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Harvard School of Public Health

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Superfund Research Program

Vanadium and Human Health

Project Leader: David C. Christiani
Grant Number: P42ES005947
Funding Period: 1995 - 2000

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Project Summary (1995-2000)

This project is testing the hypotheses that exposure to airborne vanadium compounds causes bronchial hyperreactivity and asthmatic bronchitis via an inflammatory mechanism, and that upper airway (nasal) responses due to vanadium are well-correlated with the lower airway (bronchial) responses. This work includes ongoing short-term and long-term prospective studies of vanadium-exposed workers which combine an assessment of lung function, bronchial responsiveness, nasal and bronchial fluid analyses with detailed personal and area environmental samples in addressing the main hypotheses. In addition, data on vanadium content of nasal and bronchial specimens is being used to develop dose-response models for this important environmental toxin. This epidemiologic and clinical investigation is being integrated with Project 6, which focuses on pathogenesis in order to simultaneously assess ambient exposures, biological markers of exposure, early effect, and physiologic changes in target organs. This integrated approach provides new knowledge about the human toxicity of vanadium and related compounds.

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