EPA Releases Roadmap for Agency to Prepare for a Changing Climate

Joel Beauvais Joel Beauvais

Two years ago this week, Super Storm Sandy slammed into the East Coast, causing approximately $65 billion dollars in damages, as well as loss of life and immeasurable suffering for the people of that region. In many ways, that storm was a wakeup call on the need to better prepare for extreme weather and a changing climate.

Today, we know the climate is changing at a rapid rate, and the risk for extreme weather events is increasing. And that’s why the Climate Change Adaptation Plans we’re releasing today are so important. EPA’s overall plan, prepared in support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and Executive Order 13653 (“Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change”), provides a roadmap for how we’ll work with communities to anticipate and prepare for a changing climate.

Given our critical responsibilities for protecting human health and the environment, we recognize the need for smart, strategic and effective responses to new threats and challenges. This plan delivers just that. It reflects serious thinking about how the work we do can be disrupted by a changing climate and ways that we can begin to reduce those potential risks. And it reflects our commitment to support communities all across the country that are already grappling with questions of resilience to current and future climate changes.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

This Week in EPA Science – Halloween Edition

By Kacey Fitzpatrick

What do most movies about zombies, aliens, robots, and monsters have in common with Research Recap? It All Starts with Science! Research recap graphic identifier, a microscope with the words "research recap" around it in a circle

Of course, you can’t always believe what you see in the movies. Here’s some real research that’s been highlighted by EPA this week (and won’t give you nightmares). Happy Halloween!

  • Prescriptions for Cleaner Waterways Left with expired, unwanted prescriptions, many people will pour them down the sink or flush them away. In a recently published study, EPA scientist Christian Daughton presents ways to reduce the active ingredients of pharmaceuticals from getting into our waterways. Read more.
  • Strengthening IRIS: Cultivating Broad Scientific Input EPA has embraced recommendations by the National Research Council to broaden the input they receive while conducting health assessments in the Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). “Bringing more scientific minds to the table will only strengthen our assessments by encouraging a more robust discussion,” writes IRIS scientist Louis D’Amico, Ph.D. Read more.
  • Broadcom MASTERS EPA’s Drs. Denice Shaw and Tina Bahadori, along with Melissa Anley-Mills, participated in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) event with the Broadcom MASTERS finalists. Broadcom MASTERS is a national STEM competition for U.S. 6th, 7th, and 8th graders that aims to inspire and encourage future scientists, engineers, and innovators. Read more.

If you have any comments or questions about what I share or about the week’s events, please submit them below in the comments section!

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a student contractor and writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Prescriptions for Cleaner Waterways

By Pradnya Bhandari

Teetering on the edge of a chair, my six-year-old self roots through the medicine cabinet, pushing aside plastic orange bottles for the gems hidden behind them: my gummy vitamins. My mother immediately asks me to come down, wondering if I had accidently gotten my hand on any of the medicines. Later, I see her pouring pills down the toilet and flushing them away into oblivion.

EPA researchers are studying pharmaceuticals in wastewater to help protect the nation’s waterways. Image courtesy of U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

EPA researchers are studying pharmaceuticals in wastewater to help protect the nation’s waterways. Image courtesy of U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

I’m sure many of us have been in the same situation, left with expired, unwanted prescriptions and pouring them down the sink or flushing them away. Medications pose a threat within the household, especially homes with children, because accidental ingestion can have severe consequences. However, have you ever thought of these discarded drugs as a problem to our environment as well?

In a recently published study, Eco-directed sustainable prescribing: feasibility for reducing water contamination by drugs, EPA scientist Christian Daughton presents ways we can prevent the active ingredients of pharmaceuticals from getting into our waterways. Traditionally, approaches to addressing such water pollution have been limited to waste disposal and wastewater cleanup.

Daughton’s research examines practices that are ultimately responsible for the entry of pharmaceuticals into our waterways, practices that could be altered to reduce or prevent pollution: disposal (like my mom flushing her old medicines when I was a kid), excretion (active drug ingredients your body flushes out instead of deactivation), bathing (which releases topically applied medications and drugs excreted via sweat) or other sources.

Daughton focused his research on the metabolism (deactivation) of active pharmaceutical ingredients and how they impact the environment. He used an existing system that categorizes drugs based on water solubility and intestinal absorption. Using this data, Daughton categorized drugs according to two distinct excretion profiles: (1) drugs that are excreted largely unchanged (and therefore retain their biological activity in the environment) and (2) drugs that are extensively metabolized (transformed usually into chemicals with less activity). He then examined published data on the occurrence of each drug in municipal wastewaters to find that drugs from the second category occur with less frequency and at lower levels.

