The field of atmospheric chemistry is focused on improving our understanding of the composition and chemistry of the atmosphere and the impact of human activities. Current research topics in this area include the chemistry of photochemical smog, the interactions between the biosphere and the atmosphere, chemical reactions on environmental surfaces, and the fate of persistent organic pollutants in the atmosphere.
Rudy Professor and Environmental Science Faculty Chair
Research by Indiana University environmental scientists shows that air-pollution-removal technology used in "self-cleaning" paints and building surfaces may actually cause more problems than they solve.
Research supports effectiveness of tree bark as novel sampling medium for contamination.
"We find that the environmental concentrations of these compounds are increasing rather rapidly," Hites said. "It's rare to find that concentrations of any compound are doubling within a year or two, which is what we're seeing with TBB and TBPH."
Air Pollution: Air concentrations of the brominated chemicals doubled every 13 months in recent years in Cleveland and Chicago.
A project to measure levels of airborne toxic chemicals being deposited in the Great Lakes was recently awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network (IADN), led by SPEA professor Ronald Hites and research scientist Ilora Basu, began in 1990 under an agreement between the U.S. EPA and Environment Canada. IU has been in charge of the U.S. portion of the study since 1994, and the grant will extend IU's oversight of the project for a further five years.