Summaries of Research Proposals - June 2000

This page last reviewed September 19, 2008

Resolution No. 00-24 - "Studies of the Atmospheric Chemistry of Volatile Organic Compounds and of their Atmospheric Reaction Products," University of California, Riverside, $300,000

Large quantities of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted into the atmosphere from anthropogenic sources. In the atmosphere, these VOCs can react with hydroxyl (OH) radicals, nitrate ion (NO3) radicals and ozone (O3) or can undergo photolysis. VOCs and their subsequent products can lead to the formation of ozone secondary organic aerosol and toxic air contaminants, resulting in adverse effects on human health and visibility. To understand the effect of an emitted compound on air quality, it is necessary to have information about not only the parent compounds, but also the first- and later-generation products.

This project will investigate the atmospherically important reactions of selected VOCs. It will address the critical gaps in our understanding of the chemistry of compounds important in the formation of ozone, such as aromatic compounds, carbonyls and multifunctional carbonyls. Carbonyl and multifunctional carbonyls are also believed to influence the production of secondary organic aerosols. Another area of investigation will be the formation of nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs, such as naphthalene and biphenyl, can be transformed in the atmosphere to nitro-PAHs, compounds that tend to be more carcinogenic than unsubstituted PAHs. This project will investigate the formation of nitro-PAH as a function of the NO2 concentration. Lastly, it will investigate the products formed from the gas-phase photoxidation of PAHs present in diesel fuel. The information gained in this project will improve our understanding of the processes involved in the formation of pollutants that pose health risks and degrade California's visibility.

Resolution No. 00-25 - "Economic Value of Hospitalizations Associated with Particulate and Ozone Air Pollution," San Diego State University, $284,230

The Air Resources Board's (ARB) primary role is to protect public health by reducing air pollutants through regulatory actions. However, the availability of information on the economic value of health benefits is limited. Currently, proposed regulations are generally analyzed in terms of the cost and cost effectiveness, but the economic impact of health benefits is especially important when the Board is determining the date a new regulation will take effect or considering the advisability of variances for existing regulations. This study will develop comprehensive cost-of-illness (COI) and willingness-to-pay (WTP) estimates for the economic value of hospitalizations and doctor visits that have been linked to particulate matter and ozone air pollution exposures. Results from this study will extend both the empirical and methodological basis for economic benefit valuation of air quality control measures and will increase the ARB's ability to assess the benefits of particulate and ozone exposure. This study will also provide a very important input to our benefit analysis and help us develop the in-house capability to perform benefit analyses in the future.



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