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In 10 years of studying thirdhand smoke, which is the toxic cigarette residue that clings to virtually all indoor surfaces for months or years, Berkeley Lab scientist Hugo Destaillats said the most frequent question he hears from the public is how to remediate property where a smoker once lived.
Remediation companies frequently use ozone generators to eliminate odors from mold, tobacco, and fire damage, blasting homes with high levels of ozone.... Read More
One day in March, the kids were there. The next day, there was no one. Then on a Saturday in August, a man came into an empty public school in suburban Boston carrying a container of dry ice, trying to figure out how to bring the students back to their desks.
Since January, that man, Joseph Allen, a professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health, has been saying to anyone who will listen that air—the stuff that everybody breathes and nobody... Read More
Air sealing and insulation, which are common elements of energy efficiency upgrade packages, come with a bonus: In addition to saving energy, they almost always cut dampness and mold.
This latest research comes from a new publication from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab). However, the paper also found that levels of some indoor air pollutants increased when ventilation was not added.
Researchers led... Read More
Over the last few years of frequent and intense wildfire seasons, many parts of the U.S. have experienced hazardous air quality for days on end. At the same time a number of low-cost air quality monitors have come on the market, allowing consumers to check the pollutant levels in their own homes and neighborhoods. So, air quality scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) wanted to know: are these low-cost monitors any... Read More
Kirk R. Smith, a pioneering researcher in the deadly risks of indoor air pollution in the developing world and an early voice raising concern about the health consequences of climate change, died June 15 at the age of 73 at his Berkeley home, following a stroke and subsequent cardiac arrest.
Smith was a professor of global environmental health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and director of the Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre in... Read More
Outstanding work in the field of residential ventilation -- which ultimately resulted in making millions of homes healthier and more comfortable -- has resulted in ETA's Residential Ventilation Team being honored with a Societal Impact Award by Berkeley Lab Director Mike Witherell.
Brett Singer, Iain Walker, Brennan Less and Woody Delp (pictured, left to right), were recognized for their scientific research and development of technologies,... Read More
Cutting-edge technologies from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to detect radiation, make buildings more energy efficient, and accelerate neuroscience research were honored with R&D 100 Awards by R&D World magazine.
Also recognized was Spack: A Package Manager for HPC Systems, a project led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and which... Read More
As part of a video series in which scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) share their favorite periodic table elements, Hugo Destaillats offers his tribute to titanium. Destaillats, a chemical staff scientist/engineer in Berkeley Lab's Energy Technologies Area, notes titanium's use in a variety of everyday products, from eyeglasses to paint.
"In our group, we... Read More
Six researchers in the Energy Technologies Area have been recognized in the annual Director's Awards, which applauds outstanding scientific contributions at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
Tom McKone received the Berkeley Lab Prize, a lifetime achievement award; Nihar Shah, a research scientist/engineer, received a societal impact award; and the Residential Ventilation Team—Woody Delp, Brennan... Read More
A class of alternative tobacco product called heat-not-burn is quickly gaining in popularity across the globe. The product manufacturers claim that these battery-operated devices produce a “clean,” nicotine-laden vapor that contains fewer irritant and carcinogenic chemicals than a conventional cigarette – and are therefore a less harmful... Read More
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently collaborated on the development of a new kind of roof shingle that will help reduce air pollution.
The shingles’ photocatalytic granules, developed by 3M, were evaluated at Berkeley Lab during a three-year testing period to determine effectiveness and performance. The innovative methodology researchers developed during the testing can also be used in evaluations of... Read More
Recent wildfire smoke has greatly impacted air quality in the Bay Area. Experts from the Energy Technologies Area (ETA) weigh in on tips and resources for the public. Brett Singer and Woody Delp are internationally recognized experts in the field of indoor air quality. Singer is a Principal Investigator, Staff Scientist and Leader in the Indoor Air group; Delp is a Research Engineer in the Indoor Environment Group and the Whole Building Systems... Read More
In a recent Facebook post, Energy Secretary Rick Perry lauds the DOE’s national labs and “the incredible work... Read More
Most of us spend the majority of our lives indoors, which puts the importance of indoor air quality research in perspective. Brett Singer's recent presentation about indoor air quality research, given at this year's Westford Symposium on Building Science in Westford, Massachusetts, has inspired a series of posts at the... Read More
Affordable indoor air quality monitors for the home can be worth the purchase, a recent product evaluation revealed, but all of the monitors tested by researchers were found to have either underreported or missed the presence of very small particles that can penetrate deeply into the lungs.
