The 11th Asian Aerosol Conference (AAC) 2019 was held in Hong Kong from 27–30 May 2019. This bi-annual event, while smaller in size than the European (EAC) and American (AAAC), is the forefront for Asian researchers and Asian-focused research in aerosol science and engineering. With over 500 participants, the sessions and special symposia covered an array of relevant topics, which included: aerosol-water interactions, aerosol exposure and health, urban aerosols and air quality.
I particularly enjoyed the varied research from that of the European and American communities. First, there was a heavy focus on PM2.5 measurements that range from health, source apportionment and chemical characteristics in urban megacities. Second, health risks to aerosol exposure was an important topic. Considering 1.7 billion people live in East Asia and 64% of these live in an urban environment, research focus on aerosol mitigation and health implications has gained traction over the years as tools and instruments are becoming cheaper and readily available. Finally, low-cost instruments and sensors had a large section, with many presentations from China. I was impressed with the heightened development and research efforts of, for example, filters and monitors for removal and detection of particulate matter.
Overall, I had a great experience at the AAC. I had many interesting discussions with my Asian counterparts about the challenges we face in aerosol research and measurement implementation strategies, particularly in megacities. Although the time there was short, the collaborations and ideas will last long.
Text: Tommy Chan, INAR/University of Helsinki