Tracking Down Toxic Metals From Tobacco Smoke

Homes and public places where people smoke may have high levels of harmful trace metals from cigarettes, even after smoking stops, Berkeley Lab researchers have found. These metals include cadmium, arsenic, and chromium, and the levels may be above safety limits set by California.

How recovery from COVID-19 and climate policies might affect the use of “clean” cooking fuels

A group of IIASA researchers shows how recovery from the pandemic and climate mitigation policies might affect access to clean fuels.

Four Rutgers Professors Named AAAS Fellows

Four Rutgers professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor given to AAAS members by their peers. They join 485 other new AAAS fellows as a result of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. A virtual induction ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 13, 2021.

Low-Cost Home Air Quality Monitors Prove Useful for Wildfire Smoke

Published recently in the journal Sensors, a new study by Berkeley Lab air quality scientists tested four models of low-cost air quality monitors during actual wildfire pollution events and found that their readings of PM2.5 – or particulate matter under 2.5 microns, which has been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular issues – were consistently higher than the reference monitor used by the regulatory agencies; however, since each monitor had a relatively consistent response to the smoke, it is possible to use the readings to estimate true PM2.5 levels. Overall, the researchers concluded that the monitors can provide actionable information.

Traditional Biomass Stoves, Used Widely in Developing Nations, Shown to Elevate Indoor Air Pollutants, Cause Lung Inflammation

Traditional stoves that burn biomass materials and are not properly ventilated, which are widely used in developing nations where cooking is done indoors, have been shown to significantly increase indoor levels of harmful PM2.5 (miniscule atmospheric particulates) and carbon monoxide (CO) and to stimulate biological processes that cause lung inflammation and may lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.