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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Section

Mission Statement ​

Identify and study public health problems

We study indoor environmental quality to increase knowledge about indoor exposures by identifying and studying indoor pollutants: agents, sources, concentrations, durations, exposure routes, and health effects. We conduct research using a variety of strategies, including literature reviews, field and human exposure studies, epidemiological studies, and laboratory experiments.

Support the development of solutionsExcited Children Arrive Home With Parents

We use our findings on emissions, exposures, and health risks to provide science-based guidance to help solve identified problems in indoor environments.

Promote healthy indoor environments

We promote healthy indoor environments by communicating our research findings in many ways: providing technical support for public policy, publishing in scientific journals, presenting at professional or governmental meetings, and participating in professional organizations. We also inform public agencies, practitioners, and the general public about indoor hazards and ways to prevent or avoid them.

​​Staff

Rachel Adams, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, Indoor Air Quality Program, Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, CDPH
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Project Scientist, Plant & Microbial Biology Department, University of California, Berkeley

Rachel Adams is a Microbiologist with the California Department of Public Health and a Project Scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology. Dr. Adams has expertise in using sequence-based technology to study microbial exposures in indoor environments, has developed methods to improve the identification of microbes, and has interest in understanding the consequences of indoor microbial exposures on human health. Dr. Adams holds a B.S. from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University and is a member of the Mycological Society of America and the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ).

Wenhao Chen, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, Indoor Air Quality Program, Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, CDPH

Wenhao Chen is a research scientist with the California Department of Public Health. She holds a B.S. and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Tianjin University, China and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University with emphasis on building environmental system and indoor air quality. Dr. Chen's research focuses on how to apply and improve engineering methods to control indoor pollutants and to reduce human exposure. She has expertise in testing and modeling chemical emissions from indoor materials/products, developing indoor air cleaning technologies, and integrated building environmental system design. Dr. Chen is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the International Society of Indoor Air Qualityand Climate (ISIAQ). She has also served on Indoor Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Group for USGBC LEED committee.

Research Scientist, Indoor Air Quality Program, Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, CDPH

Peter A. Jaques is a Research Scientist with the California Department of Public Health. He has over 30 years' experience in Environmental and Occupational Health Science, including an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Health Science from New York University Institute of Environmental Medicine, and a BS in Chemistry and BA in Applied Ecology from the University of California at Irvine.  He has led or co-authored over 35 peer reviewed publications and over 80 oral presentations. He held a fellowship at the U.S. EPA, studying inhaled delivery of nano-particles to elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was a Research Environmental Scientist at UCLA, managing an EPA Los Angeles air quality field project, was a professor at Clarkson University, and was an Aerosol Scientist at NIOSH/CDC. Dr. Jaques has led several indoor air exposure assessment studies that have been published in peer reviewed journals, including exposure assessments of infiltrated acid aerosols in the homes of asthmatic adults and of infiltrated nanoparticles into the homes of asthmatic minorities from an upwind trade-bridge, and he monitored the effects of recirculating air cleaners on improved respiratory function and air quality in the bedrooms of asthmatic children. Recently, in response to the U.S. President's Ebola grand challenge, he supported the Center for Disease Control research in the development of new standard methods and the publication of federal guidance documents. Dr. Jaques is a member of the American Association for Aerosol Research, and is on the advisory committee of the California Air Resources Board's indoor air study on the Benefits of High Efficiency Filtration to Children with Asthma.

Kazukiyo Kumagai, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.Eng., RSPH Fellow

Chief, Indoor Air Quality Program, Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, CDPH
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Affiliate Scientist, Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tokyo University of Science

Kazukiyo (Kaz) Kumagai is currently the Chief of Indoor Air Quality Section of the California Department of Public Health. He is also an Affiliate Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Adjunct Professor at Tokyo University of Science. Dr. Kumagai holds a B.Eng. and M.Eng. in Architectural Engineering from Tokyo University of Science, Japan, MPH in Environmental Health Science from the Institute of Public Health, Japan and PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Kumagai has worked for over 20 years in the field of environmental health and engineering. His interest is on air quality monitoring, exposure assessment, developing and evaluating exposure reduction technologies applied in indoor and outdoor, and research driven by air quality policy. Dr. Kumagai is a member of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate, International Society of Exposure Science, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning and Engineers and other major organizations on indoor and outdoor atmospheric environment.