In his paper, Daughton illustrates how such excretion profiles could be used to develop a healthcare practice called “eco-directed sustainable prescribing.” Understanding how a drug is excreted could help physicians prescribe drugs at lower doses or with less potential to be excreted and reach waterways. This would help reduce pollution and lead to cleaner waters.

For more about EPA research to reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals in the environment, see:

About the Author: Pradnya Bhandari is an intern for the science communications team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development and attends the University of Maryland.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

More Bang for the Green Buck: Using Green Infrastructure to Revitalize Water Systems and the Community

by Mike Shapiro

Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s small but historic Crystal Park is located in a racially diverse and economically distressed neighborhood rich in history. The neighborhood once served as a welcome gate to the southwest corner of the city but suffered neglect. The park was no different, and long had been underutilized by local residents. When Lancaster implemented its Green Infrastructure Plan, neighbors of the park considered it an important focus for the city’s redevelopment efforts. Nearly one year later, neighbors love the space. Use of the park, which had been non-existent before this revitalization effort, has outpaced all expectations.

Revitalization of the park is just a part of Lancaster’s efforts to recreate itself into a sustainable city. In fact, Lancaster was the first community to receive the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification under the Pennsylvania Municipal League’s new statewide program. The certification acknowledges Lancaster for its progress in addressing areas of community design and land use, energy efficiency, health and wellness, mitigating blight, intergovernmental cooperation, recycling and waste reduction, fiscal controls, and internal management and operations.

Students tour green infrastructure projects around the city

Students tour green infrastructure projects around the city

Lancaster, a diverse city of 60,000 in southern Pennsylvania faces many of the infrastructure challenges prevalent in older communities across the country. Located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the city operates a combined sewer system, which manages both wastewater and stormwater, as well as a separate storm sewer system. As with many urban centers, the city is largely paved—nearly half of the city is covered by impervious surfaces such as parking lots, buildings, and roadways. Stormwater runoff from these paved areas overflows the city’s combined sewers during heavy rainstorms, becoming a major source of pollution in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

On August 18, Charlotte Katzenmoyer, Lancaster’s Director of Public Works, visited EPA headquarters to discuss the series of innovative, green approaches the city has adopted to improve its water infrastructure and enhance the community for the benefit of all residents. For Crystal Park, enhancements include a porous asphalt basketball court, a plaza and picnic area constructed of permeable pavers, and rain gardens that help capture stormwater runoff. The porous plaza doubles as an amphitheater where local theaters have brought plays to this underserved community this past summer for the first time in the city’s history.

Lancaster has built over 100 green infrastructure projects designed to reduce stormwater runoff. Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source, protecting water quality and benefiting communities through improved air quality, enhanced recreational opportunities, revitalized neighborhoods, and even enhanced climate resiliency. Increasingly, it is being used to complement and enhance gray infrastructure investments such as pipes and ponds.

The city has creatively integrated green infrastructure into other public works improvements, actively engaging community groups in selecting and developing these projects. The city worked to ensure that residents from around the city were represented and engaged in the process, convening an advisory committee, with representatives from the city’s civic and community groups, to provide input into its green infrastructure plan and throughout project selection and development. In addition, the city has used demonstration projects and outreach efforts to seek out community input and educate community members on the benefits of green infrastructure.

The public works department has used this approach to cost-effectively improve the city’s overall infrastructure and neighborhoods and improve a range of amenities for local residents—incorporating plants and infiltration trenches into “green” alleys and parking lots; building community rain gardens; and creating basketball courts with permeable surfaces through which stormwater can drain. Lancaster estimates that its green infrastructure projects will capture about 45 million gallons of stormwater runoff annually. In addition to managing stormwater runoff and helping enhance neighborhoods and residential amenities, Lancaster has found that green infrastructure approaches can cost significantly less than gray infrastructure investments—enlarging the city’s wastewater treatment plant and building holding tanks to adequately store stormwater overflows would cost the city an estimated $300 million, compared with $140 million to manage the same volume of stormwater using green infrastructure approaches.