Indoor air researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently tested seven consumer-grade air quality... Read More
Ever wonder why it’s difficult to concentrate when office temperatures rise?
A July 16, 2018 segment of NPR’s "Morning edition — Heat Making You Lethargic? Research Shows It Can Slow Your Brain, Too" - cites a 2006 Berkeley Lab study, "Effect of temperature on task performance in office environment" co-authored by William Fisk of the Sustainable Energy & Environmental Systems Department, which found that when office temperatures rise above... Read More
Ravi Prasher has been appointed Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Technologies at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The announcement follows an international search.
Prasher, an internationally renowned scientist in the field of thermal energy science and technologies, has been director of Berkeley Lab's... Read More
After serving four years as Berkeley Lab's Associate Director for Energy Technologies, Ramamoorthy Ramesh will be returning to his research in ultra low-power electronics while also helping to lead a major Berkeley Lab research initiative in next-generation, energy-efficient microelectronics.
This new initiative has been dubbed "Beyond Moore's Law," as it seeks the solution to what will happen when Moore's Law — which holds that the number of... Read More
Indoor air quality in schools often fails to meet minimum standards, and student performance is clearly diminished when ventilation rates are low, according to a recent analysis from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
Elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide have been documented in schools across the U.S., Europe and Asia, the study finds. "These CO2 data indicate a widespread failure to provide the minimum amount of ventilation... Read More
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was recently honored with a prestigious Green Leadership Award at the 12th Annual Green California Summit in Sacramento.
The Lab's Energy Technologies Area (ETA) was highlighted for innovative breakthroughs in the energy efficiency category for research aimed at helping California meet its zero net energy (ZNE) building goals, while ensuring adequate indoor air quality and ventilation.
A ZNE, or net zero... Read More
Whether it’s e-cigarettes or emerging heated tobacco products, the market for electronic nicotine delivery systems is booming. Most scientists agree that vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco, but how much is known about the “clouds” they create? ETA’s Hugo Destaillats discusses the chemical composition of these complex aerosols in a... Read More
Most Americans don’t realize cooking can be a major source of indoor air pollutants, unless they’ve recently burned something on the stove. But studies have shown that cooking-related contaminants can cause health problems such as respiratory illness and asthma attacks.
To learn more, I spoke with Brett Singer, PhD, a scientist at Berkeley Lab who investigates indoor air quality. Recently, he measured the levels of pollutants emitted from gas... Read More
Ashok Gadgil redesigned a simple technology, the wood-burning stove, to help Sudanese refugee women cook more efficiently, thus sparing them from the dangers of gathering firewood far from camp.
In the developing world, sometimes the simplest technology can have the largest payoff.
That's the lesson learned by Ashok Gadgil, a UC Berkeley professor of civil and environmental engineering and Berkeley Lab researcher who was asked in 2005 to help... Read More
Ashok Gadgil, Senior Faculty Scientist at Berkeley Lab, has been recognized as a Social Design Circle honoree for 2017 by the Curry Stone Design Prize. The prize awards innovative projects that use design to address pressing social justice issues.
Gadgil's research focuses on designing low-cost solutions to the developing world’s most intractable problems. He and his lab teams, composed of scientists and students, work to find resilient,... Read More
Panagopoulos received a $35,000 scholarship from the Sweden-America Foundation to support his work at the Lab and in collaborations with Swedish scientists. The research focuses on human exposure to chemicals from artificial turf in sports arenas. The Foundation supports the exchange of science between Sweden, the U.S. and Canada.
Two projects on residential buildings will help state meet targets for low-energy buildings.
California has established ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption in buildings, including a policy goal for all new residential buildings to be zero net energy (ZNE) by 2020. Now the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has launched two projects to help the state meet its ZNE building goals.
One project will... Read More
Two projects on residential buildings will help state meet targets for low-energy buildings.
California has established ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption in buildings, including a policy goal for all new residential buildings to be zero net energy (ZNE) by 2020. Now the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has launched two projects to help the state meet its ZNE building goals.
One project will... Read More
The sticky residue left behind by tobacco smoke can do worse damage than stinking up furniture and discoloring walls. Exposure to thirdhand smoke leads to biological effects on weight and cell development that could be damaging to one's health, according to new research led by scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
The researchers found that newborn mice housed with smoke-treated cloths for... Read More
Emissions of methane—a potent climate-warming gas⎯may be roughly twice as high as officially estimated for the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of the emissions come from biological sources, such as landfills, but natural gas leakage is also an important source, according to a new study from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
The report by EAEI researchers Seongeun Jeong and Marc Fischer is the first to... Read More