Aerosols are fine particulate matter suspended in a gaseous medium. Though most often invisible, aerosols are ubiquitous in nature and our living environments. Air pollution and anthropogenic aerosols, especially those with aerodynamic diameters smaller than 2.5 microns (termed PM2.5), have become a major global concern due to the enormous influences and threats they have caused to the environmental ecosystem and human health. In 2013, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that outdoor air pollution and particulate matters suspended in air pollution are carcinogenic.
Air pollution and PM2.5 issue is a global issue and one of the most urgent and life-threatening health concerns in Taiwan. As reported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan in June 2017, exposure to PM2.5 has become the 4th rank of risk factor in causing chronic diseases associated mortalities in Taiwan, pointing out that PM2.5 exposure has become the most urgent issue of concern in causing adverse health effect, morbidities and mortalities in Taiwan. Even though epidemiological studies have established the firm correlations between PM2.5 and numerous major diseases, including lung and pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and cancers, however, insufficient understanding of the fundamental physical, chemical, optical, biological and dynamical properties of aerosols made of different chemical composition and originated from different pollution sources has greatly limited one from developing effective strategies to reduce air pollution and anthropogenic PM2.5. Due to these concerns, it is crucial and urgent to advance our understanding of the fundamental structural and energetic properties and chemical activities of aerosols. The ultimate goals of ASRC include:
- 1. Improving air quality and restoring environmental ecology
- 2. Advancing green science and technologies to reduce pollution
- 3. Developing multidisciplinary aerosol science and environmental education program
- 4. Developing aerosol biomedical science and PM2.5 preventive medicine
5. Restoring human-environment homeostasis
Aerosol Science Research Center (ASRC) covers a broad spectrum of key research fields, encompassing basic research of aerosol science, chemistry, physics, biology, biomedicine, public health, environmental engineering, marine science, education, and environmental policy studies. Based on the ultimate goals and research issues involved, ASRC currently has 6 mission-oriented research divisions, including:
Division 1: Fundamental Aerosol Sciences and Instrumentation Developments
Division 2: Aerosols, Atmosphere, Ocean and Environmental Ecosystem
Division 3: Reduction and Regulation of Anthropogenic Aerosols and Air Pollution
Division 4: Aerosol Biomedical Science and PM2.5 Preventive Medicine
Division 5: Aerosol Science and Environmental Education Outreach
Division 6: Academic-Industry Collaboration and Environmental Policy Studies
ASRC has also established an international committee formed by distinguished scientists and researchers in aerosol-related fields worldwide. ASRC also collaborates closely with domestic and international research institutes, hospitals, governments and industry to invoke collective efforts to address various aerosol-related issues. In addition to the research efforts, ASRC is also actively engaged in educational outreach and talent cultivation, with an ultimate goal to raise the public awareness of environmental protection to restore the homeostasis between human and environmental ecosystem.