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Douglas W. Dockery, ScD

Chair, Department of Environmental Health
Harvard School of Public Health

Epidemiologist, Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Research Interests

Professor Dockery's research has focused on the respiratory health effects of air pollution. Dr. Dockery and his colleagues have recently reported that particulate air pollution at concentrations below the current EPA standard is associated with increased mortality. This report is based on twenty years of follow-up of adults and children in a study of the health effects of exposures to air pollution from fossil fuel combustion. Other analyses by these investigators have shown that episodes of particulate pollution are associated with increase daily mortality in cities in the US, eastern Europe, China and South America. Dr. Dockery is currently directing a study of the effects of urban air pollution on inner city children. This study includes an evaluation of lung function and respiratory illness prevalence, a panel study of daily respiratory symptom reports and lung function measurements, and an analysis of daily mortality in each of five cities (Philadelphia, Washington, Nashville, Atlanta and Boston). Similar exposure and health data for children is being collected in Mexico, Brazil, China, and twelve centers in western and eastern Europe which will be compared to the US data. Dr. Dockery's research interests include the influence of indoor pollution exposures on development of lung disease in children. Specific exposures include environmental tobacco smoke, unvented cook stoves (including gas stoves in the US and coal stoves in China), and aero-allergens (including dust mites, molds and mildews). In other areas, Dr. Dockery is investigating the effects of treatment in inner city children with lead poisoning, and studying the effects of environmental exposures on adverse reproductive outcomes in China.

Selected Publications

Pope CA III, Dockery DW. Acute health effects of PM10 pollution on symptomatic and asymptomatic children. Am Rev Respir Dis 1992;145:1123-1128. [abstract]

Dockery DW, Schwartz J, Spengler JD. Air pollution and daily mortality: associations with particulates and acid aerosols. Envir Res 1992;59:362-373. [abstract]

Wang X, Dockery DW, Wypij D, Gold DR, Speizer FE, Ware JH, Ferris BG Jr. Pulmonary function between 6 and 18 years of age. Pediatric Pulmonary 1993;15:75-88. [abstract]

Dockery DW, Pope CA III, Xu X, Spengler JD, Ware JH, Fay ME, Ferris BG Jr, Speizer FE. An association between air pollution and mortality in six US cities. New Engl J Med 1993;329:1753-1759. [abstract]

Pope CA III, Thun MJ, Namboordiri MM, Dockery DW, Evans JS, Speizer FE, Heath CW Jr. Particulate air pollution as a predictor of mortality in a prospective study of US adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1995;151:669-674. [abstract]