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Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter: IV - Continuing Research Progress
Completing the PM emissions inventory and developing and testing air quality models for the implementation of current and possible future PM NAAQS.
Developing a systematic program to assess the comparative toxicity of different components of the PM mixture and of the mixture itself.
Planning and implementing new studies on the effects of long-term exposure.
Improving the relevance of toxicological approaches.
Enhancing the ability of the air quality monitoring system to track progress and serve as an element for estimating exposure for future health research.
Moving beyond PM to a multipollutant approach to improve air quality overall in a health-relevant manner.
Some progress has been made in addressing these challenges (for example, the implementation of the nationwide speciation monitoring network), but these seven issues need careful attention as the PM research program continues. By addressing these issues directly, it is the committee’s judgment that the pace of scientific gain should be quickened, and the quality of research evidence strengthened.
These issues also pose important challenges to the management of science. To be able to address them effectively, Chapter 6 has identified a series of steps that must be taken to effectively manage this complex scientific enterprise, which can be grouped into three broad categories:
An even higher level of sustained integration and interaction both among the scientific disciplines and among the full range of public and private research funding organizations will be needed to complete the research portfolio.
Much stronger tools will be needed to compile and synthesize the large amounts of new information being developed in this research program.
Perhaps most important, sustained and substantially enhanced management of this program by EPA, accompanied by a continuing mechanism for independent review and oversight of the program, will be the only way to ensure that the investment in the research is being made. EPA has taken steps toward better management, but recent transitions in the management of that effort and a substantial need for new management systems and