Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Childhood Asthma in the United States: A Burden of Disease Assessment

Asthma is a chronic airway disease characterized by episodes of coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing. Worldwide, asthma is conservatively estimated to effect more than 334 million people, with varying degrees of intensity. In the United States alone, around 6 million children are affected by asthma, making the condition the most common chronic disease in children. Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) may be an important exposure contributing to the development of childhood asthma. Yet the burden of incident childhood asthma, attributable to TRAP, is poorly documented. The study team aimed to estimate the burden of incident childhood asthma, attributable to TRAP, within the Contiguous United States. TRAP exposures were estimated using existing land-use regression models developed and validated by the Marshall Research Group at the University of Washington, Seattle. Childhood was defined as the period between birth to 18 years old. Using the validated US land-use regression model, the study team estimated childhood population exposure to NO₂ at the smallest census area level (the census block). The study team searched for national, regional and state baseline incidence rates for childhood asthma. They scaled previously estimated meta-analytical exposure-response functions to the NO₂ exposure levels assigned at each census block in the US. The study team combined all the above information in standard burden of disease assessment and estimated the annual number of incident asthma cases attributable to NO₂ across the US. The study team are further investigating the impacts of other pollutants including PM₂.₅ and PM₁₀ as estimated by land-use regression models.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • TTI-01-10


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $125000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy, and Health

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute
    College Station, TX  United States  77843
  • Project Managers:

    Walker, Marcia

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Khreis, Haneen

  • Start Date: 20180118
  • Expected Completion Date: 20191231
  • Actual Completion Date: 20191231
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: TTI-01-10

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01672113
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy, and Health
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747128
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 14 2018 2:59PM