University of Southern California The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering

Particulate Emissions Impact, Monitoring, and Evaluation 

Particulate pollution is a fine dust in the air that comes from cars, factories, construction sites, tilled fields, unpaved roads, stone crushing, and wood burning. Particulates can be very harmful to inhale and under prolonged exposure can cause asthma, cardiovascular issues, lung cancer, and even death. These health issues are usually more predominate in areas next to freeways, coal plants, and steal mills.

Researchers at USC continue to evaluate the chemical composition, physical properties and toxicological effects of particulate matter in order to find viable solutions for reducing its negative effects. The Southern California Particle Center and Supersite (SCPCS) investigates the aerosol chemical and physical properties in Los Angeles, processes leading to aerosol formation and transformation, and individual exposure to specific particulate components. This research is conducted near high traffic freeways in the Los Angeles Basin, an ideal location for monitoring particulate emissions.

See Impact of Air Pollution on Health for more information


  • Air quality research
  • Reducing traffic-associated particulate matter emissions

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