Dr. A. Scott Voorhees works as an Environmental Scientist on air pollution economic and policy issues as well as international benefits analysis at the US Environmental Protection Agency. He holds degrees in Biology, Asian Studies, Environmental Science, and Public Health from Wittenberg University, Miami University and the University of Tokyo. He has worked on air pollution regulatory and policy issues for the EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning & Standards for three decades. He has experience in toxic air pollutant standard setting, industrial source permitting, and Asian urban air pollution benefit-cost analysis. In 2012, he completed a second Fulbright Fellowship research project at China’s top university estimating the human health impacts of air pollution in Shanghai. Previously, he conducted air pollution policy research at the Japanese Ministry of Environment as a Fulbright scholar and international air quality assessment at Kyoto University as an Abe Fellow. At the EPA, he currently focuses on US-China bilateral activities related to regional air quality management.
Controlling soot and dust air pollution (particulate matter - "PM") in the United States and Japan has a history stretching back three decades. Large size "coarse" particles were the principal concern for most of that time. Now, with advanced scientific knowledge, smaller "fine" particles are becoming the focus of environmental policies. The U.S. established a fine particle ambient standard in 1997 to protect public health and improve visibility, and Japan is considering its own fine particle standard. Furthermore, in both nations, attention is shifting from uniform national regulations to city-specific strategies. Most developing countries lack the resources to differentially control coarse and fine particles, but at the same time they cannot ignore PM, which has become their most pressing urbm1 air problem since the removal of lead from gasoline. In this research project, PM-related health risks would be calculated for four cities in different stages of air quality management implementation: Osaka, Houston, Seoul, and Bangkok. The estimates of PM health risk would be used to support or challenge the current environmental policy directions in Japan and the U.S., and make recommendations for possible adjustments to environmental intervention policies in the Republic of Korea and Thailand.