Recently Published Research

COVID-19 death rates increase due to long-term exposure to PM2.5

April 07, 2020

More and more we are seeing results from recent studies showing a correlation between higher COVID-19 death rates and people who live in air pollution riddled areas. Both in Italy and the United States, people that reside in areas with higher concentrations of PM2.5 in the atmosphere are at least 12% more likely to not survive a bout with COVID-19. These findings are consistent with the findings from the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak that claimed 349 lives in China. 

PM 2.5 increased by 5.5% in 2 years across the country after a 7 year decrease of 25%

October 28, 2019

The New York Times writer, Nadja Popovich, reports that after nearly a decade of improving the air quality nationally, the US EPA's data shows that PM 2.5 has increased in the past two years. This 180 turn of progress has been identified as likely primarily coming from increases in driving and the burning of natural gas. However, in the West, wildfires has been a large cause of the increase as well. Researchers suggest that due to a decrease of enforcement of the Clean Air Act, less businesses are concerned with their pollution. 

Decreasing Vanadium Footprint of Bunker Fuel Emissions

January 10, 2019

The Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) network measures the chemical composition of atmospheric particulate matter at over 160 locations throughout the United States. As part of the routine quality control process, we noted decreases in the network-wide vanadium (V) and nickel (Ni) concentrations in 2015 relative to the previous years. Enriched V and Ni with respect to soil are indicative of heavy fuel oil burning and are often used as tracers for emissions from marine vessels.

Smog-Forming Soils

March 02, 2018
Central Valley Soil Emissions a Large Source of State’s Nitrogen Oxide Pollution Quick Summary

> Up to 41 percent of smog-forming NOx emissions in state comes from agricultural soils in the Central Valley

> Rural farming communities most affected

> Potential solutions include precision agriculture, slow-release fertilizers

> Work already underway to reduce nitrate in groundwater could also help reduce NOx emissions