Month: June 2012

NIH, EPA announce competition to develop personal air pollution and health sensors

A competition to create a personal sensor system that measures air pollution and a person’s physiological response to it will offer cash awards to finalists, federal officials announced today. The goal is to help researchers, communities, and physicians better understand the connection between air quality and health.

The My Air, My Health Challenge is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


IARC: Diesel Engine Exhaust Carcinogenic

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), has classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans, based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer.

The scientific evidence was reviewed thoroughly by the Working Group and overall it was concluded that there was sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust. The Working Group found that diesel exhaust is a cause of lung cancer (sufficient evidence) and also noted a positive association (limited evidence) with an increased risk of bladder cancer (Group 1).

Read more of IARC: Diesel Engine Exhaust Carcinogenic

Formation and Reactions of EPFRs in Thermal Processing of Superfund Wastes

Environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) are formed on the surfaces of transition metal-containing particles by chemisorption of a molecular precursor and electron transfer from the organic to the metal, resulting in reduction of the metal and formation of the EPFR. Association of some radicals with the metal increases their stability and reduces their rate of reaction with oxygen such that they can persist for several days in the environment. EPFRs have been found associated with soot and fly-ash produced from the combustion of hazardous wastes and Superfund soils from a former wood-treatment facility contaminated with pentachlorophenol. EPFRs are formed in high concentrations in the thermal and cool-zones of incinerators and other thermal treatment devices for remediation of Superfund sites, where they can also react, primarily by radical-radical recombination, to form polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs).

This project, by Dr. Barry Dellinger, explores the origin and fate of EPFRs in thermal treatment devices through four Specific Aims. Go to this link to learn more: Formation and Reactions of Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals in Thermal Processing of Superfund Wastes.