• Article

The design and field implementation of the Detroit Exposure and Aerosol Research Study

The US Environmental Protection Agency recently conducted the Detroit Exposure and Aerosol Research Study (DEARS). The study began in 2004 and involved community, residential, and personal-based measurements of air pollutants targeting 120 participants and their residences. The primary goal of the study was to evaluate and describe the relationship between air toxics, particulate matter (PM), PM constituents, and PM from specific sources measured at a central site monitor with those from the residential and personal locations. The impact of regional, local (point and mobile), and personal sources on pollutant concentrations and the role of physical and human factors that might influence these concentrations were investigated. A combination of active and passive sampling methodologies were employed in the collection of PM mass, criteria gases, semivolatile organics, and volatile organic compound air pollutants among others. Monitoring was conducted in six selected neighborhoods along with one community site using a repeated measure design. Households from each of the selected communities were monitored for 5 consecutive days in the winter and again in the summer. Household, participant and a variety of other surveys were utilized to better understand human and household factors that might affect the impact of ambient-based pollution sources upon personal and residential locations. A randomized recruitment strategy was successful in enrolling nearly 140 participants over the course of the study. Over 36,000 daily-based environmental data points or records were ultimately collected. This paper fully describes the design of the DEARS and the approach used to implement this field monitoring study and reports select preliminary findings.


Williams, R., Rea, A., Vette, A., Croghan, C., Whitaker, D., Stevens, C., ... Daughtrey, H. (2009). The design and field implementation of the Detroit Exposure and Aerosol Research Study. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 19(7), 643-659. https://doi.org/10.1038/jes.2008.61

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