Exposure Research News
EPA scientists promote sustainability; build prototype solar-powered air quality measurement system
Soon you will be able to lounge on a bench in a public setting and use your smart phone to get real-time data on the air quality around you. It’s all part of a project being co-led by EPA scientists Ronald Williams and Dr. Gayle Hagler.
EPA scientists collaborate in development of rapid methods to identify and measure specific pathogens in drinking water
EPA microbiology scientists are working with NanoLogix, Inc. — a U.S.-based company specializing in live-cell rapid diagnostics — to develop new, rapid, sensitive cost-effective methods for detecting and identifying protozoan and bacterial pathogens in drinking water systems. Such methods would be used by epidemiologists to investigating drinking water pathogen outbreaks.
Scientists evaluate air sensors developed during EPA’s Air Sensor Evaluation and Collaboration Event
On September 11 and 12, app and sensor developers from across the U.S. and select European countries gathered at the EPA’s Research Triangle Park (RTP) facility for initial discussions on laboratory evaluations of their air monitoring devices.
National Research Council releases report on Exposure Science in the 21st Century commissioned by EPA and NIEHS
Recognizing that exposure science is a key component for providing the best public health and ecosystem protection, EPA has taken several steps to ensure that the science and research that informs Agency decisions keeps pace with current and emerging environmental issues.
New Testing Methods for Arsenic and Lead in Soil
EPA scientist Karen Bradham, Ph.D., and her research partners are working on inexpensive methods for assessing arsenic levels as a means to improve human exposure estimates for soil arsenic and lead.
EPA Releases Latest Community Multiscale Air Quality Model
This fall, EPA scientists released a new version of its groundbreaking Community Multiscale Air Quality modeling system. Earlier versions of this state-of-the-science modeling system (known as "CMAQ") have been used by EPA and states for more than a decade to design emission control strategies needed to meet and maintain national air quality standards.(April 26, 2012)
New EPA report details data sources for studying older adults’ environmental exposures
A new report developed by EPA exposure scientists, "Data Sources Available for Modeling Environmental Exposures in Older Adults," provides a detailed overview of existing sources of information for studying and modeling seniors' exposures to potentially hazardous chemicals and other pollutants. The report also provides a "state of the science" snapshot as of the end of 2009.
EPA scientists to work with Egyptian counterparts on improving water quality
Environmental Protection Agency scientists have signed an agreement with counterparts in Egypt to share research and training materials to help both agencies protect human health from microbiological contamination in drinking water.
EPA exposure scientists present research at 21st Annual ISES Conference
A diverse group of EPA’s exposure scientists will participate in the 2011 International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) Conference. This year’s meeting is held in Baltimore, Oct. 23-27, and will feature symposia, workshops, platform discussions, and poster sessions on topics ranging from nanomaterials to research on air quality near roadways. (October 21, 2011)
EPA Greenversations Blog | Modeling Matters: See Mack Run the Half-Marathon
By Tanya Otte
Lots of people like running. I’m not one of them…unless it involves running models! Since I was hired, I’ve been a part of a team that develops and runs models to help understand interactions between meteorology, natural and anthropogenic ("human-caused") emissions, and air quality. (October 19, 2011)
Innovative Tools Help EPA Scientists Determine Total Chemical Exposures
EPA scientists work to advance the science of chemical risk assessment.
Everyday activities – actions as simple as biting into an apple, or walking across a carpeted floor – may expose people to a host of chemicals through a variety of pathways. The air we breathe, the food and water we consume, and the surfaces we touch all are the homes of natural and synthetic chemicals, which enter our bodies through our skin, our digestive systems, and our lungs. (August 10, 2011)
EPA's Greenversations Blog | Modeling Matters: It Was Supposed to Rain!
Post By Tanya Otte:
By early June, my yard was already parched. The drought-tolerant annuals planted to brighten things up were suffering, but relief was on the way. Yielding to the forecast and my shortage of time, I skipped watering the plants. When I got home, the rain gage was bone dry. Eyeing the wilted flowers, I muttered: "But it was supposed to rain today!" (Posted August 3, 2011)
EPA, Notre Dame researchers discuss challenges in adopting DNA-based methods for monitoring invasive species in U.S. water bodies
DNA-based technology helps people solve problems. It can be used to correctly match organ donors with recipients, identify victims of natural and man-made disasters, and detect bacteria and other organisms that may pollute air, soil, food, or water.
Regardless of what crime show courtrooms present about DNA-based technology, the reality is that it can open doors to limited opportunities for error. Scientists at EPA and the University of Notre Dame have investigated DNA-based methods and how they can be used to monitor water quality. (July 25, 2011)
EPA scientists collaborate with NASA to improve view of air pollution from space
Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NASA are collaborating on a project aimed at improving satellite capability to interpret air quality conditions near the earth’s surface.