Building green infrastructure has been instrumental in allowing Lancaster to improve its infrastructure with the least possible impact to wastewater utility rates, a concern for the city’s many economically distressed ratepayers. In addition, to further pay for these stormwater improvements equitably, the city adopted a stormwater utility fee in February based on each parcel’s impervious cover, meaning those properties that generate proportionally more stormwater pay a higher utility fee. This also provides relief for individual ratepayers, whose properties generally have lower levels of impervious cover.

Importantly, Lancaster has looked to optimize the many community benefits that green infrastructure can provide. Increasing green space in environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically distressed communities, enhancing tree canopy, and improving recreational facilities have provided public health benefits and improved the overall livability of Lancaster. We were grateful to have Charlotte share many of Lancaster’s successes and to see how communities are making green infrastructure work for their residents, providing both environmental and social benefits.

About the Author: Mike Shapiro is the Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water and leads the office’s efforts with regard to Environmental Justice.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Getting an Education on Septic Systems

By Leslie Corcelli

Most of us don’t think or talk about where things go when we flush. Let’s face it, it’s a little awkward. However, I’m fortunate enough to be an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education participant in EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management. Around here, wastewater is the topic. Guess what? There’s a lot more to it than you think.

Did you know that nearly one million households in Virginia have onsite wastewater treatment systems? Many of these are septic systems. For many households and communities, there are site limitations that prevent traditional systems from being practical. That’s where alternative systems are essential.

During EPA’s annual SepticSmart Week, I attended a tour that demonstrated five types of alternative onsite wastewater systems in northern Virginia. The tour covered Fairfax and Loudoun counties and was hosted by Virginia Department of Health, which was accompanied by the Fairfax County Division of Environmental Health and the Loudoun County Health Department.

We visited five very different sites — a residential home, a volunteer fire department, a low-income community, a commercial center, and a residential community with 25 homes. They ranged in age from old to new, and the amount of wastewater generated per day varied from 750 gallons to 22,000 gallons. There were dispersal systems, black water recycling, drainfield systems and sand filters.

In addition to the technical information, I took something else away with me. There are some seriously dedicated wastewater and health professionals at the local, regional, state and federal level who are committed to ensuring public health through effective wastewater management. They have to consider planning, design, installation, and ongoing operations and management, not to mention local, state and federal laws. They also engage with a variety of stakeholders, including the individuals and communities for whom the alternative systems are necessary. It’s quite a feat.

They’re amazing folks, but they need our help. I now realize how important it is for us to do our part. For those of us with septic systems, we need to think much more about what happens when we flush. These systems require maintenance and ongoing management. Maintaining your septic system will save you money and protect your property and environment. Go to http://epa.gov/septicsmart to learn how.

About the author: Leslie Corcelli is an ORISE research participant in EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

What’s on Tap?

by Pam Lazos

 

Tap water flows to you with a simple twist of the wrist.

Tap water flows to you with a simple twist of the wrist.

Today in the U.S., through miracles of engineering and ingenuity, clean water is delivered right to your faucet, cheaply, efficiently and good enough to drink, bathe in and cook with. Do you know why? Since the passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974, EPA has been regulating the water we drink, and that’s a beautiful thing. EPA sets legal limits, designed to protect human health, on the levels of more than 90 contaminants in drinking water. There are also rules that set how and when water must be tested. So why does tap water sometimes get a bad rap when it flows to you with a simple twist of the wrist?

Some say they prefer the taste of bottled water over tap water, and others believe bottled is safer than tap. Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under its food safety program. But where does that bottled water come from? If you look at the label of any bottled water, you’re likely to see waterfalls and pristine lakes, or wild rivers and cool mountain springs. The scene is relaxing, energizing, soothing, and delightful, right? But what you see is not always what you get: about 25% of all bottled water is actually tap water! When you factor in the safety and convenience of tap water with the higher relative cost of bottled water, the plastic waste often associated with bottled water, and the greenhouse gases associated with transporting bottled water, the reasons to turn to tap water really start to stack up.

When you’re on the go and you need a refreshing drink, fill up your own personal bottle with tap water. Today you can find attractive and lightweight water bottle containers in every size and color so it’s no problem finding the container that you need while in the car, going for a run, or while at work. So next time, don’t reach for the bottled water. Turn on the tap! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

About the author: Pam Lazos is an attorney in the Office of Regional Counsel in EPA Region 3, and focuses on water law. When not in the office, she keeps bees, writes books, and volunteers in her community on various projects that benefit women and children.

