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12-20-2005

Clarkson and University of Rochester Study Health Effects of Airborne Particulate

[Photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/hopke2.jpg]

The PM Center is one of five STAR Centers in the U.S. to study the effects on human health of airborne particulate, especially ultrafine particles occurring in the urban atmosphere. Philip Hopke

Epidemiological studies have consistently found an association between small increases in urban particulates and health effects, including increased illness and deaths, particularly in people with respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Hopke and a distinguished, multidisciplinary team of investigators are testing the hypotheses that particles too small to be seen are linked to these health problems. The measurement core he directs also involves the University of California at San Diego as a collaborator and subcontractor.

The initial STAR PM and Health Centers were founded by the EPA in 1999 and provided with five-year grants. During the last five-years of study, researchers measured particulate concentration and composition in both eastern and western U.S. cities and studied the effects of the airborne particulate pollution. The results were disseminated to other STAR PM Centers.

"The research being done at the five PM and Health Centers is critical," remarked Hopke. "There are real public health issues associated with airborne particulate matter. The sources of these health effects must be clearly identified so they can be controlled in a way that efficiently and effectively improves air quality while minimizing the impact on the economy."

Clarkson is a collaborating institution and Philip Hopke, the Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor at Clarkson University, is the director of the Measurements and Analytical Cores for the renewed Particulate Matter (PM) and Health Research Center at the University of Rochester. The Center is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under a STAR (Science To Achieve Results) grant.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

PHOTO CAPTION: Philip Hopke, the Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor at Clarkson University, is the director of the Measurements and Analytical Cores for the renewed Particulate Matter (PM) and Health Research Center at the University of Rochester. Clarkson is a collaborating University.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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