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Grants Totaling $6.5 Million Awarded to Measure the Amount of Carbon in Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

Release Date: 01/18/2004
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819 /

(01/18/04) To improve measurement of the carbon composition of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), research grants to 16 universities totaling $6.5 million were awarded by EPA. Organic and elemental carbon are believed to comprise 20 - 70 percent of PM2.5 mass and may be a factor in PM 2.5 concentrations being higher in urban than rural areas. Carbon in particulate matter is derived primarily from smoke (wildfires, planned burns, wood stoves) and from industrial hydrocarbon gas emissions. PM2.5 has been linked to a range of serious respiratory and cardiovascular health problems. In 1997, PM2.5 was added as a criteria air pollutant to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The PM research grants were awarded through EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program. The grant recipients are: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., for $450,000; University of California, Davis, Calif., for $450,000; University of California, San Diego, Calif., for $450,000; University of California, Riverside, Calif., two grants for $410,000 and $187,000; University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo., for $450,000; Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga., for $450,000; University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill., for $248,000; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass., for $410,000; Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nev., for $449,000; Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., for $446,000; Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y., for $450,000;University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C., for $400,000; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., for $450,000; Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, for $450,000; and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc., for $450,000. For more information, go to: . To learn more about EPA’s STAR program, go to: .