and planned by EPA, other agencies, and the nonfederal research community.


Nationwide, research on particulate matter is still largely uncoordinated and fragmented. Improvements in federal and nonfederal particulate-matter research coordination would enhance the likelihood of producing information that is useful in public-policy decisions and, ultimately, improves public health. The fragmented nature of the program is apparent even within EPA, with only loose connections established among programs oriented to monitoring for regulatory compliance, understanding the atmospheric transport and fate of particulate matter and related gaseous pollutants, and understanding the interaction of particulate matter with people and the development of particulate-matter-associated disease. One contributor to the lack of coordination might be the separate funding and implementation of these activities. But even within EPA, there is little evidence of an overall strategy for meaningfully coordinating the diverse array of intramural particulate-matter-related research activities under way with that conducted extramurally under EPA financial sponsorship.

Although many particulate-matter research activities have been under way for some time, and despite the worthwhile particulate-matter research workshops recently held by EPA, CDC, and HEI, the level of communication among the participants and with other stakeholders is mostly informal and insufficient. With the infusion of additional funds, recruitment of new participants, and initiation of new activities, communication among particulate-matter research investigators will need to improve. In particular, research scientists need to interact while research is being planned. It is not sufficient to hold workshops or symposia on the results of past research.

A comprehensive "evergreen" inventory is critically needed for particulate-matter-related research and monitoring projects, containing information on key participants, goals, hypotheses, research strategies, resource levels, anticipated deliverables, and schedules. The availability

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement