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Hold your breath: Air pollution plays role in cardiac, metabolic diseases
Date:3/7/2011

Air pollution in the Great Lakes region is complex due to a large diversity of multipollutant 'airsheds' (the atmospheric equivalent of watersheds)," said Harkema, whose research team includes investigators from MSU, the University of Michigan and Ohio State University. "This complexity is due to a large assortment of emission sources, including heavy industry, dense motor vehicle traffic and high concentrations of coal-fired power plants.

"The health effects of these multipollutant airsheds are complex and understudied."

The newly established Clean Air Research Center at MSU will specifically:

  • Explore how air pollution, specifically fine particulate matter and ozone, causes adverse cardiovascular effects (such as increased blood pressure) and other facets of the cardiometabolic syndrome (such as insulin resistance). Led by Harkema, the project will explore how exposure to multipollutant atmospheres in the Great Lakes may contribute to cardiovascular and metabolic disorders in laboratory rodents that mimic susceptible individuals.

  • Investigate whether short-term exposure to air pollution in humans instigate insulin resistance and elevate blood pressure. These studies will be led by Robert Brook at the University of Michigan.

  • Determine the long-term impacts of chronic exposure to air pollution and fine particulate matter. Led by Sanjay Rajagopalan from Ohio State University, the project will also use rodent models to study the correlation between air pollution and diet and genetics.

In addition to the three main projects, researchers at the new center will collect and characterize air pollution data for use by all the investigators

"Results from this important environmental health research will provide much needed information to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment," said Paul Anastas, EPA's assistant administrator in the Office of Research and Development.


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Contact: Jason Cody
codyja@msu.edu
517-432-0924
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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