Arthur Chan

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




American Geophysical Union
American Association for Aerosol Research
Chemical Institute of Canada

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 produce and 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

Wang, S.*, Takhar, M.*, Zhao, Y., Al Rashdi, L.*, and Chan, A. W. H.: Dynamic Oxidative Potential of Organic Aerosol from Heated Cooking Oil. ACS Earth Space Chem., 5, 5, 1150 – 1162, 2021.

Takhar, M.*, Li, Y., and Chan, A. W. H.: Characterization of secondary organic aerosol from heated-cooking-oil emissions: evolution in composition and volatility, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 5137–5149,, 2021.

Han, J., Wang, S.*, Yeung, K., Yang, D., Gu, W., Ma, Z., Sun, J., Wang, X., Chow, C. W., Chan, A. W. H., Peng, H.: Proteome-Wide Effects Of Naphthalene-Derived Secondary Organic Aerosol In Beas-2B Cells Are Caused By Short-Lived Unsaturated Carbonyls. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 117, 41, 25386–25395, 2020

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., 2019


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