The project — known as "DISCOVER-AQ" — stands for Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from COlumn and VERtically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality. NASA is the lead on this five-year project.(June 23, 2011)
EPA Improves Access to Information on Hundreds of Chemicals
Searchable databases on chemical toxicity and exposure data now available.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making it easier to find data about chemicals. EPA is releasing two databases — the Toxicity Forecaster database (ToxCastDB) and a database of chemical exposure studies (ExpoCastDB) — that scientists and the public can use to access chemical toxicity and exposure data. Improved access supports EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s priorities of protecting Americans’ health by assuring the safety of chemicals and expanding the conversation on environmentalism. (June 15, 2011)
EPA's Greenversations Blog: Science Wednesday: Modeling Matters
Post By Tanya Otte
Did you know that it's Air Quality Awareness Week? If you did, that's great! If not, that’s OK, too. With so many "awareness weeks" out there, it’s hard to be aware of them all. Keeping this in mind, and recognizing that awareness of any issue should not be limited to one week of the year, my colleagues and I in EPA's Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division are launching a periodic feature to help keep you informed of air quality research that may affect your life. (May 4, 2011)
Science Matters Article: Exploring Nano-sized Fuel Additives
EPA scientists examine nanoparticle impacts on vehicle emissions and air pollution.
Over the last decade, fuel prices in the United States increased to more than $3 per gallon, prompting everyone from drivers to auto manufacturers and even lawmakers to look for ways to increase the fuel efficiency of vehicles. Some companies are claiming to have done exactly that, by manufacturing fuel additives made of nanometer-sized cerium particles. (April 2011)
New report details discussions from DEARS Data Analysis Workshops
EPA scientists met in October and November 2010 to discuss the data and findings of the Detroit Exposure and Aerosol Research Study (DEARS), which examined the accuracy of community-based air quality monitors. A summary of key project findings and workshop discussions can be found in the April 2011 EPA report titled The DEARS Data Analysis Workshops: Summary of Findings and Discussions. (April 29, 2011)
EPA research on ammonia prompts satellites and surface measurements to converge
New technique transforms satellite data to tools that find and track ammonia around the globe
What circles the Earth in 98 minutes, advances 2,500 miles westward on every trip, and returns to the same location every 16 days? It’s the NASA Aura satellite, which carries the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES). Who knew? (April 6, 2011)
Can Highways Contribute to Asthma?
EPA scientists and partners team up to examine the link between road-related air pollution and susceptibility to asthma. Can living near a highway make you more susceptible to asthma attacks? EPA scientists, together with partners from the University of Michigan, are examining this question through the Near Roadways Exposure to Urban Air Pollutants Study (“NEXUS” for short). (February 2011)
U.S. and European scientists take measures to improve air pollution and climate change predictions
EPA merges models and measurements to understand relationships among environment, human health and air quality
EPA scientists are combining air pollution measurements from thousands of intercontinental flights with data from U.S. locations and making it available through EPA’s Remote Sensing Information Gateway. The real-world measurements, and atmospheric modeling capabilities will be linked and together, provide greater scientific understanding of regional and intercontinental air pollution transport, critical to protecting human health. (January 26, 2011)
EPA provides citizens with information about how to protect themselves from bed bugs
Dan Stout, an EPA biological scientist and urban entomologist, specializes in understanding people’s exposures to pesticides as they move and change in the residential environment. Following the theme of pests and homes, Stout recently explained the resurgence of bed bug infestations, their living and feeding habits, and steps people can take to protect themselves. (January 20, 2011)
When individuals in communities know what their ozone levels are, they can take steps to protect their health such as staying inside on high ozone days or car-pooling to reduce ozone levels. However, the expertise or capability to accurately forecast ozone concentrations may not be available to every town or city in the United States. This can mean that citizens are relying on ozone forecasts generated for locations and environmental conditions that are miles away.
EPA researchers have discovered that controlling man-made sources of air pollution will have the added benefit of also reducing air pollution formed from compounds released from trees and plants.
In an April 2010 workshop, scientists in the health and exposure fields gathered to identify the most promising and practical exposure metrics to use in a study the size and scope of the National Children's Study. A summary of the workgroup's discussions and recommendations can be found in a June 2010 EPA report summarizing the workshop.
Researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) create and use computer models to predict what happens inside the human body when it is exposed to chemicals. The results developed by the models help EPA understand and manage risks posed to public health from chemicals in the environment.
EPA has compiled a database listing citation information for literature related to PPCPs.
The U.S. EPA conducted a limited-scale scoping study to test a study protocol and monitoring methods for generating environmental data associated with the use of recycled tire material. As part of this evaluation, data were collected at a limited number of sites. EPA will use the information to help determine possible next steps to address questions regarding the safety of tire crumb material in recreational fields and playgrounds.
Scientists know that clouds promote transformations that naturally-occurring and manmade chemicals undergo in the atmosphere. Clouds and other characteristics of the atmosphere, such as the energy contained in sunlight, are of great interest to these scientists because they impact air quality, air pollution, and ultimately the health of people and ecosystems.
In the summer of 2009, EPA scientists began sampling air across Cleveland, Ohio, to better understand the links between sources of air pollution and adverse health effects. The research is being used to develop new tools and models for air quality managers to reduce and control air pollutants at their source.
Without access to real and relevant information on exposure to pollutants, community groups can sometimes reach conclusions about health risks based on perception. EPA scientists are working to change that with the Community-Focused Exposure and Risk Screening Tool, or C-FERST.
Conceptual Frameworkdocument provides a foundation for addressing EPA's Exposure Research mission and its scientific leadership goals.
Watch this video to find out more about particulate matter (PM) research at EPA.
EPA researchers are collaborating with the National Geographic Society and the World Resources Institute to develop tools to help community, state and regional decision makers understand the total costs and benefits of proposed land uses.
EPA has prepared a document on scientific and ethical approaches for observational exposure studies through recommendations from an expert panel, public comment, and external peer review.