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EPA Science Matters: January 16, 2018

Too much algae and cyanobacteria in water can produce harmful algal blooms that hurt the environment and local economies. EPA gave $1.4 million in funding to Ohio State University and Iowa State University for innovative research on the prediction, prevention, control and mitigation of freshwater harmful algal blooms.

What do an electric car, a portable lunchbox-sized monitor, and solar-powered air sensors have in common? They are all part of a year-long EPA study in Kansas City looking at exposure to air pollution from highways, railways, and industry. A new slideshow provides information about the innovative monitoring technology researchers are using in the study.  

Are you a college student with a solution for a sustainable future? EPA is requesting applications for the 15th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet. This competition promotes the use of scientific and engineering principles in creating innovative projects to address challenges and develop real-world solutions. Applications are open now through February 7th, 2018. 

Studies have shown the harmful effects of long-term exposure to air pollution, but there is little research on the effects of exposure to air pollution at levels below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. To fill this gap, EPA grantee Francesca Dominici and colleagues conducted a nationwide study to examine the link between mortality and long-term exposure to ozone and PM2.5 at levels lower than the current annual standards. The results show that even low levels of air pollution raise mortality risk for older adults.

EPA regulators are exploring whether they can leverage RapidTox to meet the Agency’s deadlines and requirements to evaluate chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). RapidTox is a one-stop-shop integrating all relevant information on a chemical. Because there are tens of thousands of chemicals regulated under TSCA, science-based approaches for identifying potential chemicals that should be prioritized for testing are critical for TSCA implementation.