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UC Davis wins $8 million EPA grant to study health effects of air pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded the University of California, Davis, an $8 million grant to study how air pollution harms human health by triggering premature deaths, sending more sick people to the hospital and damaging children's lungs. The research will focus on the San Joaquin Valley -- a region notorious for three of the nation's five metro areas with the most polluted air and one of the highest childhood asthma rates.

UC Davis will be home to one of five new air pollution research centers that will share a combined $40 million over the next five years.

"We are pleased to team up with one of the premier learning institutions on the West Coast to better address one of California's most pressing environmental health issues," said Deborah Jordan, the EPA's air division director for the Pacific Southwest Region. "With this grant UC Davis will further the EPA's understanding of particulate matter exposure and its health effects on adults and children."

The campus's new San Joaquin Valley Aerosol Health Effects Center will be directed by Anthony Wexler, a professor and expert in analyzing the chemical and physical characteristics of airborne particles.

"UC Davis is uniquely positioned to study the relationship between particulate matter and health problems," said Wexler, who is also director of the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center. "We have exceptional expertise in analyzing the size and composition of air pollution particles, and have many longstanding research programs on their health effects."

In addition, Wexler noted, UC Davis has top-tier programs in human and veterinary medicine, environmental sciences and engineering.

Benefits on national scale

Indeed, the new center will combine the talents of many UC Davis toxicologists, physiologists, engineers, chemists, atmospheric scientists and physicians. Their findings will help policymakers at the national and state levels regulat
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Contact: Sylvia Wright
swright@ucdavis.edu
530-752-7704
University of California - Davis
2-Dec-2005


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