Breathing the air in Lebanon: E-cigarettes, water pipes, and beyond

In this episode we discuss tobacco, e-cigarettes, water pipes hazards on health and their impacts on air quality. We also discuss air pollution in Lebanon, impact of the 2020 Beirut blast, and the path to building a better world.

  • Toxic compounds emitted by different types of cigarettes 
  • Air pollution in Lebanon and the middle east
  • Short and long-term effects of Beirut blasts on air quality

Our guest Prof Najat Saliba is an expert in analytical chemistry, with a focus on atmospheric chemistry, inhalable and airborne particles, environmental analysis as well as photochemistry. She has a wide range of research from investigating the toxic and carcinogenic chemicals of e-cigarettes and hookahs through state-of-the-art physical and chemical characterization; to studying medicinal plants by extracting and identifying their chemical profiles. She had an MS degree from California State University, Long Beach and a PhD on Catalytic Processes and Reactions at Surfaces from University of Southern California. She is currently a professor at the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) where she established the Atmospheric and Analytical Laboratory. She directs several multidisciplinary research projects as well as education and citizen science programs. In 2016, she received the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research Award in the Environmental Category. She has received the L’Oreal-UNESCO International Award for Women in Science, the National Order of the Cedar from the President of the Lebanese Republic and is among BBC’s top 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world. Find her on twitter.

Our interviewer for this episode is Dr Macole Sabat. She is a researcher working on turbulent-multiphase flow, aerosol transport and deposition as well as other environmental related projects. She holds an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Balamand (Lebanon) and a research master from Ecole Centrale Paris (France) in aeronautical and aerospace engineering. She has a PhD from the University of Paris-Saclay (France) and is currently an assistant professor at the University of Balamand (Lebanon) and works on modeling and simulation of air pollution and waste to energy processes. She is a member of a technical committee for setting the standards of air quality characterization and air pollutant emissions in Lebanon.

Episode notes and references:

Music by Ritesh Prasanna

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