New technologies developed by University of Southern California engineers to measure the toxic properties of ultrafine particles in air pollution are helping scientists understand the connection between smog and cardio-respiratory disease.
Constantinos Sioutas, deputy director and co-principal investigator of
USCs Southern California Particle Center and Supersite, sets up an air concentrator to measure tiny particles of urban pollution.
Photo: Irene Fertik
"We are just beginning to realize that these microscopic specks of dust and soot are far more toxic in the human body than larger, coarser particles," said Constantinos Sioutas, deputy director and co-principal investigator of USCs Southern California Particle Center and Supersite.
"They arent trapped by the nose and trachea, but travel all the way down to the tiniest branches of the lungs and enter the bloodstream through the alveoli, which are very thin-walled sacs of spongy tissue at the ends of the bronchioles," said Sioutas, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the USC School of Engineering.
Diane Ainsworth | UCS
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