Research Papers: Rob McConnell

The Need for a Tighter Particulate-Matter Air-Quality Standard

By Rob McConnell et al.

New England Journal of Medicine


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to retain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (particles with a diameter of ≤2.5 μm [PM2.5]) — that is, levels not exceeding an annual average of 12 μg per cubic meter and a 24-hour average of 35 μg per cubic meter.1 The current NAAQS were set in 2012 on the basis of a scientific review that was largely completed in 2010.2 At that time, available epidemiologic evidence, supported by toxicologic evidence and a risk assessment conducted by EPA staff, indicated that annual exposure to PM2.5 caused premature death at ambient concentrations as low as 11 μg per cubic meter. However, on the basis of more recent evidence, as described below, exposure to ambient PM2.5 at the levels of the current standards is estimated by the EPA to be responsible for tens of thousands of premature deaths in the United States each year.

Near-Roadway Air Pollution, Immune Cells and Adipokines Among Obese Young Adults

By Rob McConnell

Environmental Health


Air pollution has been associated with metabolic disease and obesity. Adipokines are potential mediators of these effects, but studies of air pollution-adipokine relationships are inconclusive. Macrophage and T cells in adipose tissue (AT) and blood modulate inflammation; however, the role of immune cells in air pollution-induced dysregulation of adipokines has not been studied. We examined the association between air pollution exposure and circulating and AT adipokine concentrations, and whether these relationships were modified by macrophage and T cell numbers in the blood and AT.

The Clear and Persistent Impact of Air Pollution on Chronic Respiratory Diseases: A Call for Interventions

By Rob McConnell et al.

European Respiratory Journal


Air pollution is ubiquitous and is responsible for noticeable acute and chronic adverse health effects [1]. Heart diseases and stroke are the most common reasons for morbidity and mortality attributable to air pollution, followed by respiratory diseases, but recently other pathologies have been added to the list. Additionally, air pollution contributes to climate change, another threat to public health.

Association of Improved Air Quality with Lung Development in Children

By W. James Gauderman, Robert Urman, Edward Avol, Kiros Berhane, Rob McConnell, Edward Rappaport, Roger Chang, Fred Lurmann, Frank Gilliland

The New England Journal of Medicine


Air-pollution levels have been trending downward progressively over the past several decades in southern California, as a result of the implementation of air quality–control policies. We assessed whether long-term reductions in pollution were associated with improvements in respiratory health among children.

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