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Final Progress Reports: Harvard School of Public Health: Vanadium and Human 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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Final Progress Reports

Year:   1999 

Analysis of vanadium and PM10 data collected during the 1995 boiler overhaul at the Boston Edison facility in Charlestown, Massachusetts continued. Characterization of the frequency and severity of respiratory symptoms experienced by boilermakers during the 1995 overhaul was completed, and pulmonary function data collected during the field study was analyzed. As previously reported, sensitive biomarkers of transition-metal exposures have been found in bodily fluids such as urine, nasal, and brochoaveolar lavage fluid. Work on characterizing the pattern of urinary vanadium levels in boilermakers involved in the boiler work has also continued during the last year. To test whether the exposure-response patterns exhibited by boilermakers affects mortality from respiratory and cardiovascular causes, a standardized mortality study was planned. This study will involve the National Union that represents boilermakers and data collection is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2000.

Work in the area of exposure assessment, which was also a major focus of the 1995 field study, has progressed; data analysis of the actual exposure measurements was completed during the last year. Analytical techniques used to estimate exposure to vanadium and PM10 in workers without actual measurements were refined, and the detailed exposure information from the 1995 study is being coupled with the urinary vanadium levels to help describe the kinetics of vanadium in humans.

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