Science for Public Health and the Environment


June 2022

The ES&T special issue on Urban air pollution and human health is now available! It includes recent work by postdoc, Karl Seltzer, quantifying the impact on volatile chemical products on criteria pollutants over the contiguous U.S. for an entire year.

January 2022

Work in ES&TL highlights the benefits of VOC emission reductions for health. Anthropogenic VOC emission reductions are more than twice as effective as equivalent fractional reductions of SOx or NOx at reducing air pollution-associated cardiorespiratory mortality in the United States. See new work by Pye et al.

December 2021

Two papers related to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) are now available! The work of Pye et al. finds that SOA is strongly associated with cardiorespiratory mortality and thus should be considered in analysis of health impacts of fine particles. The work of Pennington et al. predicts that half the anthropogenic SOA in Los Angeles is from volatile chemical products (VCPs).

November 2021

Ever wondered how much ambient fine particle and ozone pollution is formed from volatile chemical product usage and evaporative emissions? See postdoc Karl Seltzer’s ES&T publication.

July 2021

In work by Pennington et al., we estimate VCPs produce 1.67 μg m−3 of noontime SOA, doubling the current model predictions and reducing the SOA mass concentration bias from −75 % to −58 % when compared to observations in Los Angeles in 2010. The preprint of this work is now available on Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions.

May 2021

The work by Appel et al. on the latest version of CMAQ is now officially published in Geoscientific Model Development.

The work by Shu et al. on particle dry deposition in CMAQ is now under review and available via preprint from Geoscientific Model Development Discussions.

April 2021

Our work on the emissions from volatile chemical products by Seltzer et al. is now published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The methods will be used in the 2020 EPA National Emissions Inventory for the Solvent sector.

Work on the association between secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and cardiorespiratory mortality will be presented as part of the Frontiers in Atmospheric Chemistry Seminar Series on April 9. Register to attend via the email list here: https://facss.mit.edu/.

March 2021

Our work on volatile chemical products will be featured in an upcoming EPA webinar on March 16 at 3pm. A recording is available at https://www.epa.gov/air-research/air-climate-energy-research-webinar-series.

January 2021

Per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFASs) are released to air from manufacturing facilities. In the case of one specific facility, the majority of the emitted mass is predicted to deposit more than 150 km downwind with the water solubility and acidity (pKa) of the PFAS species modulating the magnitude of deposition. Read about these estimates and their implications in work by D’Ambro et al. in ES&T.

December 2020

Two papers, currently in review, highlight the features and science of CMAQ’s latest major release (v5.3): Appel et al. and Murphy et al.

November 2020

How much volatile organic compound (VOC) mass do chemical products release to the atmosphere? See our preprint in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions by Seltzer et al.

I have an opening for a student (or postdoc) to work on development of the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model at EPA with an emphasis on developing the chemistry of gas and aerosol species. Topics could include consideration of autoxidation, organic nitrate fate, and/or inclusion of SOA precursors. To obtain additional information as well as apply, see https://www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/EPA-ORD-CEMM-AESMD-2020-12-A. Update: Applications are no longer being accepted.

October 2020

Our work highlights how volatile chemical products impact both near-field and far-field exposure. See the paper by Qin et al. (2020) in Nature Sustainability and overview on Behind the Paper.

April 2020

Acid rain is recognized for its impacts on human health and ecosystems, and programs to mitigate these effects have had implications for atmospheric acidity. Historical measurements indicate that cloud and fog droplet acidity has changed in recent decades in response to controls on emissions from human activity, while the limited trend data for suspended particles indicate acidity may be relatively constant. Our new review in ACP reflects the efforts of an international team to synthesize knowledge on the acidity of atmospheric particles and clouds: Pye et al. (2020).

See our paper on the role of organic nitrates in organic aerosol formation by Zare et al. in the ACS Earth Space Chemistry Virtual Special Issue, New Advances in Organic Aerosol Chemistry.

March 2020

A set of three papers (Pye et al., 2015; Pye et al., 2017; Budisulistiorini et al., 2017) were recently awarded a 2019 EPA Scientific and Technological Achievement Award (STAA) for advancing the understanding and model representations of particulate matter in vegetated locations. The improved model is used to understand properties of ambient particles such as the hygroscopicity of organic aerosol which affects how particle interact with light.

Disclaimer: Any views presented here are solely those of the author.