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Welcome to the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, Health, and Energy (BIRCHE3) Lab.
Our research focuses on the impacts of energy use - typically at the household level - on air pollution, climate, and health. While progress on providing clean household energy arguably follows development trajectories, there is need to accelerate this transition through innovative policy and dissemination approaches. Our research group builds the evidence base for these transitions based on health, environmental, and economic benefits using the multidisciplinary field of Environmental Health Sciences as the foundation of our work. We use and develop lower-cost sensors to objectively answer questions where evidence is lacking and explore novel techniques to link vulnerable populations with effective interventions.

Recent Publications (see more)

FEATURED A global review of the state of the evidence of household air pollution’s contribution to ambient fine particulate matter and their related health impacts Feb 18, 2023

Direct exposure to household air pollution (HAP) from polluting fuels results in 2.3 million premature yearly deaths globally. HAP emitted indoors escapes outdoors and is a leading source of outdoor ambient fine particulate air pollution (AAP) in low- and middle-income countries, often being a larger contributor than well-recognized sources. We review published scientific studies that model the contribution of HAP to AAP at global and major sub-regional scales and find that HAP is a dominant source of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) globally.

FEATURED Using high-frequency household surveys to describe energy use in rural North India during the COVID-19 pandemic Jan 23, 2023

Household energy surveys typically occur a few times at most during a study. We deployed more frequent surveys — every couple of months in Jharkhand, every week for a couple of months in Bihar — to better understand household preferences and what impacts fuel use choices. Repeat phone surveys — whether weekly or monthly — provide important nuance on the dynamics of household energy use.

FEATURED Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Biomass for Cooking and Effects on Birth Weight. Oct 10, 2022

Birthweight findings from the HAPIN LPG stove and fuel trial intention-to-treat analyses found an adjusted mean difference of 19.5 g (95% confidence interval, −10.1 to 49.2). Secondary analyses indicate a stronger effect amongst those who received the intervention earlier in pregnancy. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Unexpected Performance Improvements of Nitrogen Dioxide and Ozone Sensors by Including Carbon Monoxide Sensor Signal Feb 06, 2023

Visualizing Field Data Collection Procedures of Exposure and Biomarker Assessments for the Household Air Pollution Intervention Network Trial in India Dec 26, 2022

Repeated assessment of PM2.5 in Guatemalan kitchens cooking with wood: Implications for measurement strategies Dec 15, 2022

Biomass Smoke Exposure and Atopy among Young Children in the Western Highlands of Guatemala: A Prospective Cohort Study Oct 28, 2022

Indoor Air Pollution and Health: Bridging Perspectives from Developing and Developed Countries. Oct 01, 2022

Exposure Contrasts of Pregnant Women during the Household Air Pollution Intervention Network Randomized Controlled Trial Sep 17, 2022

Particulates and anaemia in India (Invited Commentary) Sep 13, 2022

Cross-sectional analysis of the association between personal exposure to household air pollution and blood pressure in adult women: Evidence from the multi-country Household Air Pollution Intervention Network (HAPIN) trial Aug 13, 2022

You don't get what you expect, you get what you inspect.