This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey Fitzpatrickto-go coffee cup with research recap graphic

You know what would go great with that pumpkin spice latte? Reading about the latest in EPA science!

Indoor Chemical Exposure Research
Many cleaning products, personal care products, pesticides, furnishings, and electronics contain chemicals known as semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs). The compounds are released slowly into the air and can attach to surfaces or airborne particles, allowing them to enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or absorption through the skin.  Because SVOCs have been associated with negative health effects, EPA is funding research to learn more about their exposure and how we can reduce it. Learn more about this research in the blog Indoor Chemical Exposure: Novel Research for the 21st Century.

Empowering a Community with Scientific Knowledge
EPA researchers are working with a small community in Puerto Rico to install and maintain low-cost air monitoring devices. These devices will help community members analyze local pollutant levels and better understand the local environmental conditions. Learn more about the project in the blog Air Sensors in Puerto Rico: Empowering a Community with Scientific Knowledge.

Navigating Towards a More Sustainable Future
With the help of a smartphone, navigating from point A to point B is easier than ever. EPA is bringing that kind of convenience to environmental decision making with the release of Community-Focused Exposure Risk and Screening Tool (C-FERST), an online mapping tool. The tool provides access to resources that can help communities and decision makers learn more about their local environmental issues, compare conditions in their community with their county and state averages, and explore exposure and risk reduction options. Learn more about the tool in the blog C-FERST: A New Tool to Help Communities Navigate toward a Healthier, More Sustainable Future.

EPA Researchers at Work
EPA scientist Joachim Pleil is the EPA “breath guy” and was involved with the founding of the International Association of Breath Research and the Journal of Breath Research. He started off developing methods for measuring volatile organic carcinogens in air, and then progressed to linking chemical biomarkers to absorption, metabolism and elimination by analyzing human blood, breath, and urine. Meet EPA Scientist Joachim Pleil!

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. She is a regular contributor to It All Starts with Science and the founding writer of “The Research Recap.”

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