Project at a Glance

Title: Health Impacts of California Wildfire PM2.5 Across the Lifespan: Wildfire Exposure to Rhesus Monkeys

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Miller, Lisa

Contractor: UC Davis

Contract Number: 19RD005


Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Health Effects of Air Pollution


Research Summary:

Although wildfires in California are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity in the coming years, lifelong health effects from acute wildfire smoke exposure in sensitive groups such as children are currently unknown. To address this gap in knowledge, previous CARB funded research by Dr. Lisa A. Miller investigated immune and lung function parameters following exposure to ambient PM2.5 from the 2008 Trinity and Humboldt County wildfires in a cohort of rhesus monkeys housed in outdoor colonies at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) in Davis. Results showed that monkeys acutely exposed to wildfire smoke during infancy showed deficits in immune and lung parameters, both in adolescence and in early adulthood. In this proposed study, the UCD research team will continue to assess the 2008 wildfire smoke-exposed female animals at 11 years of age, with an emphasis on non-invasive health measures linked to chronic lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis. Specifically, the UCD research team proposes to perform the following for the 2008 wildfire smoke-exposed rhesus monkey cohort: 1) determine whether wildfire smoke exposure can result in persistent dysregulation of immune function; 2) determine whether parameters of respiratory health including lung volume and remodeling have been persistently compromised; and 3) assess whether parameters of respiratory function correlate with activity levels. The possibility that early environmental exposures can lead to detrimental health effects throughout an individual's lifespan has significant public health and air quality management implications. The findings from this study will therefore be invaluable to CARB in the development of more health-protective ambient air quality standards.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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