Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Trupti Das

A rise in industrialization and modern living practices have immensely contributed to a wide range of complex pollutants into the atmosphere, many of which are unexplored. Although we have gathered important information about their role in atmospheric chemistry and their climate implications, uncertainties pertaining to their diverse primary and secondary emissions sources, composition, and health impacts are high. We have a long way to go to establish solid links that would lead to identify ways to curb/control/diversify these pollutants in the atmosphere. Therefore, In Prof. Joost de Gouws’s group, Trupti will study the inorganic and organic composition of ambient aerosols (particulate matter <2.5µm dimeter). There will be simultaneous observations in the Indian tropics and the temperate zones of the USA, having different socio-economic standards and health challenges etc. We plan to compare the characteristics and effects of PM2.5 pollution in two urban coastal locations; one situated on the Eastern coast of the Indian Sub-continent and the other in the West coast of the United States of America. PM2.5 is capable of triggering free radical formation thus generating oxidative stress in vivo in the respiratory system including other potential organs through translocation by the blood stream. Therefore, the evaluation of specific components, which has the potential of generating maximum reactive oxygen species (ROS), would help establish a possible link between exposure to specific components in PM2.5  and their adverse health risks.