We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Particulate Matter

The Issue

Particulate matter (PM) is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets in the air. Particulate matter causes concern because it is associated with serious health effects such as aggravated asthma, difficulty breathing, chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, and premature death. PM contributes to haze and can harm the environment by changing the natural nutrient and chemical balance of the soil.

EPA Action

EPA scientists are conducting research to better understand which attributes of particulate matter cause ill health effects, who may be most susceptible to these effects, how particles form in the atmosphere, and what the contributions are from various sources in different regions of the country.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to periodically review the science for six major air pollutants, including PM. EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment develops Integrated Science Assessments (ISAs) that summarize the science related to the health and ecological effects caused by these pollutants. ISAs provide a comprehensive review of the policy-relevant scientific literature published since the last National Ambient Air Quality (NAAQS) review and are a critical part of the scientific basis for establishing the NAAQS. EPA released the latest Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter Final Report in Dec 2009.

History of the Particulate Matter Assessments

   
Jun 2016 EPA held a series of webinar workshops to evaluate initial draft materials for the Particulate Matter Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for health and welfare effects on June 9, 13, 20, and 22, 2016. [May 11, 2016 Federal Register Notice]
Dec 2012 EPA released a provisional assessment of recent studies on particulate matter collected since the release of the 2009 Particulate Matter Integrated Science Assessment.
Dec 2009 EPA released the Final Report of the Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (EPA/600/AR-08/139F). [Federal Register Dec 15, 2009] This is the latest final version.
Oct 2004 EPA released the Air Quality Criteria Document for Particulate Matter (Final, 2004) (EPA 600/P-99/002).
Apr 1996 EPA released the Air Quality Criteria Document for Particulate Matter (Final, 1996) (EPA 600/P-95/001).
Aug 1994 EPA released the supplement to the Second Addendum (1986) to Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides (1982): Assessment of New Findings on Sulfur Dioxide and Acute Exposure Health Effects in Asthmatic Individuals.
Dec 1986 EPA published the second addendum to Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides (1982): Assessment of New Findings on Sulfur Dioxide and Acute Exposure Health Effects in Asthmatic Individuals.
Dec 1982 EPA released the Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides (Final, 1982) (EPA/600/8-82/029).
1977 EPA released an update to Air Quality Criteria Document in response to specific requirements of Section 108 of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1977.
1969 EPA published the first Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Air Quality Criteria for Sulfur Oxides.

Peer Reviewed Literature

While working on the assessment of particulate matter (2009), EPA used the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) database to augment the underlining literature that supported the final assessment.

See: ISA-Particulate Matter (2009) HERO Project page

Update in 2012: PM Provisional Assessment