Nov. 6, 2015, Kunshan - Duke Kunshan University is set to join forces with Jiangsu Province’s official regulating departments to tackle key environmental health issues related to ozone, announced Duke Kunshan University on Friday. In their first meeting on Duke Kunshan campus November 6, representatives from two provincial departments of Jiangsu Province – the Environmental Protection Department and the Commission of Health and Family Planning – and the University signed an agreement of collaboration to launch the Regional Ozone Sino-US Collaborative Research Center (ROSUC), which will be based at Duke Kunshan University.
As a significant component and effective indicator of atmospheric oxidation potential, ozone is a key to understanding air pollution health effects. However, as agreed by the ROSUC committee members, it remains an unfortunate fact that current ozone levels frequently exceed AQ standards in Jiangsu Province and the Yangtze River Delta; health risks associated with ozone exposure and ozone-related atmospheric oxidation potential still are largely unknown for the region. As a result of today's discussions, the Center’s management committee members committed themselves to planning a major collaborative research center to conduct cutting-edge research on ozone formation, distribution, and health effects. The Center’s research goal is to generate scientific results to support policies targeting cost-effective controls in the region.
ROSUC's Inaugural Meeting at Duke Kunshan
“We are working actively with the local government to integrate scientific research into policy decisions,” said Denis Simon, executive vice chancellor of Duke Kunshan and vice director of ROSUC Management Committee. “With the establishment of ROSUC, one of our goals is to formulate a prediction and warning system for local ozone levels in reducing ozone exposure and decreasing population health risk.”
“The abnormal ozone level in Jiangsu is posing a health risk for its people, which calls for immediate attention and action,” added Jim Zhang, professor of global and environmental health at Duke University and Duke Kunshan University and director of ROSUC. “By launching the Regional Ozone Sino-US Collaborative Research Center, we will strive to provide science-based recommendations to the government for controlling ozone pollution and to the public for reducing their exposure to ozone.”
Professor Jim Zhang, ROSUC Director
“Ozone formation is a key to understanding why PM2.5 pollution is so severe in China; during high PM2.5 pollution episodes, secondary organic aerosols, which are formed together with ozone, comprise a large fraction of PM2.5,” said Professor Xiaoyan Tang of Beijing University, an internationally renowned atmospheric chemist and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Prof. Tang attended the inaugural meeting and chairs the Advisory Committee of the ROSUC.
Professor Tang Xiaoyan, Chair of ROSUC Advisory Committee
ROSUC is the outcome of Duke Kunshan’s on-going collaboration with the Environmental Protection Department and the Commission of Health and Family Planning of Jiangsu Province. Professor Jim Zhang will serve as the Center’s director. Mengmeng Chen, director of the Environmental Protection Department, has been designated as the Chair of the ROSUC Management Committee; Denis Simon, executive vice chancellor of Duke Kunshan Unviersity, Jianling Liu, engineer general of Jiangsu Provincial Environmental Protection Department, and Hua Wang, vice director of Jiangsu Provincial Commission of Health and Family Planning, will serve as the ROSUC Management Committee’s deputy directors. The Management Committee also includes participants from several other local government and research organizations--most of whom were present at the center's inaugural meeting.
Signing ceremony at the end of the inaugural meeting