Research Expertise and Interest

air pollution, Atmospheric Aerosol, exposure assessment, risk assessment, environmental justice, environmental engineering, environmental sensors, climate change mitigation, environmental issues in developing countries

Research Description

Joshua Apte is an assistant professor jointly appointed in the School of Public Health and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He holds an ScB in Environmental Science from Brown University (2004) and MS and PhD degrees in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley (2008, 2013). Prior to joining UC Berkeley, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin from 2015-2020.

Apte’s research focuses on air pollution.

In the News

New study shows how air pollution varies block by block

The amount of air pollution in a community depends greatly on its proximity to emission sources, such as automobiles, factories and power plants. Now, a group of researchers — led by Joshua Apte, UC Berkeley assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and in the School of Public Health — has shown that levels of air pollution vary not only by region, such as between urban and rural areas, but by city block.

How much wildfire smoke is infiltrating our homes?

In a new study, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, used data from 1,400 indoor air sensors and even more outdoor air sensors included on the crowdsourced PurpleAir network to find out how well residents of the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas were able to protect the air inside their homes on days when the air outside was hazardous.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
March 10, 2022
Darryl Fears
Decades of federal housing discrimination did not only depress home values, lower job opportunities and spur poverty in communities deemed undesirable because of race. It's why 45 million Americans are breathing dirtier air today, according to a landmark study released Wednesday. The analysis, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, found that, compared with White people, Black and Latino Americans live with more smog and fine particulate matter from cars, trucks, buses, coal plants and other nearby industrial sources in areas that were redlined. Those pollutants inflame human airways, reduce lung function, trigger asthma attacks and can damage the heart and cause strokes. "Of course, we've known about redlining and its other unequal impacts, but air pollution is one of the most important environmental health issues in the U.S.," said Joshua Apte, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. "If you just look at the number of people that get killed by air pollution, it's arguably the most important environmental health issue in the country," Apte said.
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December 17, 2020
Jin Wu, Derek Watkins, Josh Williams, Shalini Venugopal Bhagat, Hari Kumar and Jeffrey Gettleman

Air pollution killed more Indians last year than any other risk factor, and Delhi is among the most polluted cities in the country. But the burden is unequally shared. Children from poor families in Delhi spend more of their lives outdoors. Their families are more likely to use wood-burning stoves, which create soot. They can't afford the air filters that have become ubiquitous in middle-class homes. And often, they don't even think much about air pollution, because they face more pressing threats, like running out of food. Joshua Apte, a pollution scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, helped with The New York Times study's research design, showing that pollution can shave years off a child's life.

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