Na Li is a research associate at the Public Health Institute and works as a contractor in the Indoor Air Quality Section of the California Department of Public Health. Ms. Li holds a B.S. and M.S. in chemical fibers from Sichuan University in China and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Iowa State University. Ms. Li has over 10 years' professional experience in environmental testing industry.  Her expertise includes developing instrumental methods for volatile and semivolatile contaminants in various environmental matrices. Ms. Li's research interest focuses on the application of analytical methodology and environmental chemistry in chemical exposure assessment on public health. 

Emeritus, Indoor Air Quality Program, Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, CDPH

Janet is an air pollution research specialist with the California Department of Public Health. She has a master's degree from the University of California and doctorate from Harvard University with emphasis on environmental health, public health, and microbiology. Dr. Macher has studied engineering measures to control airborne infectious and hypersensitivity diseases, evaluated methods to collect and identify airborne biological material, conducted laboratory studies on the measurement of dampness, and participated in epidemiological studies in the state of California.
Dr. Macher is a member of the American Association for Aerosol Research, American Biological Safety Association, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Gesellshaft fr Aerosol Forschung; and the International and Pan-American Associations for Aerobiology.

Mark Mendell, Ph.D., ISIAQ Fellow

Air Pollution Research Specialist, Indoor Air Quality Program, Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, CDPH
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Affiliate Scientist, Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Mark Mendell, Ph.D., is currently an Air Pollution Research Specialist in the Indoor Air Quality Section of the California Department of Public Health and a Staff Scientist/Epidemiologist in the Indoor Environment Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. Dr. Mendell is on the editorial board of the journal Indoor Air and a member of the International Academy of Indoor Air Sciences. He holds a BA from Cornell University; a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon; and a PhD in epidemiology from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Dr. Mendell has worked for over 20 years in the field of environmental epidemiology, focused on health effects related to indoor environments in buildings. His work includes field research to help understand relationships between specific factors and conditions in buildings and health effects in occupants, and critical reviews of the literature on specific environment/health relationships in buildings. His research interests include the causes and prevention of building-related symptoms (also called sick building syndrome) in offices; health risks, including asthma and allergies, associated with indoor environments, ventilation systems, moisture, microbial growth, and chemical emissions; and effects of school environments on the health and performance of students. His current or recent research support is from the California Energy Commission, the U.S. Green Building Council, the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. General Services Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Center for Environmental Health, and the World Health Organization.

Ping Wang, Ph.D., M.Eng.

Research Scientist, Indoor Air Quality Program, Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, CDPH

Ping Wang is a research scientist (Chemical Sciences) in the Indoor Air Quality Section of the California Department of Public Health. She holds a B. Eng. and M. Eng. in Applied Chemistry from Dalian University of Technology in China, with emphasis on Analytical Chemistry. Dr. Wang received her PhD from Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, focused on materials characterization using various spectroscopic techniques. In addition, she had her postdoctoral training at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to investigate DNA damage and repair, with focus on combined chemical, biochemical and biological approaches to understand key questions in environmental mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. Dr. Wang has demonstrated expertise in various analytical techniques such as TD (Thermal Desorption)-GC/MS, TD-GC/FID, GC/MS, TGA (Thermal Gravimetric Analysis)-GC/MS, HPLC, ICP-OES, FT-IR, UV-vis, DSC, XRD, BET, TPR/TPD, SEM, gel electrophoresis and wet chemistry (precipitation, ion exchange, extraction, titration, and electro-coagulation). Her research interests include nanomaterial analysis/characterization, analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry and their applications in public health field. Dr. Wang is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Pacific Coast Catalysis Society (PCCS), and North American Catalysis Society (NACS).

Al Hodgson

Co-Founder, Berkeley Analytical, U.S.A.

Thomas Philips

Co-Founder, Healthy Building Research, U.S.A.

Dennis Shusterman, M.D., M.P.H.

Professor of Clinical Medicine, Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco, U.S.A.

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