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EPA Science Matters: July 31, 2018

Rainfall replenishes water supplies and keeps our urban landscapes green, but even small storms can cause localized flooding and inundate sewer systems. EPA researchers and partners are determining the extent to which vacant lots around the city of Buffalo, NY, can function as green infrastructure by absorbing and filtering stormwater.

For those with pets, long summer days may mean more time outside for adventures with your best pal. But all that fun in the sun can impact our health, as well as that of our animal friends, by increasing our potential for exposure to things like tick- or waterborne-illnesses. EPA is working with partners to protect the health of people and their pets through research, technology, and the National Pet Health Survey.

Lead can contaminate drinking water as the water moves through pipes with lead in them. In some cases, lead levels in drinking water can remain high even after the pipes in the system have been replaced. EPA researchers worked with the city of Madison, Wisconsin, to determine why elevated lead levels can persist for so long.

When they’re not buzzing around picnic tables or your sweet-smelling drinks, bees are hard at work pollinating flowers and crops, and making the honey and beeswax we enjoy. Due to multiple factors, these hardworking insects have declined across North America and Europe. EPA researchers looked at pesticide exposure to provide scientists with a clearer understanding of how it affects honeybees at the colony level.

How do you test for something when you don’t even know it’s there? EPA is using non-targeted analysis methods to identify unknown chemicals in samples, without having a preconceived idea of what chemicals are present. These innovative methods may make chemical safety assessment faster than traditional methods.