Recently Published Research

Premature death from cross-state air pollution decreases from 53% to 41%

August 26, 2020

It’s widely known through the Air Quality Research Center that outdoor air pollution leads to untimely deaths throughout the world, however, a recent publication by Dr. Erwan Monier, Associate Professor of Climate Change Impacts in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, and associates demonstrated that many of these deaths are a result of cross-state air pollution. 

Do immature lungs have air–blood barriers that are more permeable to inhaled nanoparticles than those of fully developed mature lungs?

August 04, 2020

A recent collaborative study between Harvard and UC Davis produced data backing the notion that nanoparticles (NP) more frequently crossed the air-blood lung barrier to the rest of the body in infant rats than adults. Fascinatingly, this higher permeability demonstrates immature lungs do not follow the same directives as mature lungs. 

PM2.5 and Ozone only slightly reduced during the COVID lockdown in China

July 29, 2020

A recent study by the University of Leeds and the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen divulged PM2.5 had only a small reduction across China and it was not lowered at all in Northeast China. The PM2.5 reduction of 11% across China was disappointing in comparison to the reduction 27% of NO2 across China.  

Lead author Ben Silver, from the University of Leeds, said: “PM2.5 particles had only a modest reduction and are the most harmful constituent of air pollution, as they travel deep into the lungs and bloodstream and damage the lungs and heart.

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