Atmospheric Chemistry & Health (AC&H)

Research on atmospheric chemistry is motivated by the possible impacts on climate, ecosystems, and human health caused by the changes of atmospheric composition. Research ranges from laboratory measurements on the formation of pollutants, field campaigns on detailed gas and aerosol composition, long term observations at background stations (trend detection), satellite observations, regional and global scale modeling, focusing on short-term periods (weeks) to multi-decadal composition change. Research on health effects of atmospheric pollutants focuses on the relationships between exposure to outdoor air pollution and a range of acute and chronic health effects. This research comprises epidemiologic studies of the effects of short- and long-term human exposure to air pollution and toxicological experiments in animals as well as in-vitro studies of tissues and cells. Epidemiologic studies generally use ground-level measurements of air pollution at a limited number of locations, either alone or as part of spatial and or temporal models, to estimate the exposure of study populations, while toxicological studies use controlled experiments to evaluate toxicity and to understand the mechanism of air pollutants. Despite many shared issues, the atmospheric chemistry and health communities have developed research programs that, for the most part, do not explicitly acknowledge or relate to one another, and, as a result, even basic knowledge is not always widely shared. This initiative brings together these two communities to explore the various and multi-dimensional interactions between atmospheric chemistry and human health, with IGAC leading the atmospheric chemistry research needs.

Recent Workshops

Health, Agricultural and Water Risks Associated with Air Quality and Climate in Asia
9-12 July 2013
Boulder, CO, USA
Workshop Summary

Health Impacts of Air Quality and Climate in Asia
8-11 April 2012
Guangzhou, China
Workshop Summary

Atmospheric Chemistry & Health: Future Directions
October 2011
Boston, MA USA
Workshop Summary

Related Publications

Activity News, IGAC Newsletter, Issue 44, May 2011


What We Breathe Impacts Our Health: Improving Understanding of the Link between Air Pollution and Health. (2016). J. Jason West, Aaron Cohen, Frank Dentener, et al. Environ. Sci. Technol., 50, 10, doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03827.