Environmental Health Research Program

CCAC’s Research Program includes collaboration with leading universities and research institutions, including UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, UC Merced, UC Irvine, UCLA, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, to study the health effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution on children living in disadvantaged communities of the San Joaquin Valley. CCAC’s research team is responsible for subject recruitment, enrollment and data collection, including relevant air pollutants (e.g. PM2.5, PAH, NO2) and various health indicators (e.g. inflammation, metabolic dysregulation, lung function). The program includes federal and state-funded studies in several Valley communities, including urban centers like Fresno and Bakersfield, as well as smaller, rural communities like Alpaugh, Ducor, Allensworth and West Goshen.

Children’s Health and Air Pollution Study (CHAPS)

CHAPS is an NIH-funded study investigating the effects of childhood and in utero(during pregnancy) exposure to ambient air pollution, with a focus on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other combustion-related pollutants, on immune and metabolic dysregulation. CCAC’s research staff are conducting study visits to collect biospecimens (blood, urine, saliva, hair and nails), body measurements (BP, height/weight, bioimpedance), psychosocial and neurocognitive data, home environment and child activity data (associated with environmental exposure assessments) from the original CHAPS cohort that included 400 children in Fresno who are currently 6-17 years old and were originally enrolled between 2013-2015. CCAC is collaborating with UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco on this study.

Cooking Electrification & Ventilation Improvements for Children’s Asthma

CEVICA is a California Energy Commission-funded study investigating the effects of interventions to reduce indoor pollutant exposures related to cooking with a natural gas stove and improve respiratory health of children with asthma. The study is replacing gas stoves with electric induction stoves in 160 homes in three San Joaquin Valley communities: Fresno, Bakersfield and Stockton. The study is being conducted in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, UCSF, UCLA and AEA. CCAC research staff make eight visits to the participant’s home over an eight month period to facilitate stove replacement and collect indoor air quality, appliance use, ventilation, cooking activity and asthma health measurements.

Impacts of Appliance Electrification on Indoor Air Quality in Rural SJV Communities

This HUD-funded project is assessing the impacts of replacing gas (propane) appliances (e.g. stoves, furnaces, water heaters) with electric appliances, and utilizing portable air cleaners on indoor air pollutants. This study includes 150 homes in the communities of Allensworth, Alpaugh, Ducor and West Goshen where the California Public Utility Commission is conducting a pilot project to electrify heating and cooking appliances in homes that are not connected to natural gas infrastructure and are currently reliant on propane or other sources. CCAC is collaborating with Berkeley Air Monitoring Group on this study.

San Joaquin Valley Pollution and Health Environmental Research study (SPHERE)

The primary aim of this CARB-funded study is to assess total exposures to air pollutants and noise.​ The project addresses knowledge gaps in environmental exposure​, examines determinants of exposure and evaluates potential human health risks in relation to exposures​. CCAC is enrolling households in South Fresno and collecting both indoor and outdoor air pollution data, along with health data and other information of individual household members. This study is being done in collaboration with UC Merced and UC Berkeley.

Enhancing Central Valley Climate Resilience against Wildfire via AIoT-Enabled Augmented Air Quality Monitoring

This project is a collaboration with researchers at UC Merced. The project is developing a low-cost, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based air pollution sensor network to address the current limited access to wildfire-related smoke hazard forecasts. Utilizing low-power, long-range communication (LoRa) capability overcomes a barrier to working with rural, underserved communities that lack wi-fi infrastructure. The deep learning algorithm will enable high-resolution prediction of wildfire-related smoke pollution even with limited geospatial sensor data. The project will generate fine-grained exposure maps for a broad array of wildfire pollutants that impact public health and exacerbate climate warming. The exposure map will be integrated into CCAC’s SJVAir database, website, and mobile App to help frontline and vulnerable communities develop data-informed response strategies during extreme climate events.

Impacts of Repeated Short-Term Wildfire Smoke Exposure

This CARB-funded study will conduct literature review, model wildfire waves and air pollution exposures at the community level, obtain and process geocode and zip code-level health data to conduct an epidemiological analysis and address concerns from under-resourced and vulnerable communities on wildfire smoke exposure risks in Stanislaus, Madera, Tulare and Riverside Counties. CCAC will engage the existing community steering committees (CSC) in the three San Joaquin Valley counties to conduct surveys and share back findings from the study. This study is being led by researchers at UC Irvine.

Fugitive Methane & HAP Emissions Associated with Oil & Gas Transmission in Kern County

The SUMMATION study is a collaboration between Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), Stanford University, UC Riverside, Scientific Aviation and CCAC. SUMMATION is a comprehensive field study to identify and mitigate methane emissions in the southern San Joaquin Valley (SJV). The project team, led by LBNL, will carry out persistent regional-scale methane emissions monitoring, high spatial-resolution remote-sensing of point sources, intensive field campaigns, large data set integration and synthesis analysis. This project is funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC).

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