Journal of Toxiocology and Environmental Health (JTEH)

Interpreting Epidemiological Studies of Acute and Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Matter

While cohort and time-series studies provide a foundation for the evaluation of health effects from long-term and short-term exposure to airborne particulate matter, respectively, there is considerable need for further development of analytic approaches in epidemiological research to guide effective and targeted air quality policy development. This special issue of the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A (Volume 68, Numbers 13-14: 1049-1307) with Guest Editors Daniel Krewski,  Jonathan M. Samet, and Lorraine Craig provides a perspective on critical issues in the interpretation of epidemiological studies of air pollution and health and novel data analysis and research designs from leading North American and European air quality scientists and policymakers. The articles are based on presentations at the colloquium on “Interpreting Epidemiological Studies of Acute and Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Matter for Policy Development” organized by NERAM (Network for Environmental Health Risk Assessment and Management) and hosted by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. This second colloquium in the 5-year NERAM Colloquium series on health and air quality provided a forum for discussing methodological issues, alternative design and analytic approaches, and innovative methods for estimating the public health impacts associated with particulate matter exposures. The meeting was attended by more than 30 scientists representing regulatory agencies, industry, and academia from Canada, the United States, and Europe.

“Collectively, the articles in this issue provide insight into contentious issues in the interpretation of the association between air quality and public health and explore the interplay between study design, exposure characterization, and statistical analysis approaches,” says Dr. Daniel Krewski, Director of the McLaughlin Centre for Population Health and one of the co-editors of the special issue. “The articles propose several innovative analytic approaches for estimating the population health impacts of urban air pollution and offer great potential for identifying the most significant exposures and risks to guide the development of effective air pollution control strategies.”

Agencies such as the World Health Organization, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter, and Health Canada provide an international perspective on current and future activities in air quality management.  Papers explore the use of new research designs and analytic methods in time –series and cohort studies to improve the validity and reliability of risk estimates.  The potential of geographical information systems (GIS) for exposure assessment is explored. Novel measures to quantify the public health burden attributable to air pollution and to assess population health benefits of ambient air pollution reductions are proposed. 

Krewski, D., Samet, J.M., and Craig, L. Guest Editors. 2005. Interpreting Epidemiological Studies of Acute and Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Matter. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A Volume 68: 1049-1307.

Published twenty-four times per year, the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A features strictly refereed original research in the field of environmental toxicology in general as well as in special interest fields such as target organ toxicities, immunotoxicology, risk assessment, carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, ecotoxicology, environmental factors affecting health, and aquatic toxicology.

Subscription information for the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A or a sample copy can be obtained from the address below.  To view the special issue (Vol. 68, Number 13-14), go to

For subscription information, or to order
a sample copy, contact:
Taylor & Francis
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To submit an article, contact:
Dr. Sam Kacew
McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment
Institute of Population Health, Room 310
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 6N5