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This Week at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Optimizing the design of air pollution control measures to improve human health
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Jamie Schauer, UW Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Abstract: Hundreds of studies have clearly demonstrated that higher levels of air pollution are associated with increases in adverse health effects in human populations. The adverse health effects associated with air pollution exposure include mortality and morbidity that are linked to respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive complications. As one of the largest environmental risk factors, the economic costs or air pollution have been estimated to be over one trillion dollars per year in the USA alone. However, the costs associated with mitigation of air pollution are not trivial and policies for air pollution mitigation often face political and social barriers. As more effective and efficient control strategies are sought to reduce the impacts of air pollution, a robust understanding of how reduction in the emissions from specific sources will change the composition of air pollution and reduce the adverse impacts of air pollution. Given the complexity of air pollution sources, air pollution transport and transformations, and the biological pathways of disease associated with air pollution exposure; quantifying these relationships require an understanding of a number of very complex and integrated systems. These systems include: 1) the design and operations of mobile sources of air pollution, stationary power generation, residential air pollution sources, and industrial emissions of air pollution; 2) the physical and chemical processes of impacting the transport and transformations of pollutants in the atmosphere; 3) the behavioral activities of people that lead to exposures of air pollution, 4) the biological susceptibility of the exposure populations, and 5) the pathways of disease associated with exposure to air pollution. This seminar will provide background about these systems important to understand the health effects of air pollution, as well as research methods that are being used to bridge across the highly diverse domains.
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