Tools & Techniques for Better Exposure Assessment
Our group makes measurements to estimate exposure and, in doing so, inform policies, evaluate interventions, and help provide evidence of potential health risk. Where instrumentation is lacking, we develop our own or adapt technologies used in other sectors and disciplines. This includes the development of novel sensor systems catered to settings where solid fuel use is prevalent, including particulate monitors suitable for placement in a kitchen or use as a personal monitor; stove use monitors, data-logging sensors that track household appliance usage, for instance by measuring temperature on a stove; and systems that measure ventilation using CO2 as a tracer gas. We additionally use lower-cost air pollution sensors, similar to the Purple Air monitor, with a focus on rural ambient air quality monitoring in places where outdoor air pollution measurements are scarce.
Using repeat surveys to assess the impact of COVID‐19 on household energy use in Jharkhand, India
With Lisa Thompson (Emory), Johannes Urpelainen (Johns Hopkins), Carlos Gould (Columbia), and Morsel Research and Development (Uttar Pradesh, India)
India has undergone a dramatic household energy transformation in recent years, driven by government initiatives to increase clean fuel access. These improvements have not led to complete transitions to clean cooking, with most households continuing regular biomass use, a trend that may be exacerbated by the COVID‐19 pandemic. We leverage and extend a recently completed energy survey of 1440 households in rural Jharkhand by deploying a follow‐up, telephone‐based questionnaire multiple times over the next year, enabling analysis of how COVID‐19 and stay‐at‐home orders alter energy use behaviors. Findings from this longitudinal study will help (1) understand drivers of stacking or exclusive LPG or biomass use; (2) provide insights into how resilient household energy use patterns are to sudden economic and social shocks; and (3) establish guidance that may inform planning for the next pandemic or other unexpected shock.
AAM-LASSI: Ambient Air Monitoring of LPG At Scale in South India
With Manish Desai, Krishnendu Mukhopadhyay, Naveen Puttaswamy, Sankar Sambandam, Gurusamy Thangavel, and Kalpana Balakrishnan.
The world’s most ambitious scale up of clean fuels has taken place across India in the past five years. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) program, building upon previous efforts, provided access to LPG for an additional 80 million homes. However, continued fuel stacking and inconsistent coverage of the intervention has left overall household air pollution exposure reductions in households and associated ambient air pollution reductions lower than what is needed to meet Indian national standards or WHO guidelines. Several recent modelling exercises suggest that household biomass burning results in significant contributions to ambient air pollution at national and regional levels. However, there is almost no actual data to support quantitative targets for program design and maintenance at the village and district level that could guide village coverage goals for household use of LPG to displace solid fuel burning. Because of the PMUY scale up history, patchy uptake at community levels, and relatively low level of industrial sources of pollution, Southern India provides an ideal setting to study the Reach and Effectiveness of this massive LPG program and to contribute evidence-based guidance to support critical implementation targets for policy around village- level coverage and LPG utilization.
Puttaswamy, N., Sreekanth, V., Pillarisetti, A., Upadhya, A.R., Saidam, S., Veerappan, B., Mukhopadhyay, K., Sambandam, S., Sutaria, R., Balakrishnan, K. (2022). Indoor and Ambient Air Pollution in Chennai, India during COVID-19 Lockdown: An Affordable Sensors Study. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 22, 210170. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.210170
Li Y, Yuan Z, Anthony Chen L-W, Pillarisetti A, Yadav V, Wu M, Cui H, Zhao C. (2021). From Air Quality Sensors to Sensor Networks: Things We Need to Learn. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. doi.org/10.1016/j.snb.2021.130958
Johnson, M., Piedrahita, R., Pillarisetti, A., Shupler, M., Menya, D., Rossanese, M., Delapeña, S., Penumetcha, N., Chartier, R., Puzzolo, E. and Pope, D. (2021), Modeling approaches and performance for estimating personal exposure to household air pollution: A case study in Kenya. Indoor Air. https://doi.org/10.1111/ina.12790
Carrión D, Prah R, Gould C, Agbokey F, Mujtaba M, Pillarisetti A, Tumasi M, Agyei O, Chillrud S, Tawiah T, Jack D, Asante K. Using longitudinal survey and sensor data to understand the social and ecological determinants of clean fuels use and discontinuance in rural Ghana. Environmental Research Communications. 2020/10; 2(9):095003. doi: 10.1088/2515-7620/abb831
Burrowes VJ, Piedrahita R, Pillarisetti A, Underhill L, Fandiño‐Del‐Rio M, Johnson M, Kephart J, Hartinger SM, Steenland K, Naeher L, Kearns K, Peel JL, Clark ML, Checkley W and HAPIN Investigators (2020), Comparison of next‐generation portable pollution monitors to measure exposure to PM2.5 from household air pollution in Puno, Peru. Indoor Air.
Liao J, McCracken JP, Piedrahita R, Thompson L, Mollinedo E, Canuz E, De Leon O, Díaz-Artiga A, Johnson M, Clark M, Pillarisetti A, Kearns K, Naeher L, Steenland K, Checkley W, Peel J, Clasen TF et al. (2019) The use of bluetooth low energy Beacon systems to estimate indirect personal exposure to household air pollution. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol (2019) doi:10.1038/s41370-019-0172-z
Pillarisetti A*, Carter E, Rajkumar S, Young BN, Benka-Coker M, Peel J, Johnson M, Clark M. 2019. Measuring personal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) among rural Honduran women: a field evaluation of the Ultrasonic Personal Aerosol Sampler (UPAS). Environment International 123: 50-53. doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2018.11.014
Pillarisetti A*, Gill M, Allen T, Madhavan S, Dhongade A, Ghorpade M, Roy S, Balakrishnan K, Juvekar S, Smith KR. 2019. The Pink Key: a low-cost stove use monitor to enable conditional cash transfers. Ecohealth 15 (4) : 768-776. doi.org/10.1007/s10393-018-1379-5
Pillarisetti A*, Allen T, Ruiz-Mercado I, Edwards R, Chowdhury Z, Garland C, et al. 2017. Small, Smart, Fast, and Cheap: Microchip-Based Sensors to Estimate Air Pollution Exposures in Rural Households. Sensors. doi.org/10.3390/s17081879
Gautam S, Edwards R, Yadav A, Weltman R, Pillarisetti A, Arora NK, Smith KR. 2016. Probe-based measurements of moisture in dung fuel for emissions measurements. Energy for Sustainable Development. doi: 10.1016/j.esd.2016.09.003
Lozier MJ, Sircar K, Christensen B, Pillarisetti A, Pennise D, Bruce N, Stanistreet D, Naeher L, Pilishvili T, Farrar JL, Sage M, Nyagol R, Muoki J, Wochuck T, Yip F. 2016. Use of temperature sensors to determine exclusivity of improved stove use and associated household air pollution reductions — Kenya, 2012-2013. Environmental Science & Technology. doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b06141.
Pillarisetti, A.; Vaswani, M.; Jack, D.; Balakrishnan, K.; Bates, M. N.; Arora, N. K.; Smith, K. R. Patterns of Stove Usage after Introduction of an Advanced Cookstove: The Long-Term Application of Household Sensors. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2014, 48, 14525-14533.
Holstius, D. M., Pillarisetti, A., Smith, K. R., and Seto, E. Field calibrations of a low-cost aerosol sensor at a regulatory monitoring site in California, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 7, 1121-1131, doi:10.5194/amt-7-1121-2014, 2014.