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D. Understanding small particle pollution

Narrator: This is Science Today. It's been found that the more pollution particles there are in the air, the more people are getting sick with asthma and other respiratory problems. So, the Environmental Protection Agency recently issued new rules to control the levels of these small particles to protect human health. Lara Gundel, a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is zeroing in on fine particle pollutants.

Gundel: The question is, what's causing the health problems? We want to know what the composition is, how does it vary from one part of the country to the other and then how do those differences relate to health effects?

Narrator: To do this, Gundel developed a novel way to separate gases and particles by using an air sampler with a sticky coating inside the tubing.

Gundel: The particles just go off and are collected on a fabric and measured later in a filter like a vacuum cleaner bag. The aim is to get accurate measurements of particle mass and number and accurate determination of the composition.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.