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

Strategies to measure area concentrations of and exposures to PM2.5 in rural homes focus primarily on short-term measurements, often of 24 or 48 h. Little is known about how well these measurements, commonly used exposure metrics in health risk assessment of the impacts of household air pollution exposure, predict longer-term averages. We evaluate different combinations of measurement strategies in this paper, leveraging continuous monitoring in Guatemalan kitchens for 120-300 days.

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.

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

Effects of a Liquefied Petroleum Gas Stove Intervention on Gestational Blood Pressure: Intention-to-Treat and Exposure-Response Findings From the HAPIN Trial Jun 16, 2022

Child Survival and Early Lifetime Exposures to Ambient Fine Particulate Matter in India: A Retrospective Cohort Study Jan 26, 2022

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