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University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

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Shankar Chellam's Saharan Dust Research Highlighted by Houston Chronicle

By: 

Melanie Ziems
Chellam

Anyone with respiratory sensitivities like asthma or allergies knows Houston’s air quality can be a problem. Shankar Chellam, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering, is working to determine how much of our air quality woes may actually be thanks to foreign invaders from halfway around the world.

Dust from the Sahara Desert in northern Africa has been found to makes two to three trips a year across the Atlantic ocean, clinging to warm trade winds and making its way through the Caribbean islands and the Gulf Coast states before it coats the Houston area. It remains a mystery, though, just how much the dust is polluting Houston air.

The Houston Chronicle recently interviewed Chellam about the Saharan dust mystery in the story titled “African dust eyed as local air-quality culprit.” Read the full story here.

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