Air Pollution and Traffic Exposures

In the SpaCE2 Lab, we have a long history of exploring the adverse health effects of exposures to air pollution and traffic exposures.  Below are key papers from our group in this area and details of ongoing projects. We are always looking for exceptional students and postdoctoral fellows interested in research in this area.


Key Air Pollution Papers

  • Laden F, Schwartz J, Speizer FE, Dockery DW. Reduction in fine particulate air pollution and mortality: Extended follow-up of the Harvard Six Cities study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2006; 173(6): 667-72. PubMed PMID: 16424447; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2662950.
  • Lepeule J, Laden F, Dockery D, Schwartz J. Chronic exposure to fine particles and mortality: an extended follow-up of the Harvard Six Cities study from 1974 to 2009. Environ Health Perspect. 2012; 120(7): 965-70. PubMed PMID: 22456598; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3404667.
  • Puett RC, Schwartz J, Hart JE, Yanosky J, Speizer FE, Suh H, Paciorek C, Neas L, Laden F. Chronic particulate exposure, mortality, and coronary heart disease in the Nurses’ Health Study. Am J of Epidemiol. 2008;168(10):1161-8. PubMed PMID: 18835862. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2732957.
  • Hart JE, Garshick E, Dockery DW, Smith T, Ryan LM, Laden F. Long-term ambient multipollutant exposures and mortality. Am J Resp Crit Care Med. 2011;183(1):73-8. PubMed PMID: 20656944. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3040395.
  • Garshick E, Laden F, Hart JE, Davis ME, Eisen EE, Smith TJ. Lung cancer and elemental carbon exposure in trucking industry workers. Environ Health Perspect. 2012;120(9):1301-6.PubMed PMID: 22739103. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3440130.
  • Hart JE, Rimm EB, Rexrode KM, Laden F. Changes in traffic exposure and the risk of incident myocardial infarction and all-cause mortality. Epidemiology. 2013;24(5):734-42. PubMed PMID: 23877047. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3988279.
  • Hart JE, Liao X, Hong B, Puett RC, Yanosky JD, Suh H, Kioumourtzoglou M-A, Spiegelman D, Laden F. The association of long-term exposure to PM5 on all-cause mortality in the Nurses’ Health Study and the impact of measurement-error correction. Environ Health. 2015:14:38. PubMed PMID: 25926123. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4427963.

Recent Papers

  • Li H, Hart JE, Mahalingaiah S, Nethery RC, James P, Bertone-Johnson E, Eliassen AH, Laden F. Environmental exposures and anti-Müllerian hormone: a mixture analysis in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Epidemiology. 2023 Jan 1;34(1):150-161. PubMed PMID: 36455251; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9720700.
  • Iyer HS, Hart JE, Fiffer MR, Elliott EG, Yanosky JD, Kaufman JD, Puett RC, Laden F. Impacts of long-term ambient particulate matter and gaseous pollutants on circulating biomarkers of inflammation in male and female health professionals. Environ Res. 2022. 214(Pt 1): 113810. PubMed PMID: 35798268
  • Li X, Zhang W, Laden F, Curhan GC, Rimm EB, Guo X, Hart JE, Wu S. Dietary nitrate intake and vegetable consumption, ambient particulate matter, and risk of hypertension in the Nurses’ Health Study. Environ Int, 2022; 161:107100. PubMed PMID: 35066305
  • Xu Y, Chen JT, Holland I, Yanosky JD, Liao D, Coull BA, Wang D, Rexrode K, Whitsel EA, Wellenius GA, Laden F, Hart JE. Analysis of long- and medium-term particulate matter exposures and stroke in the US-based Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study. Environ Epidemiol. 2021: 5(6): e178. PubMed PMID: 34909558; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8663831.
  • Hart JE, Hohensee C, Laden F, Holland I, Whitsel EA, Wellenius GA, Winkelmayer WG, Sarto GW, Martin LW, Manson JE, Greenland P, Kaufman J, Albert C, Perez MV. Long-term exposures to air pollution and the risk of atrial fibrillation in the Women’s Health Initiative cohort. Environ Health Perspect. 2021; 129(9): 97007. PubMed PMID: 34523977; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8442602.
  • Klompmaker JO, Hart JE, James P, Sabath MB, Wu X, Zanobetti A, Dominici F , Laden F . Air pollution and cardiovascular disease hospitalization – are associations modified by greenness, temperature, and humidity? Environ Int. 2021; 156:106715. PubMed PMID: 34218186; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8380672.
  • Li H, Hart JE, Mahalingaiah S, Nethery RC, Bertone-Johnson, Laden F. Long-term exposure to particulate matter and roadway proximity with age at natural menopause in the Nurses’ Health Study II Cohort. Environ Poll. 2021; 269: 116216. PubMed PMID: 33316492; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7785633.
  • Elliott EG, Laden F, James P, Rimm EB, Rexrode KM, Hart JE. Interaction between long-term exposure to fine particulate matter and physical activity, and risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality in U.S. women. Environ Health Perspect. 2020; 128(12): 127012. PubMed PMID: 33356515; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7757788.
  • Wang X, Hart JE, Liu Q, Wu S, Nan H, Laden F. Association of particulate matter air pollution with leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number. Env Int. 2020; 141:105761. PubMed PMID: 32388147; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7419671.
  • DuPré N, Heng YJ, Raby BA, Glass K, Hart JE, Chu J, Askew C, Eliassen AH, Hankinson SE, Kraft P, Laden F, Tamimi RM. Involvement of fine particulate matter exposure with gene expression pathways in breast tumor and adjacent-normal breast tissue. Environ Res. 2020; 186:109535. PubMed PMID: 32668536; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7368092.
  • Gaskins AJ, Hart JE, Chavarro JE, Missmer SA, Rich-Edwards JW, Laden F, Mahalingaiah S. Air pollution exposure and risk of spontaneous abortion in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Hum Reprod. Hum Reprod. 2019; 34(9): 1809-17. PubMed PMID: 31385588; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6736292.
  • Yitshak Sade M, James P, Kloog I, Hart JE, Schwartz S, Laden F, Lane K, Fabian P, Fong K, Zanobetti A. Neighborhood greenness attenuates the adverse effect of PM2.5 on cardiovascular mortality in neighborhoods of lower socioeconomic status. Int J Environ Health Res Pub Health. 2019; 16(5): E814. PubMed PMID: 30845676. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6427452.
  • Fisher JA, Puett RC, Laden F, Wellenius GA, Sapkota A, Liao D, Yanosky JD, Carter-Pokras O, He X, Hart JE. Case-crossover of short-term particulate matter exposures and stroke in the Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study. Environ Int. 2019; 124:153-60. PubMed PMID: 30641259. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6692897.
  • DuPre NC, Hart JE, Holmes MD, Poole EM, James P, Kraft P, Laden F, Tamimi RM. Particulate matter and traffic-related exposures in relation to breast cancer survival. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019; 28(4): 751-9. PubMed PMID: 30647065. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6449193.
  • Hart JE, Grady ST, Laden F, Coull BA, Koutrakis P, Schwartz JD, Moy ML, Garshick E. Effects of indoor and ambient black carbon and PM5 on pulmonary function among individuals with COPD. Environ Health Perspect.2018; 126(12): 127008. PubMed PMID: 30570336. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6371657.
  • Zhang Z, Wang J, Hart JE, Laden F, Zhao C, Li T, Zheng P, Li D, Ye Z, Chen K. National scale spatiotemporal land-use regression model for PM2.5, PM10 and NO2 concentration in China. Atmos Environ. 2018: 192(11):48-54.
  • Burnett R, Chen H, Szyszkowicz M, Fann N, Hubbell B, Pope III CA, Apte JS, Brauer M, Cohen A, Weichenthal S, Coggins J, Di Q, Brunekreef B, Frostad J, Jerrett M, Krewski D, Gapstur S, Vier W, Ostro B, Goldberg D, Crouse D, Martin R, Peters P, Pinault L, Tjepkema M, van Donkelaar A, Villeneuve P, Miller A, Yin P, Zhou M, Wang L, Janssen N, Marra M, Atkinson R, Tsang H, Thach TQ, Cannon J, Allen R, Hart JE, Laden F, Cesaroni G, Forastiere F, Weinmayr G, Jaensch A, Nagel G, Concin H, Spadaro J. Global estimates of mortality associated with long-term exposure to outdoor fine particulate matter. PNAS. 2018; 115(38): 9592-7. PubMed PMID: 30181279. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6156628.
  • VoPham T, Bertrand KA, Tamimi RM, Laden F, Hart JE. Ambient PM2.5 exposure and hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in the United States. Cancer Causes Control. 2018: 29(6):563-72. PubMed PMID: 29696510. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5940508.

