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Postdoctoral Fellow | Department of Earth System Science

Alireza Namayandeh

Affiliated Researcher
King Center on Global Development

Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Earth System Science

Alireza Namayandeh is a postdoctoral fellow at the Doerr School of Sustainability at Stanford University. He earned his PhD in Environmental Nanoscience/Geochemistry from Virginia Tech. His research involves the formation and transformation of natural nanoparticles and their reactions with nutrients and contaminants in soils, water, and air and how these reactions impact human health. His PhD work focused on the formation and transformation kinetics of iron oxy-hydroxides and the effects of adsorbed oxyanions such as arsenic, phosphate, and nitrate.

He is currently studying the generation of toxic particulate materials in soils, plants, and smoke during wildfires. He is also involved in solving global and environmental health problems, particularly in low-income countries. He is working on two projects in Bangladesh focusing on lead exposure and the health impacts of particulate matter formed in coal-burning brick kilns.

He also holds an MFA in Theater and uses his science and art experience to integrate environmental justice into his research. He is currently working on a project that employs community-based theater to address the environmental justice implications of California wildfires for Farmworkers from Oaxaca, Mexico.

King Center Supported Research

2023 - 2024 Academic Year | Global Development Research Funding

Identifying Health-threats of Toxic Metal-containing Particulate Matter from Coal-fired Brick Kilns in Bangladesh

Coal-fired brick kilns are major contributors to the high concentration of airborne particulate matter (PM) within Bangladesh, and they pose detrimental health risks to local communities, particularly to young children. The health threats of PM formed during coal combustion in brick kilns are determined by their chemical and structural properties, which are largely unknown. The proposed project aims to: 1) Determine the metal content of PM, 2) Quantitatively identify PM particle chemical and structural properties, and 3) Assess the health risks associated with toxic metals in the fine PM. We will take samples from feed materials and coal-fired exhaust of brick kilns in Bangladesh. We will interrogate the particles using advanced techniques, including transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and single-particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (SP-ICP-MS). The results of this new project will advance our understanding of the health impacts imposed by brick kilns distributed throughout Bangladesh, and they will inform targeted policies and interventions for mitigating the health risks to local communities.