 

 

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Hogares saludables: protegiendo a los niños de los riesgos ambientales

Por Paula Selzer 102914 childrens-health

A lo largo de la frontera entre los Estados Unidos y México, hay centenares de comunidades que se llaman colonias. Estos asentamientos rurales no incorporados a menudo no tienen acceso al agua potable, electricidad, ni las condiciones de vivienda seguras. Carreteras sin pavimentar, un sistema insuficiente de eliminación de aguas residuales y agua sin tratar es la norma.
Estudios han demostrado una fuerte conexión entre las condiciones de las viviendas y problemas de la salud como el asma, cáncer de los pulmones, intoxicación del plomo y otros daños. Generalmente los niños, pero especialmente los que viven en colonias, son más vulnerables a este tipo de problemas de salud que los adultos. Debido a que los niños comen, beban y respiran más que los adultos en proporción a su peso corporal, están en riesgo padecer enfermedades agudas o a largo plazo. Los niños son pequeños, sus órganos todavía se están desarrollando, y sus conductas de jugar y aprendizaje los exponen a más riesgos ambientales. Por ejemplo, los niños juegan cerca del piso y ponen sus manos en su boca, ingiriendo contaminantes dañinos. Cuando un niño está corriendo a gran velocidad, como en un juego de fútbol, pueden respirar hasta 20 o 50 por ciento más aire y más contaminantes de aire que un adulto haciendo la misma actividad. Además, los niños tienen ciertas etapas en su desarrollo que los dejan más vulnerables.
Los impactos de los problemas de salud que surgen debido a las malas condiciones de vivienda se extiendan a otras áreas, incluyendo la educación. A medida que se enferman los niños, su asistencia a la escuela disminuye. Este año, el Programa de la Frontera entre los Estados Unidos y México en la oficina de la EPA Región 6 proveyó financiación para apoyar el entrenamiento de Viviendas Saludables del Centro de Educación para la Salud del Área Sur (SoAHEC, por sus siglas en inglés) en la Universidad Estatal de Nuevo México. El entrenamiento de Viviendas Saludables está diseñado para enseñar a los padres, a los proveedores de cuidado infantil, a los trabajadores sanitarios de la comunidad y a los administradores de casos, cómo crear y mantener un hogar más seguro, más sano para proteger a los niños de los riesgos de salud ambiental. Para llegar a aquellos que de otra manera no podrían viajar a los sitios tradicionales del salón de clases, los educadores de salud de SoAHEC llevaron el entrenamiento directamente a las colonias a lo largo de la frontera entre los Estados Unidos y México.

102914 Principles healthy-homesLas clases abarcaron los siete principios de los Hogares Saludables, con un énfasis especial en la salud ambiental pediátrica, calidad del aire interior, prácticas de limpieza seguro, y la gestión integrada de plagas.
Nuevo México tiene una de las proporciones más altas de pobreza infantil en la nación. Al entrenar más de 350 personas gracias a esta subvención, SoAHEC calcula que los resultados a largo plazo beneficiarán a más de 3.000 personas que continuarán teniendo beneficios a largo plazo mientras sus hijos crezcan en hogares saludables.

Las clases de Viviendas Saludables se ofrecen en comunidades desfavorecidos por toda la nación como una de la EPA iniciativas para proteger la salud infantil.

Para aprender más sobre la salud infantil, mire la proclama presidencial para el Día de Salud Infantil o visite el sitio web de la Oficina de la Protección de la Salud Infantil.

 

 

Sobre la autora: Paula Selzar empezó a trabajar en la EPA en 1994 y trabajó en programas de asma y ambientales escolares por muchos años en Washington, DC. En el 2006, se mudó a Dallas donde está sirviendo como la coordinadora del Programa de Salud Infantil de la EPA’s región 6. Ella ha estado dirigiendo la iniciativa de Hogares Saludables para el Programa de Salud Infantil por los últimos cuatro años. Antes de trabajar en la EPA, era voluntaria para el Cuerpo de Paz de EE.UU. en la Republica Dominicana.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

When the Moon Hits Your Eye…Like a Big Pizza Pie

Local taste testers agree – NYC has some of the best pizza around.

Local taste testers agree – NYC has some of the best pizza around.

By Jennifer May-Reddy

New Yorkers are spoiled by pizza of the finest quality (and bagels for that matter too)!

What sets our pizza apart from the rest? I found myself thinking about this as I “split a pie” with my husband and three kids last weekend. One theory is that our stellar New York City tap water has something to do with it. I asked the owner of a local pizza joint and he told me that he does use water straight from the tap with no additional filters when making his fresh pizza dough every day.

