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BC CLEAR Projects 2014-2015 (funding start dates) > The effects of air pollution on lung health: Novel methodologies to investigate the adverse effects of pollution

The effects of air pollution on lung health: Novel methodologies to investigate the adverse effects of pollution

posted on 7:27 PM, July 6, 2016

Project leader: Michael Koehle

The project objectives are to investigate the effects of short-duration diesel exhaust-exposure during exercise on respiratory function and to assess the effects of IBA (Inhaled Beta Agonist, or commonly known as an inhaler) use in the treatment of respiratory symptoms and impaired lung function due to diesel exhaust-exposure immediately following inhalation and two hours following inhalation, when the “bronchodilating” (the opening up of lung passageways) effects of IBA and exercise begin to wear off.

In a double-blind, randomly-assigned, repeated-measures crossover design, twenty asthmatics exercised on a stationary bicycle while breathing either filtered air or diesel exhaust following the inhalation of either a placebo (air) or IBAs. Asthmatics were exposed to the four exposure conditions (filtered air - IBAs, filtered air - placebo, diesel exhaust - IBAs, diesel exhaust - placebo) and performed a 30-min constant workload exercise test at 50% of peak cycling resistance achieved on the screening day on a cycle ergometer.

Based on preliminary findings, the research team has concluded that breathing increased levels of diesel exhaust during submaximal cycling may reduce the bronchodilatory response to exercise in asthmatics with no corresponding sensory consequences. An addition project result showed that thirty minutes of submaximal, constant-intensity cycling exercise appears to positively affect inhibitory control, attention and information processing speed, even when breathing increased levels of diesel exhaust.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in British Columbia.

Where We Work

We are grateful to live and work on the unceded ancestral territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

Strategic Priorities

At the Fraser Basin Council, our strategic priorities are to take action on climate change, support healthy watersheds and water resources, and build sustainable and resilient communities.

With our partners, we work on a range of collaborative, multi-sector initiatives, such as those focused on flood management, community wildfire planning, air quality improvement, energy-efficient buildings, green transportation (including the uptake of electric vehicles and expansion of charging infrastructure), watershed planning and youth-driven climate action projects.

FBC Program Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Realizing UNDRIP Initiative

Contact Us

FBC staff work from our Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George offices, and from several other locations.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff or contact our administration office:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350