air pollution

Kent Pinkerton: Parlaying tiny particles into big ideas

Kent Pinkerton, PhD is a Professor of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine and Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology in the School of Veterinary Medicine. An expert on air pollution, Dr. Pinkerton researches how vapors, gases, particles and fibers change the way respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological cells develop and function.

Deborah Bennett: Charting bold pathways

 

Deborah Bennett, PhD, MS is an exposure scientist whose research both measures and models chemicals in dust, air and consumer products.

Dr. Bennett studies volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs) like plasticizers, electronics, cosmetics, flame retardants, pesticides and particulate matter. Working closely with epidemiologists and toxicologists, she researches how chemicals make their way into the body and set off biological reactions that lead to certain diseases and conditions, from asthma to autism.

Smoky air a reminder not everyone walks away from environmental disasters

January 25, 2019
By Aubrey Thompson

When the air in the San Joaquin Valley was thick with smoke during Butte County’s Camp Fire late last year, UC Davis closed its doors to protect students, staff and faculty. Rather than ask us to traverse campus for classes and meetings, the administration told us to steer clear of the bad air by working remotely. My colleagues and I felt lucky working for an institution that cared about our health, and I was grateful to have a well-filtered retreat at home.

Air pollution

Find out about different types of air pollution, what pollution is linked to, how it affects your health and how to avoid it in your home and outdoors.

Ozone

What is ozone?

Ozone is a highly reactive form of oxygen. In the upper atmosphere, ozone forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. At ground level, ozone is a harmful air pollutant and a primary constituent of urban smog.

Ozone is produced when air pollutants from automobile emissions and manufacturing operations interact with sunlight. Long-term exposure to high concentrations of ozone can cause a significant reduction in lung function, inflammation of the airways, and respiratory distress.

Asthma: The basics

What is asthma?

Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lung. This inflammatory process can occur along the entire airway from the nose to the lung. Once the airway becomes swollen and inflamed, it becomes narrower, and less air gets through to the lung tissue. This causes symptoms like wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and trouble breathing.

During an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways tighten up and the asthma symptoms become even worse than usual.