So what role does clean water play in good pizza making? Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg used to refer to the City’s drinking water as the “champagne of water.” Our water comes from a combination of reservoirs and lakes in a watershed located just north and west of New York City. The water is regularly monitored and tested, but everyday residents like you and me can play a part in making sure the quality of our water remains high. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s web site states that, “Each person can help these systems run better by conserving water, disposing of garbage and household chemicals properly and being concerned about water quality in the City’s surrounding waters.”

So do your part New Yorkers! If our waters get polluted, any pollutants can carry downstream. And who wants to put the taste of our legendary pizza at risk? In addition to much more serious problems!

EPA is doing its part to protect the quality of our pizza by working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on an action to help safeguard our nation’s waters and public health. The initiative is called Waters of the US and you can learn more about it and comment on the proposal at www.epa.gov/uswaters.

So, the next time you bite into a delicious NY slice, remember the one-of-a-kind clean drinking water that helped make your pizza so yummy. Ciao!

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Perspectiva pediátrica: asegurando aire limpio, protegiendo la salud infantil

Cuando celebramos el mes de octubre como el Mes de la Salud Infantil para concientizar sobre las necesidades de salud singulares de los niños, es fácil de ignorar una variable que nos afecta a todos y a cada uno de nosotros cada día, especialmente la salud de nuestros hijos–los cambios en nuestro medio ambiente.
Los efectos sobre la salud del aumento de los niveles de contaminación no son fáciles de ver como un dolor de garganta ni nariz que moquea, pero todavía pueden causar daño y provocar efectos adversos como el asma y funciones pulmonares reducidas. Como pediatras cuya labor primordial consiste en mantener a los niños saludables, creemos que el clima cambiante y su impacto en la salud infantil y exige nuestra atención total.
Para ayudar a hacer sonar la campana de alarma sobre este problema, la Academia Americana de Pediatras recientemente celebró tu un chat en Twitter con la administradora de la EPA, Gina McCarthy que alcanzó a más de 7 millones de personas, para poner énfasis en la importancia de tener aire limpio para nuestros niños.
Los niños son susceptibles a los cambios en su ambiente. Respiran más, comen más comida y toman más agua por unidad de peso corporal, haciéndolos más vulnerables a los contaminantes. Hoy los niños están sufriendo impactos a la salud asociadas con el clima que incluyen empeoramiento de las alergias y el asma, cambios en los patrones de las enfermedades infecciosas sensibles al clima tales como la enfermedad de Lyme y el desplazamiento de los fenómenos extremos como el huracán Katrina. De hecho, más de 80% de la carga actual de la salud debido al cambio climático ocurre en los niños menores de cinco años de edad.
Además, los niños tienen un derecho fundamental a heredar un planeta que sea seguro, productivo y precioso como el que nosotros disfrutamos hace una generación atrás. Dado nuestros conocimientos sobre los impactos graves y potencialmente irreversibles de las crecientes concentraciones de gas de efecto invernadero, el continuar en nuestra trayectoria actual sería una injusticia sin precedentes para futuras generaciones.
No hay una solución para este problema abarcador de salud pública, pero la EPA ha tomado un paso en la dirección correcta proponiendo una norma que ayudaría a limitar las emisiones de carbono. Los pediatras están cometidos a trabajar con la agencia para asegurar que se implementen las normas más estrictas para proteger la salud infantil. Estamos pidiendo a las personas que abogan por la salud pública en todo el país que se unan a nosotros. No tenemos tiempo para perder, la salud y la seguridad de nuestros hijos depende de nuestro éxito.

 

Sobre los autores: Jerome Paulson, MD, FAAP y Samantha Adhoot, FAAP, presidente y miembro del Consejo de Salud Ambiental de la Academia Estadounidense de Pediatría, respectivamente, son pediatras con sede en el área metropolitana de Washington, DC.

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EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

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Energy Star Day: The Power of the Little Blue Label

Gina McCarthy Gina McCarthy


Let’s start with a few numbers:

300 billion dollars in savings. That’s how much consumers and businesses have saved on utility bills in the last 22 years because of the Energy Star program.

Two billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions avoided, or the equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 420 million cars, over the last 22 years. Thanks to our little blue Energy Star label, folks are doing their part to reduce their greenhouse emissions and combat climate change.

Since President Obama took office, Energy Star has helped American consumers and businesses save over one billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and approximately $110 billion on their utility bills.

That’s one powerful little label.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.