Current Funding

NIH/NIEHS R01 ES029840-01A1: Early life exposure to the natural, built, and social environments and incident hypertension

Diet, obesity, and physical activity are known risk factors, and a growing body of evidence suggests that exposures to air pollution are also associated with risk; however, to date, no study has been able to examine the role of multiple environmental exposures throughout childhood on risk of subsequent hypertension in adulthood, nor how environmental exposures interact with features of the built and social environments to influence risk. We aim to explore the impacts of features of the natural, built, and social environments throughout childhood on risk of hypertension in adulthood, to provide valuable information for future risk assessments and population level prevention.

NIH/NIEHS R01 ES0262460: Statistical Methods to Account for Exposure Uncertainty in Environmental Epidemiology

In this proposed research, we will take a life course approach, as consistent with NIEHS strategic priorities, focusing on methodological needs in several critical areas of environmental health, including the effects of constituents of air pollution and of aspects of the neighborhood environment on cardiovascular disease and its precursors and consequences, including all-cause mortality, obesity, type 2 diabetes and subclinical cardiovascular biomarkers.

NIH/NIEHS R01 ES028712-01: The Effects of Environmental Exposures on Semen Quality and the Sperm Epigenome

The aims of this project are to assess the impact of multiple environmental exposures (air pollution and endocrine disruptors) on measures of semen quality (concentration, total count, and motility) assessed via cell phone, morphology assessed with standard laboratory methods, and novel epigenomic markers (sperm DNA methylation).

NIH/NIEHS R01 ES028033: Relationship Between Multiple Environmental Exposures and CVD Incidence and Survival: Vulnerability and Susceptibility

The major goals of the proposed project are to study associations of multiple environmental exposures on cardiovascular disease (CVD), mortality and survival after a non-fatal CVD event in the context of multiple confounders and effect modifications. We will be developing new statistical methods, assessing air pollution (particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone) and weather (e.g. temperature variability) as main effects, and evaluating effect modification by contextual, lifestyle and genetic factors

NIH/NIEHS R01 ES0227696: Air pollutants and cardiovascular risk: Investigating thresholds with pooled cohorts and electronic health records

This project investigates the relationship between long-term exposures to air pollution and the development of cardiovascular disease. Using both (1) pooled high-quality cohort studies and (2) health system records based on electronic health records (EHR), this project will evaluate this concentration-response curve focusing on the shape and the presence of a threshold for exposure.