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Aire más limpio significa corazones más sanos

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Por la administradora de EPA Gina McCarthy


Febrero es el Mes del Corazón Saludable. No hay mejor momento para aprender acerca de cómo proteger su corazón.

La contaminación del aire puede afectar la salud del corazón y hasta desencadenar ataques al corazón o derrames cerebrales. Esa es información importante para una de cada tres personas en Estados Unidos que padecen del corazón y para sus seres queridos.

Y es por eso que la EPA está trabajando con otras agencias gubernamentales y con organizaciones de salud privadas y sin fines de lucro sobre la iniciativa nacional Million Hearts® para prevenir 1 millón de ataques al corazón y cerebrovasculares para el 2017. Este mes, y todos los meses, queremos asegurarnos de que la gente entienda cómo las enfermedades cardíacas están vinculadas a la contaminación del aire—y qué puede hacer la gente para protegerse.

Los estudios científicos, incluyendo la investigación realizada por los científicos de la EPA, indican que no tan solo hay una asociación entre la contaminación del aire y las enfermedades del corazón, sino que esa asociación puede tener consecuencias que amenazan la vida misma.
En un reciente estudio publicado en Environmental Research,  los científicos de la EPA analizaron los datos recopilados por los satélites de la EPA y los monitores de aire de la EPA basados en la tierra y confirmaron que las enfermedades cardíacas y los ataques al corazón son más probables en los individuos que viven en áreas con una contaminación de aire elevada. Este estudio encontró que la exposición aun a pequeñas cantidades adicionales de contaminación de partículas finas promediadas a lo largo de un año podrían aumentar las probabilidades de que una persona sufriera un ataque al corazón por hasta 14 por ciento.
Entonces, ¿qué puede hacer para mantener su corazón saludable?
• Usted puede comenzar asegurándose de comer alimentos nutritivos y hacer ejercicios (no obstante, asegúrese de consultar primero con su proveedor de salud”.
• Consulte el Índice de Calidad de Aire cada día para informarse acerca de la calidad del aire en su localidad y cómo reducir su exposición a la contaminación de aire.
• Todos podemos poner de nuestra parte para seleccionar opciones que sean mejor para el medio ambiente y nuestra salud—como tomar transporte público con mayor frecuencia o guiar vehículos más limpios.
Este febrero y todos los meses, recuerde que el aire más limpio significa corazones más saludables.

Source: EPA Science Water News

Source: Water Industry News

Mentoring for Science Technology, Engineering, and Math

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By Coral Tily

EPA researchers Cheryl Brown and Christina Folger were among the 45 volunteer science mentors that offered technical assistance to elementary school students preparing for the Newport Science Fair in Newport, Oregon. This science fair is one of the Oregon coast’s many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities.

Lydia Miller with Anastasia in front of the poster of Lydia’s group – influence of soil composition and retention

Lydia Miller with Anastasia Kaldy in front of the poster of Lydia’s group – influence of soil composition and retention

Students at Newport area elementary schools conducted experiments, gathered data, and compiled results. On January 21, the students shared their scientific discoveries with the public at a Science Fair held at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, home to one of EPA’s Western Ecology Division research laboratories.

The science mentors visited the classrooms regularly to assist the students with their investigations. Over 800 students from 33 classrooms at Sam Case and Yaquina View Elementary Schools in Newport participated; each class was matched with one or more science mentors. Oregon Sea Grant and volunteer coordinators organize the Science Fair in partnership with the schools. Cheryl and Christina (in her 5th year volunteering as a mentor) worked at Sam Case Elementary School, helping to develop and conduct experiments investigating plant growth and factors influencing soil permeability.

Science Fair participant : Anastasia Kaldy in front of her group’s project – effects of soil types

Anastasia Kaldy in front of her group’s project – effects of soil types

Cheryl’s class tested the effect of different factors on plant growth and survival.  Each group came up with their own factor/hypothesis that they tested.  Factors selected included the effect of salt, detergent, soda vs diet soda, Gatorade, effect of soil type (dirt, sand, and coffee), if plants could grow on ramen noodles, and the effect of burning plant leaves, as some of the boys just wanted to burn something.

Christina’s class worked with how different soil composition influences water retention. Students used different materials (sand, clay, pine needles, pebbles, etc.) to create multiple soil treatments in plastic cups with holes in the bottom for drainage.  They ‘made it rain’ on the cups several times over the two week period and recorded the weight of each cup at specific times after the “rain” to see which combination of materials retained the most water.

The event was a great experience for students and mentors alike. It showed the promise of making the connection between working scientists and young people in science, technology, engineering, and math activities.

About the Author: Information services specialist Coral Tily wrote this post in cooperation with Cheryl Brown (oceanographer), Christina Folger (marine ecologist), and Joan Hurley (senior environmental employment grantee).

Read “Science Fair A Big Success,” an article about the Newport Science Fair in the local paper

Source: EPA Science Water News

Source: Water Industry News

Cleaner Air Means Healthier Hearts

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By EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

February is Healthy Heart Month. There’s no better time than now to learn how to protect your heart.

Air pollution can affect heart health, and even trigger heart attacks and strokes. That’s important information for the one in three Americans who have heart disease, and for the people who love them.

And it’s why EPA is working with other government agencies, and with private and nonprofit health organizations, on the Million Hearts® national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. This month, and every month, we want to make sure people understand how heart disease is linked to air pollution – and what people can do to protect themselves.

Scientific studies, including research by EPA scientists, shows that there’s not just an association between air pollution and heart disease, but that this association can have life-threatening consequences.

In a recent study in Environmental Research, EPA scientists looked at data from NASA satellites and EPA ground-based air monitors, and confirmed that heart disease and heart attacks are more likely for individuals who live in places with higher air pollution.  The study found that exposure to even small additional amounts of fine particle pollution averaged over a year could increase a person’s odds of a heart attack by up to 14 percent.

So, what can you do to help keep your heart healthy?

  • You can start by making sure to eat nutritious meals and exercise (just make sure to check with your health care provider first).
  • Check the Air Quality Index every day to learn about your local air quality and how can reduce your exposure to air pollution.
  • And we can all do our part to make choices that are better for the environment and our health – like taking public transit more often and driving cleaner vehicles.

This February, and every month, remember that cleaner air means healthier hearts.

Source: EPA Science Water News

Source: Water Industry News