on determining the importance of particle size in eliciting responses in young adult and old (senescent) Fischer 344 rats. The particle size ranges used in the exposures were identified as ultrafine, fine, and coarse. Measurements of blood pressure and heart rate, expired nitric oxide, protein in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and functional assays of macrophages isolated from bronchoalveolar lavage samples were made in the exposed animals. Tissue specimens were analyzed histologically. Measurement of exhaled nitric oxide following exposures was successful. However, the between animal variance was large and it was not clear that differences seen were significant. Senescent rats showed significant changes with respect to depression of blood pressure 24-hour post exposure, but not immediately post exposure; and macrophage functions were reduced. The order of potency for the three particle sizes was fine £ coarse £ ultrafine. However, if one corrects the responses for the dose that each atmosphere could potentially deliver under the conditions of this experiment (computed using a rat lung deposition model), the distinction by particle size seen is most likely to be a function of delivered dose. These studies will aid the ARB in understanding the mechanisms of particulate toxicity and the effects of particles on sensitive groups.


"Atmospheric Chemistry of Selected Linear, Branched, and Cyclic C10 Alkane Components of Mineral Spirits," University of California, Riverside, $83,743, Contract No. 97-312
  Mineral spirits are products of petroleum distillation that are widely used as cleaning solvents and in architectural coatings. They are mixtures consisting primarily of linear, branched, and cyclic alkanes that contain 9 to 13 carbon atoms. These compounds are also found in gasoline, diesel fuels, and in vehicle exhaust. In the atmosphere C9- C13 alkanes react with the hydroxyl radical (OH) as a prelude to the formation of ozone and fine particles (PM2.5). Mineral spirits are a large fraction of California's consumer product emissions and strong candidates for regulation.
  The investigators studied the primary products formed from the reactions of the OH radical with three "model" C10 alkanes: a linear alkane, n-decane; a branched alkane, 3,4-diethylhexane; and a cyclic alkane,
n-butylcyclohexane. The reaction products were analyzed using state-of-the-science measurement techniques. In addition, the researchers developed methods for identifying and quantifying secondary products of reactions that led to ozone and PM2.5 formation. These measurements have been incorporated into a detailed chemical mechanism for ozone formation in the atmosphere. This study provides an understanding of the relative ozone forming potential of three types of alkanes found in mineral spirits. This information allows the ARB to develop effective consumer product regulations in California.


"Development and Validation of Databases for Modeling Biogenic Hydrocarbons in California's Airsheds," University of California, Los Angeles, $258,702, Contract No. 97-320
  Hydrocarbons emitted from plants form ozone and particulate matter 2.5 micron in aerodynamic diameter and less (PM2.5). For ARB planning purposes, Biogenic Emissions through Geographic Information Systems platform (BEIGIS) simulates biogenic hydrocarbon emission inventories. These inventories critically need input databases of vegetation maps (e.g., GAP Analysis Project (GAP)), emission factors (e.g., grams carbon/gram leaf), and leaf mass (grams / area of leaves). Using a photo-ionization detection system, UCLA-UCCE surveyed total emissions for more than 200 important California plant species not previously measured. They thus substantially improved BEIGIS emission factors database. They developed and tested methods for estimating leaf mass, leaf area index, and leaf mass densities for urban forests and wild lands. Therefore, they added to and improved BEIGIS leaf mass database. They conducted field-based analyses of the GAP GIS land cover vegetation database for the San Joaquin Valley; they found that GAP should be supplemented with other vegetation maps. They also aided ARB staff to improve BEIGIS and to test BEIGIS simulation outputs.


"Determination of the Elemental Carbon, Organic Compounds, and Source Contributions to Atmospheric Particles During the Southern California Children's Health Study, 1994-1998," California Institute of Technology, $94,687, Contract No. 98-320
  Underway since 1993, the Epidemiologic Investigation to Identify Chronic Health Effects of Ambient Air Pollutants in Southern California (Children's Health Study), assesses lung development in school-age children exposed to fine particles (<2.5 micrometers in diameter) as well as other pollutants. Fine particle mass and ions are measured continuously every two weeks at 12 communities in Southern California using a special sampler
(Two-Week Sampler). In anticipation of future research needs, fine particles have been collected on specially treated quartz fiber filters since December 1993 and have been archived in a -20o C freezer. These filters were analyzed for organic and elemental carbon for the years 1994-1998 and for specific organic compounds (molecular markers) for the year 1995. In brief, elemental carbon particle concentrations range from 0.05 - 1.74 µg/m
3 in the communities and over the years studied while organic carbon concentrations range from 1.50 - 15.67 µg/m3. Carbonaceous aerosols account for 32 to 60 percent of the fine particle concentrations between the sites studied. From 1994-1998 there was a pronounced downward trend in the annual average fine particle mass and carbonaceous aerosol concentrations at the urban sites. Molecular markers were used in a chemical mass balance model to calculate the source contribution to atmospheric particulate matter concentrations at the sites for both the summer and winter periods of 1995. Overall, these data will assist the Children's Health Study investigators interpret their health effects data.


"Mechanisms of Particulate Toxicity: Effects on the Respiratory System," University of California, Davis, $895,000, Contract No. 96-310
  The health effects caused by exposure to ambient levels of particulate matter continue to be a primary concern to scientists, regulators, and the general public. Although the mechanisms by which particles exert their effects are largely unknown, there is substantial evidence to indicate that exposure to particulate air pollutants can cause cardiopulmonary heath effects, including premature death. This study was designed to examine possible mechanisms of particulate toxicity. The effect of short-term exposures to two common components of California particles, ammonium nitrate and carbon, were studied in the respiratory tract of rats. Young, adult, and old rats were exposed to three different concentration ranges of the particle components. The study demonstrated the value of site specific sampling to detect subtle effects from ambient PM. In addition, the PM levels used in this study are comparable to those found in ambient California air, although the concentrations of the components were higher than would normally be present. The information provided by this study will increase our understanding of the mechanisms of particulate toxicity and help identify potentially sensitive populations within California that are at risk from exposure to common particulate matter. This type of information is vital to the development of effective regulatory measures. Such regulations would protect public health from California particles.


"Demonstration of a Diesel-Fuel-Borne Catalyst System and Low NOx Control Technology for Reducing Particulate Matter and NOx Emissions," South Coast Air Quality Management District, $320,836,
Contract No. 96-334
  The objective of this study was to demonstrate the performance of an advanced diesel engine that achieves low NOx and particulate matter (PM) emissions. Arthur D. Little teamed with Rhodia and Cummins engine company to conduct a cost-shared project by the SCAQMD and the ARB. The project was intended to demonstrate, in vehicle applications, control technology which combines cooled exhaust gas recirculation for NOx control, a
fuel-borne catalyst system, and a 3.3-liter diesel particulate filter (DPF) to reduce PM emissions. The system was installed in a heavy-duty package car owned by United Parcel Service (UPS) in the San Bernardino area. Before the technology was applied to the UPS vehicle in commercial service, the 3.3-liter DPF experienced rapid, severe face plugging. Although Cummins and Rhodia evaluated several DPF concepts, technical problems continued. The project was ended prior to completing the scheduled tasks because technology has not yet been developed which would result in a successful demonstration. Emission data were only collected for the original configuration using the Federal Test Procedure for heavy-duty engines. Based on the results of this project, the technology appears to be application specific and in need of further testing.

Research Screening Committee