International media covers 1890 research

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Candles emission study generates international media coverage

Dr. Ruhuallah Massoudi, chemistry professor, and Amid Hamidi, an SC State alumnus who served as a student research assistant, presented results from Massoudi’s 1890 Research & Extension study on the emission of unwanted chemicals produced by burning paraffin candles at American Chemical Society’s fall 2009 national meeting in Washington, D.C., from Aug. 16-20. The study generated coverage from media organizations and blogs across the globe, including some of the following:

• MSNBC on Aug. 19: “Candlelit dinners spark romance – and toxins”
• BBC (United Kingdom) on Aug. 20: “Candles use linked to cancer risk”
• CNN on Aug. 23: “Study: Some types of candles may pollute indoor air”
• The Washington Times on Aug. 19: “ Study: Candle-lit dinners add to pollution”
• NY Daily on Aug. 20: “Candlelit dinner with a side of toxic chemicals ? Paraffin candles emit cancerous pollutants: study”
• National Public Radio on Aug. 20: “Candlelight, Toluene and You”

Web sites such as Men’s,, a web site that translates news articles from English to Chinese, and, an Italian press agency, also wrote about the study. Additionally, Women’s Health magazine is expected to publish details story on the study in its November edition.

Real-time flood monitoring research covered by state media outlets

Several South Carolina news organizations reported on a monitoring system which scientists in the 1890 Research & Extension Program designed to predict in real-time which South Carolina roads are likely to flood during a storm. The monitoring system, similar to GPS devices found in many vehicles, will provide real-time information to emergency personnel so they can navigate safely and quickly to an emergency by avoiding flooded roadways during a storm.

Members of the research team are Dr. Tom Whitney, professor; Dr. Stephen Katzberg, adjunct professor; Dr. Yuanchang Xie, assistant professor; Dr. Di-Wen Chen, associate professor; Maria Hubbard, senior research analyst, all from the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Otukile Lekote and Dirk Francis, both graduate students in the Master of Science in transportation program.

The study appeared in the Sun News’ “Residents remember damage on Floyd anniversary” on Sept. 16 , the State’s “S.C. State develops flood system” on Aug. 23 and WCBD Channel 2’s (Charleston) “Real-time flood monitoring system to help SC first responders.”

Reduced-risk pest management study in the Times and Democrat

The Times and Democrat printed “Research at S.C. State to improve pesticide practices of food industry” on Sept. 7 about an 1890 Research & Extension study on pest management.

Researcher Dr. Rizana Mahroof, assistant professor in biological sciences, is exploring safer and more effective pest-management practices that will help the “state’s food producers and suppliers meet consumers’ demands for high-quality, competitively priced food and feed commodities while reducing the use of pesticides and their harmful effects to humans and the environment.”

Health and Wellness Camp in the Times and Democrat

On Aug. 31, the Times and Democrat published “Health and Wellness Camp stressed better eating habits,” which discussed how researchers in the 1890 Research & Extension Program and university’s Family Life Center are teaching Orangeburg youth to adopt healthier lifestyle habits by eating healthy foods, participating in physical activity and improving academic performance by implementing better study habits. The program also focuses on character development.

Dr. Martha Adams-Heggins and Dr. Necati Engec, associate professor of educational leadership, are the co-principal investigators. LaTonya Capers and Ericka Lynch serve as camp coordinators.