Arthur Chan

Arthur Chan 2Associate Professor
B.S. (University of Pennsylvania), M.S., Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology)
Principal Investigator, Environmental Organics Laboratory
Room: WB201B | Tel.: (416)-978-2602 | Email:




American Geophysical Union
American Association for Aerosol Research

Research Interests

Sources of particulate matter in urban atmospheres

Particulate matter is an important urban air pollutant. Our group conducts field measurements of organic compounds in urban areas to identify their sources and chemical properties. The chemical information allows us to study the physical and biological properties of particulate matter emitted from vehicular traffic, food cooking and wood burning.

Mechanisms of atmospheric reactions

We study reaction mechanisms through controlled laboratory experiments, using different chemical reactors to simulate atmospheric oxidation. We investigate topics including mechanisms of mixing between organic compounds, and reactions between organic compounds and sulfur dioxide to form sulfuric acid in the atmosphere.

Persistence of wildfire-derived pollutants

Our group studies whether major wildfires, such as the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires, would leave behind toxic pollutants in burnt areas that can affect long term human health. We measure heavy metals and organic carcinogens in indoor house dust in fire-affected areas to determine the contribution from wildfires. Our work informs remediation efforts after environmental disasters.

Health impacts of organic aerosol

Using chemical information, we study the health impacts of particulate matter. We collaborate with the Faculty of Medicine to study the sub-chronic effects of pollutants on pulmonary health. We study the mechanisms by which particulate matter exposure leads to exacerbation of lung diseases (such as cystic fibrosis) and respiratory infections.

Selected Publications

Kohl, L*, Meng, M*, de Vera, J., Bergquist, B., Cooke, C.A., Hustins, S., Jackson, B., Chow, C.W. and Chan, A.W.H.: Limited retention of wildfire-derived PAHs and trace elements in indoor environments, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46,, 2019

Ye. J.*, Van Rooy, P., Adam, C.H.*, Jeong, C.H., Urch, B., Cocker, D.R., Evans, G.J., Chan, A. W. H.: Predicting Secondary Organic Aerosol Enhancement in the Presence of Atmospherically Relevant Organic Particles, ACS Earth Space Chem., 2 (10), 1035–1046 10.1021/acsearthspacechem.8b00093, 2018.

Ye, J.*, Abbatt, J. P. D., and Chan, A. W. H.: Novel pathway of SO2 oxidation in the atmosphere: reactions with monoterpene ozonolysis intermediates and secondary organic aerosol, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 5549-5565,, 2018.

Wang, S.*, Ye, J.*, Soong, R., Wu, B., Yu, L.*, Simpson, A. J., and Chan, A. W. H.: Relationship between chemical composition and oxidative potential of secondary organic aerosol from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 3987-4003,, 2018.