Health Effects of Air Pollution Foundation (Formerly Known as Brain & Lung Tumor & Air Pollution Foundation)

This Foundation funds research into the potential connections between air pollution, Lung Tumor and brain cancer.


In February 2003, the South Coast AQMD Board directed staff to establish the Brain Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation to implement an initiative by the Board Chairman to fund research into the potential connections between air pollution and brain cancer.  After years of supporting research related to the impacts of air pollution on brain tumors, in March 2017 the Board changed the Foundation’s name to the Health Effects of Air Pollution Foundation and expanded the Foundation’s mission to support research on the incidence, detection and causes and cures of various health conditions that may be caused or aggravated by air pollution.

To date, the Foundation has received contributions of almost $9 million and has funded studies with leading medical and public health researchers in Southern California. Studies funded by the Foundation have shown that exposure of laboratory animals to particulate pollutants is associated with biochemical changes in brain tissue that are consistent with the biochemical patterns found in human brain tumors. Another project found preliminary associations of particulate matter levels and the risk of childhood brain tumors. Additional research was funded beginning in 2017 to study links between air pollution and human brain tumor incidence, to evaluate the effects of air pollution on protein expression in cells from lung and brain cancers, and to investigate biochemical changes in the brain linking air pollution exposure to the progression of brain tumors and Alzheimer’s disease.

Directors and Officers

The Directors of the Foundation are:

  1. Council Member Ben Benoit, Chair

  2. Dr. William A. Burke, Vice Chair

  3. Dr. Clark E. Parker, Sr.

  4. Mayor Judith Mitchell

The Officers of the Foundation are:

Wayne Nastri, Chief Executive Officer
Denise Whitcher, Secretary
Sujata Jain, Treasurer
Susanna Leung, Assistant Treasurer

Summary of Foundation Activities

The Foundation activities are summarized in the annual reports presented to the South Coast AQMD Board available at the links below.

The Foundation has presented annual reports to the South Coast AQMD Governing Board as follows:

Thirteenth Annual Report (March 3, 2017)
Twelth Annual Report (March 4, 2016)
Eleventh Annual Report (May 1, 2015)
Tenth Annual Report (June 6, 2014)
Ninth Annual Report (April 5, 2013)
Eighth Annual Report (April 6, 2012)
Seventh Annual Report (April 2, 2010)
Sixth Annual Report (March 4, 2009)
Fifth Annual Report (March 7, 2008)
Fourth Annual Report (March 2, 2007)
Third Annual Report (March 3, 2006)
Second Annual Report (March 4, 2005)
First Annual Report (March 5, 2004)

 Meeting Agendas

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