Research at the Intersection of Science, Technology, Policy and Economics

We conduct research on energy consumption and energy technologies to inform policy, standards, and decision-making for the benefit of society and the environment

Staff Spotlight

Xiaochen Tang and Hugo Destaillats

Tracking Down Toxic Metals From Tobacco Smoke

Xiaochen Tang

Xiaochen Tang and Hugo Destaillats' recent study suggests that homes and public places where people smoke may have high levels of harmful trace metals from cigarettes, even after smoking stops. Their findings reported in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters reveal surprising new clues behind the lingering health effects of secondhand and thirdhand tobacco smoke.

Key Takeaways:

- They have detected and measured 28 trace metals in secondhand and thirdhand tobacco smoke.

- They found that indoor concentrations of cadmium, arsenic, and chromium can exceed California-based health risk guidelines in homes and public places where people smoke.

- The study suggests that long-term indoor exposure to secondhand and thirdhand smoke may increase respiratory health risks for nonsmokers.


Hugo DestaillatsFor well over a decade, their group has studied toxic organic contaminants emitted during smoking. They are now also interested in completing the picture of smoke’s persistent legacy by assessing how trace metals also contribute to tobacco’s health burden.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Spotlight

Elizabeth Stuart

Elizabeth StuartLeader in championing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Berkeley Lab

As co-chair of the Women's Support and Empowerment Council (WSEC) Networking Committee, Liz has made significant contributions to implement the Lab's IDEA strategic priorities. Recent achievements include:

- Co-leading the effort to produce and promote an ambitious and well-attended slate of Women’s History Month (WHM) events which attracted over 500 attendees across 7 WSEC sponsored or co-sponsored events

- Co-organizing and promoting internal WSEC peer exchange events that include talks by women leaders inside and outside of the Lab and networking/peer exchange sessions.

Liz’s active leadership exemplifies her deep commitment to inclusion at the Lab. Liz’s actions demonstrate accountability towards greater diversity, equity and inclusion as well as to our stewardship values at Berkeley Lab. In acknowledging her outstanding work we hope to inspire others to follow her lead in championing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Berkeley Lab.

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Tracking Down Toxic Metals From Tobacco Smoke

Cigarette smoke has been studied for years, revealing a multitude of contaminants, including toxic metals. But exactly w... Read more