Project at a Glance

Title: Potential health hazards associated with particulate matter released from rice straw burning

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Hsieh, Dennis P. H.

Contractor: Department of Environmental Toxicology, UC Davis

Contract Number: A8-093-31

Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Agriculture, Health Effects of Air Pollution


Historically, agricultural wastes have often been disposed of by burning. In California between Z-3 million tons of wheat, barley and rice straw are produced annually. These straw wastes are often burned in the field after harvesting operations. The Sacramento Valley of California produces nearly all of the rice grown in California. A major portion of waste rice straw produced is burned each year in the fall after harvest or the following spring before planting. This investigation dealt with smoke from rice straw burning which has been perceived as a regional air quality problem. This is because of the large volume of rice straw burned on a seasonal basis, in a valley where topography and weather patterns can impede smoke dispersal.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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