The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced nearly $2 million in grants to three University of California campuses to fund research to advance measurement and monitoring methods for air toxins and contaminants of concern in the atmosphere.
UC Davis, UC Los Angeles, and UC San Diego were among seven institutions that were selected to receive a sliver of over $4.7 million in grants country-wide. The EPA awarded UCSD $399,464 to improve online detection and quantification of several under-studied toxic plastic additives of emerging concern in atmospheric particles in a coastal marine environment.
"Plastic waste represents one of the greatest environmental threats to our planet; however, very limited quantitative information is available to constrain their impact in different environments. This project will employ a novel approach to quantitatively measure in-situ toxic additives found in plastics and personal care products in aerosol at the beach,” said
University of California – San Diego Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jonathan H. Slade. “The results from this study will help constrain the sources and factors affecting their emission in the air at the coast in San Diego, so we can better understand potential health risks."
UCD recieved $799,660 to develop and test a moderate-cost portable, small, low-power instrument for near real-time speciation and quantification of volatile organic compounds, and work with communities to understand the results and translate them into actions.
The EPA awarded UCLA with $798,825 to develop “ an open-source reference instrument and methodology for the operation, validation, and quality assurance and quality control of optical remote sensing monitoring of several air toxics”.
“Though EPA has made progress on improving air quality, we are committed to further reducing contaminants in the air, especially in our underserved communities here in the Pacific Southwest,'' said Martha Guzman, EPA Regional Administrator for America's Pacific Southwest. “We are therefore proud to support this crucial research being undertaken by California universities. EPA's grants will help create improved tools for monitoring and ultimately reducing emissions."