OUR RESEARCH GROUP
Due to COVID-19, we are all currently working remotely, except for those working on lab projects. We have 3 post-doctoral researchers and 2 PhD students in the group, along with other PhD students I co-mentor with other faculty, and a few Masters and Undergraduate students working on thesis projects.
Students interested in joining the group should email me and the lab manager Jeff Shirai.
UW Population Health Initiative COVID-19 Equity Research – We are mapping and assessing the neighborhood-level associations between race/ethnicity, sociodemographic, environmental exposures, and COVID-19 indicators, including case positivity, testing rates, and vaccination.
UW EarthLab Vegetation and Vertical Air Pollution Profiles Study – We are using a large instrumented Matrice unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone to collect vertical profile air pollution measurements in different urban environments in the Seattle, WA area to assess the role of vegetation on different sources of air pollution.
NIH ABC Nairobi, Kenya Study – We are assessing household and community air pollution exposures for a pregnant women/birth cohort study of neurodevelopment.
Indoor Air Quality Intervention Studies – Largely unfunded, these are timely and important studies being conducted by students and post-docs in our group to evaluate the role of HEPA air cleaners, box fan filters, and other strategies to reduce exposures and associated health effects from wildfire smoke and other episodic and very high concentration indoor air quality concerns.
NIH Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) Air Pollution Study – We are assessing exposures using a spatial temporal model informed by multi-pollutant low-cost air quality sensors developed by our group and brain aging, Alzheimer’s Disease in the longitudinal ACT cohort. A companion add-on study is also assessing traffic-relate air pollution (TRAP) using mobile monitoring.
NIH TWIN PUWP Study – We are recruiting twin pairs from the Washington State Twin Registry in the Seattle region to use Portable UW Particle (PUWP) personnel exposure monitors and provide biological samples to assess the associations between spatial and temporally resolved, GPS-tracked air pollution exposures and system inflammation.
TWIN COVID-19 Health Impacts Studies – We are analyzing data from an online survey of the members of the Washington State Twin Registry soon after the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order, and at select times during the pandemic. The survey assesses a variety of outcomes, including mental health, socialization, sleep, etc.
Chengdu, China Modern Mobility Study – We are conducting a panel and crossover study to assess the association between traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) exposure and acute cardiorespiratory outcomes, and the effect of a mini-powered air purifying respirator (mini-PAPR) in reducing the potential health effects for a mix of different mobility/transportation modes.
NIH AIRE Imperial Valley Children’s Asthma Study – We are using a network of community-engaged low-cost PM sensor monitors to assess the associations between PM2.5 and PM10 exposure and asthma symptoms for school-aged children in the Imperial Valley, CA.
CARB AB617 San Ysidro Project – We are using a network of multi-pollutant low-cost air quality sensors to understand air pollution exposures in San Ysidro — a community next to the busiest land border crossing between US-Mexico. The project includes Community-to-Community workshops to assist groups in establishing their community air monitoring.
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RECENT COMPLETED RESEARCH
NIH PRISMS TEMU Study – We developed and tested a personal exposure monitor and Redcap symptom tracking system for children with asthma.
NIH MESA AIR Air Pollution Sensors Study – We collocated multi-pollutant low-cost sensor monitors at government air quality monitoring sites in several cities across the US, and calibrated/validated the sensors. We found that city-specific calibration results in useful sensor data for epidemiological studies.
Washington State Mobile ObserVations of Ultrafine Particles (MOV-UP) Study – We utilized vehicles instrumented with advanced air pollution monitoring instruments to measure and differentiate ultrafine particle concentrations in communities underneath the flight paths of the SeaTac Airport.
NIH Imperial Valley Research-to-Action Study – We designed, developed, and calibrated/validated a network of 40 low-cost PM sensor monitors as part of a community-engaged research partnership in the Imperial Valley, CA. Monitoring informed the greater numbers of air pollution episodes identified by community air monitoring compared to conventional government air monitoring in the valley, and real-time monitoring was used for schools’ asthma flag programs.
Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map – We partnered with Community-based organizations and state and regional environmental agencies to develop a state-wide cumulative environmental impacts mapping tool to guide environmental justice and climate equity policies.
- 1.35 Million N95 Respirators to Protect Construction Workers in Washington from Wildfire SmokeToday, our group released findings from an analysis of seasonal construction workers and ambient PM2.5 concentrations in Washington State over the last decade (Analysis conducted by Chris Zuidema, pre-print paper, currently in peer-review). The analysis estimates the potential impact of wildfire smoke on exposures to construction workers — a workforce of approximately 200,000 workers in 2020 in Washington. Seasonal trends were observed in the employment data, with more construction workers employed during what have been… Continue reading 1.35 Million N95 Respirators to Protect Construction Workers in Washington from Wildfire Smoke
- Washington issues emergency rule to protect workers from wildfire smokeIn previous posts, I commented on the evidence for wildfire smoke protection for outdoor workers. Today’s release of Washington Labor & Industries’ new emergency rule has important distinctions from the previous draft rule: The new emergency rule has two action levels. Before working in PM2.5 concentration of 20.5 µg/m3 (AQI=69) employers must provide workers with information and training on wildfire smoke, and employers are encouraged to implement exposure controls. However, when the concentration reaches 55.5… Continue reading Washington issues emergency rule to protect workers from wildfire smoke
- Draft Wildfire Smoke Rule for Washington – Thoughts on the lack of evidenceWashington Labor & Industries released a draft emergency wildfire smoke rule on June 15, and discussed the draft during a stakeholders presentation on June 18. I attended the meeting, and noticed that many of the stakeholder questions concerned evidence on the choice of threshold for PM2.5 in the rule. L&I referred stakeholders to their April presentation, which provided the studies they’ve used to develop the rule. Most if not all of the studies in the… Continue reading Draft Wildfire Smoke Rule for Washington – Thoughts on the lack of evidence
- Cumulative Environmental Impacts of COVID in King County and WashingtonToday, one of the analyses we conducted last year was published. The analysis explored overlapping environmental risk factors with COVID-19 during the pandemic situation in the summer of 2020 in King County. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-021-01063-y The findings in this new paper complement those from a previous analyses that we did, which modeled the spatial factors associated with COVID-19 test positivity and testing rates, which documented large equity issues early into the pandemic. The analysis include Poisson regression… Continue reading Cumulative Environmental Impacts of COVID in King County and Washington
- Information provided to Oregon Occupational Health Division for Rulemaking to Protect Workers from Wildfire SmokeIn March of 2020, Oregon Governor, Brown issued an executive order to develop a proposal for standards to protect Oregonian workers from excessive heat and wildfire smoke. Oregon recognized the the smoke fom wildfires is a health hazard, and that worker exposures, including to workers who may be more vulnerable to smoke exposures, such as those with asthma, lung disease, or heart disease may be more impacted. Oregon OSHA has been holding advisor and stakeholder… Continue reading Information provided to Oregon Occupational Health Division for Rulemaking to Protect Workers from Wildfire Smoke