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Science Matters

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About this Issue

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Cleaner water and healthier communities. Smoke-free offices, schools, and public spaces. Even longer life spans. These are just some of the impacts of EPA science.

Scientific achievements often unfold without fanfare, accruing over time through a carefully prescribed process of repeated observations, data collection, and analysis that may span generations of testing and retesting. More often than not, the impacts of that work fly under the radar.

Never the less, they do occur. Whether conducted in response to high-profile national emergencies such as the terrorists attacks of 9/11 and the BP oil spill, or in response to long-term environmental and related human health challenges such as air and water pollution and potentially harmful contaminants in our communities, EPA researchers and their partners have been working for more than 40 years to provide the science and technology needed to protect human health and the environment.

This issue of EPA's Science Matters highlights stories that exemplify some of the important impacts of that work. On EPA's landmark assessment on the dangers of secondhand smoke, Matthew L. Myers, the President of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids remarks: "The impact has been healthier kids, healthier parents, healthier workers, and an awareness that the science is clear: if you smoke around kids and other non-smokers, you threaten and endanger their health."

Myers is but one of the many people who help tell the story of the impact of EPA research outlined in this issue. Featured are stories about EPA's integrated science assessments, "green" infrastructure, community support for achieving cleaner air, enhancing emergency response capabilities in the event of a terrorist attack using anthrax, and more.

EPA science has had real and positive impact over the past 40 years, and continues to do so today. The collective effort has already resulted in cleaner air and water, healthier communities, and longer life expectancies for all Americans. Now that's impact.

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