Here's the latest news from AirUCI — our events, our people, our science.



Thursday, November 2, 2023

A November 2nd Wall Street Journal article on the effects of concrete on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere quotes AirUCI faculty Steve Davis.  Typically concrete consists of a polluting blend of sand, gravel, water and cement, but adding carbon dioxide helps clean up the process.  The hybrid material—known as “green” concrete—reduces the carbon footprint of one of the dirtiest industrial sectors in the world and is emerging as an alternative to carbon storage options such as underground wells and pipelines.  While it can’t store the billions of tons of carbon needed to meet the world’s climate goals, green concrete offers an immediate, partial solution to the problem of concrete emissions until other options emerge.  “I think that’s great,” Steve said about small carbon injections in concrete. “But it’s not going to completely solve the problem of all of those emissions to begin with.”  Read the article

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

AirUCI research Shahir Masri is quoted in a November 1st Wired article on the effects of extreme heat and links to heart attacks.  Less affluent neighborhoods tend to have more substandard housing with less air conditioning and insulation, less tree cover, and more paved surfaces that absorb and radiate heat. "Census tracts in California that are more likely to experience days of high heat and high pollution exposure also tend to score low on socioeconomic status," says Shahir.  “Largely what we find is those populations have much less access to health care and suffer from comorbidities, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, that make these populations much more vulnerable” to heart-related heath problems.  Read the article

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

AirUCI faculty Jun Wu is co-author on a study published in JAMA linking air pollution and postpartum depression.  Long-term maternal exposure to common air pollutants, both before and after childbirth, has been linked to increased risk of postpartum depression for mothers – with symptoms ranging from anxiety and irritability to suicide – and may lead to cognitive, emotional, psychological and behavioral impairments in their infants, the study found.  “Postpartum depression is a major public health problem,” said Jun, "and identifying modifiable environmental risk factors is important, as it can support future intervention studies."  Read the article

Friday, October 27, 2023

AirUCI Co-Director Sergey Nizkorodov has been interviewed in a Chemistry World article on nanoparticles shed into the atmosphere by man-made objects like space debris.  The first-of-its-kind study shows that as satellites and other metallic objects fall to earth, significant amounts of metals are released as they burn up during re-entry and condense into nanoparticles, some of which could potentially affect the ways in which aerosols form clouds.  "Aluminum is a pretty benign metal but there is also copper they mention and other transition metals that could potentially have interesting chemistry related to the ozone layer or formation of clouds … I think it should be investigated, for sure," said Sergey. Read the article

Friday, October 20, 2023

AirUCI faculty Mike Kleinman is quoted extensively in an October 20th Healthline article about health risks associated with formaldehyde-based hair straightening products. Proper ventilation of salons is important. "In the short-term, formaldehyde exposure can lead to irritation of skin and airway membranes, which can trigger asthmatic reactions and other breathing problems," said Mike.  Long-term use of these products is linked to higher risk of multiple forms of cancer.  The FDA is considering a ban on these products, effective as soon as April 2024. Read the article.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

AirUCI sponsors a student chapter of the American Association of Aerosol Research on campus, a group that was started after our student retreat in 2018 and continues holding regular meetings.  The group, while initiated by AirUCI students, is open to all and has regular attendees from several departments.  For the 2023-2024 year their newly-elected officers are: President Jeremy Wakeen, Secretary Sukriti Kapur, Treasurer Yinting Chiu, Professional Development Chair Kasey Edwards, Social Events Chair Anna Kapp, and Undergraduate Liaison Lena Gerritz.  Congratulations, all!

Monday, October 9, 2023

AirUCi faculty Jane Baldwin is quoted in an October 9th Reuters article on the threat to human health from high temperatures combined with high humidity, especially as the planet warms.  A new study shows that the currently accepted point at which heat and humidity combine to push the human body beyond its limits without shade or help from technologies such as air too high.  Previous studies indicated that a "wet-bulb" temperature of 95 degrees F persisting for six or more hours could be the conservative limit for the human body, but the new study puts that benchmark at 84-86 degrees F. "This will be a critical benchmark for future studies," said Jane, who was not involved in the project.  Read the article

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

At this week's AAAR meeting, AirUCI faculty Annmarie Carlton was presented with the Suzanne Hering Award which recognizes outstanding contributions to aerosol science that have an impact on public health, the built environment, or the global ecosystem.  Congratulations, Annmarie!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

AirUCI Co-Director Barbara Finlayson-Pitts was presented at this week's AAAR meeting with the David Sinclair Award recognizing sustained excellence in aerosol research and technology by an established scientist still active in his/her career..  Congratulations, Barbara!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

At this week's American Association for Aerosol Research meeting, AirUCI faculty Jim Smith was named as a AAAR Fellow..  Congratulations, Jim!