Environmental Health | Duke Kunshan University

Following decades of rapid economic growth, environmental risk factors have become a major source of morbidity and mortality in China and other low- and middle-income countries. With improvements in economic status and lessons learned from the environmental policies and challenges faced by other nations, China has an opportunity to address its environmental health challenges and become an international leader in global environmental health. The Global Health Research Center undertakes studies on environmental health hazards and approaches for reducing them. For example, indoor air quality is a major issue in China because most of China’s rural population and a declining proportion of its urban population burn wood and coal for cooking and heating. Indoor air pollution is responsible for increased rates of cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Over 400,000 premature deaths occur annually due to exposure to indoor pollutants.  More research is needed to document the extent and geographical concentration of this health hazard, as well as to test the effectiveness of various interventions (e.g. design and distribution of more efficient stoves).


Ongoing Projects

Assessment of Children’s Respiratory Health and Air Quality Over a 20-Year Interval in Four Chinese Cities


Jim Zhang (PI), Xiaoli Duan, Jicheng Gong, Lingyan He, Qin Liu, Weiwei Lin

Effects of Air Pollution on Cardiopulmonary Disease in Urban and Peri-urban Residents in Beijing


Tong Zhu, Jim Zhang

Funder: National Natural Science Foundation of China

Establish prospective cohorts to evaluate the influence of environmental expo-sure on neurodevelopment of children in China


Yong-hui Jiang, Jim Zhang(Co-PI), Yi Wang, Xiu Xu

Funders: National Health and Family Planning Commission

The combined Influence of outdoor and Indoor Pollutants on Acute Respiratory Response of Children in China


Mike Bergin, Jim Zhang, Yinping Zhang, Zhen Li, Feng Li

Funder: Underwriters Laboratories