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Air, Climate, and Energy Research News May 2017

US EPA's Office of Research and Development provides monthly updates on ongoing research, publications, and upcoming events from its air, climate, and energy research. Below are updates released in May 2017.

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New nitrogen deposition tool used to protect ecosystems  

Critical Loads Mapper ToolEPA’s new Critical Loads Mapper Tool is being used by the National Park Service, US Forest Service and others to help protect terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems from atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and sulfur, two pollutants emitted from fossil fuel burning and agricultural emissions. The interactive tool can be incorporated into environmental reviews and permitting processes.  

Easy access is provided to information on deposition levels through time; critical loads, which identify thresholds when pollutants have reached harmful levels; and exceedances to these thresholds. The next update to the tool is anticipated within the next five months.

Use the Critical Loads Mapper Tool.  


Biomarkers associated with short-term exposure to PM2.5

Doctor treating PatientResearchers from the Harvard Clean Air Research Center, funded by EPA, evaluated biomarkers of oxidative stress in blood and urine and their association to short-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon, and other air pollutants. Biomarkers in blood were positively associated with PM2.5 and black carbon concentrations, and biomarkers in urine were positively associated with fine particulate matter and sulfate. These associations were stronger for participants with diabetes. Additional research is needed to fully understand the observed link.

Read the report in the Journal of the American Heart Association.Exit


Society of Toxicology awards EPA research 

Haze on the HighwayAn EPA paper examining the effects of ozone on the metabolic process in humans received the “Paper of the Year” award for 2016 by the Society of Toxicology’s (SOT’s) Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section. The study is the first to demonstrate that ozone exposure increases lipid (fat) metabolism and stress hormones in humans. This research established coherence between human and rodent metabolic response to air pollutants and identified non-protein biomarkers of ozone effects in humans.  SOT recognized the researchers for using state-of-the-art metabolomic technologies and for providing results that can be used to advance air pollution research.

 The authors are Desinia Miller, Andy Ghio, Samantha Snow, Mike Madden, Joleen Soukup, Wayne Cascio, Ian Gilmour, and Urmila Kodavanti.  

Learn more about the paper.Exit


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