News Center

Poorly Circulated Room Air Raises Potential Exposure to Contaminants by up to 6 Times

Having good room ventilation to dilute and disperse indoor air pollutants has long been recognized, and with the COVID-19 pandemic its importance has become all the more heightened. But new experiments by Berkeley Lab indoor air researchers show that certain circumstances will result in poor mixing of room air, meaning airborne contaminants may not be effectively dispersed and removed by building level ventilation.

Emissions from Vaporizable Cannabis Concentrates Have Potential Health Risks

As more U.S. states and countries legalize medical and recreational marijuana, consumers are increasingly turning to new types of products that avoid toxic smoke inhalation. Researchers at Berkeley Lab who previously identified potentially harmful emissions from electronic cigarettes are now identifying the potential health risks of vaping cannabis.

Ozone Generators May Help Remediate Contamination Caused by Thirdhand Smoke

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

Low-Cost Home Air Quality Monitors Prove Useful for Wildfire Smoke

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 Berkeley Lab wanted to know: are these low-cost monitors any good?

New Research Launched on Airborne Virus Transmission in Buildings

As society prepares to reopen indoor spaces and ease back into some sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of researchers at Berkeley Lab is launching a study of the risk of airborne transmission of viruses within buildings and how to mitigate those risks.

Are Students Getting Enough Air?

Roughly 85% of recently installed HVAC systems in K-12 classrooms investigated in California did not provide adequate ventilation, according to a study from UC Davis and the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Improving Indoor Air Quality During Wildfires

A Q&A with Berkeley Lab indoor air scientists on protecting homes, schools, and other buildings, from air pollution during wildfires.

New Investigation Cuts Through the Haze Surrounding ‘Smoke-Free’ Tobacco Products

Marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, a new class of tobacco products called heat-not-burn devices is quickly gaining in popularity across the globe. A study by Berkeley Lab’s Indoor Environment Group shows that, although the chemical emissions from these devices are lower than those produced by conventional cigarettes, they are still high enough to raise concern.

Mixed Report Card for Low-Cost Indoor Air Quality Home Monitors

Indoor air researchers at Berkeley Lab recently tested seven consumer-grade air quality monitors to see if they could detect fine particles emitted by common household activities, including cooking, burning candles, and smoking. All of the monitors tested were found to have either underreported or missed the presence of very small particles that can penetrate deeply into the lungs.

All E-Cigarettes Emit Harmful Chemicals, but Some Emit More Than Others

A Berkeley Lab study has found that the the solvents found in most electronic cigarette “e-liquids” emit toxic chemicals such as acrolein and formaldehyde when burned.