Talking Asthma for the Science Notebook

When I sat down at the microphone I took a deep breath and was immediately thankful I don’t suffer from asthma: that I could take a deep breath. Sometimes being a science communicator means lending your vocal talents to the cause, even when you don’t think your vocal chords sound all that pleasing to the ear.

But this is for science and getting the word out. Okay, I’m in.

I was hosting the “EPA’s Coordinated Approach” podcast for the Science Notebook: Asthma. So there I was, sitting in the EPA studio’s recording booth next to Alisa Smith of the Office of Air and Radiation. Joining us via the phone from EPA’s campus in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, were Susan Stone, also from the Office of Air and Radiation, and Dan Costa, EPA’s National Program Director for Clean Air Research.

After a quick sound check from each of us we went straight into the discussion: what asthma is, how EPA research is offering promising insights into the disease, the connection between air pollution and tools such as the Air Quality Index (AQI) and how they can help you understand what local air quality means to your health and asthma management. We jammed a lot of info into 11 minutes!

Explore the additional podcasts on the Science Notebook including those with:

  • Martha Sue Carraway, an EPA medical officer and scientist discusses her investigations into the respiratory and cardiovascular effects of air pollution exposure in older adults with asthma.
  • EPA health scientist Lucas Neas talks about his work on the Inner City Asthma Study, which evaluated the health benefits of feasible changes in the home environment of inner city children with moderate to severe asthma.
  • Marsha Ward, an EPA scientist, talks about the role of mold in asthma incidence alongside a slide show.

Check out the wealth of science information in the Notebook, scientific posters on EPA asthma research, videos and PSAs – information that can help you or someone you care about ward off an asthma attack. Be sure to take the quizzes “What Triggers Asthma Attacks?” and “Who’s Got Asthma?” and “It Takes A Village” — use the comments section below to let us know how you did and what you learned!

About the Author: Melissa-Anley Mills is the news director for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. She joined the Agency in 1998 as a National Urban Fellow.

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