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Environmental & Occupational Lung Disease

Dr. Blanc is the Chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) at UCSF Medical Center and Dr. Balmes is the Chief of the Division of OEM at San Francisco General Hospital. Both separately and in collaboration, Drs. Balmes and Blanc have active research programs in the area of occupational and environmental lung disease. Dr. Blanc has focused on epidemiologic studies of exposures that cause or contribute to asthma and COPD as well as exposures that cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Dr. Blanc also studies disability and quality of life in relation to lung disease, including cross-disciplinary collaborations with investigators in lung transplantation, sleep medicine, and airways disease. Dr. Balmes directs a Human Exposure Laboratory for experimental studies of acute respiratory and cardiovascular effects in humans of agents like ozone, secondhand tobacco smoke, and wood smoke. He also conducts epidemiological studies of the respiratory and cardiovascular effects of exposures to outdoor air pollutants, biomass smoke from indoor cooking, arsenic in drinking water, and hydrogen sulfide.

Both Drs. Blanc and Balmes are actively involved with policy-making regarding environmental exposures to potentially toxic agents. Dr. Blanc is a member of Cal/EPA’s Scientific Review Panel that reviews whether agents should be listed as Toxic Air Contaminants. Dr. Balmes is the physician member of the California Air Resources Board that oversees air pollution control and climate change mitigation regulation for the state.

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