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EPA Science Matters: April 24, 2018

How do you know if a wildfire in one community is affecting the air quality in another community, hundreds of miles away? EPA scientists are developing sophisticated computer models to track chemical composition and transport of smoke plumes and predict what areas could be impacted. This information can assist local officials in issuing public health advisories.

The St. Louis River has a healthy population of adult lake sturgeon, but not enough young fish. EPA researcher Jon Doering is looking into the possible causes behind the lack of new sturgeon, including whether decades-old contamination could be harming eggs and larval sturgeon in the river. EPA and a host of partners have been working to restore the St. Louis River estuary and help local communities reap the full benefits of a clean, healthy environment.

Exposure to dense wildfire smoke may send more people to the emergency room. A new study co-authored by EPA scientists found that dense smoke days during the 2015 California wildfire season increased ER visits for heart attacks by 42 percent among older adults. This research can help state and local decision-makers prepare for and respond during fire events, and help people at risk of wildfire smoke exposure take precautions to protect their health.

We hope you had a Happy Earth Day! Check out how a few ways EPA celebrated Earth Day around the country.