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PEPH E-News March 2014

Volume 5, Issue 3: March 2014

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Understanding the Link between Air Pollution, Climate, and Heart Health

Climate change is expected  to increase the frequency, duration, and intensity of heat waves, and may also increase the risk for heart attacks, strokes, and death related to cardiovascular conditions. A Cardiology Patient Page  , recently published in the journal Circulation, explains how both air pollution and extreme temperatures affect heart health, and provides patients with specific steps they can take to protect their cardiovascular health. Lead author and NIEHS grantee Diane Gold, M.D., from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, cites American Heart Association scientific statements and extensive reviews that conclude that air pollution poses a risk to heart health, particularly for people with preexisting heart conditions. According to Dr. Gold, when extreme heat events and high levels of air pollution occur simultaneously, the combination may pose a particularly dangerous exposure scenario for susceptible individuals. The article highlights that "especially if air conditioning is not available, very hot weather is dangerous for those with heart disease, the elderly, and persons taking cardiovascular medications that limit a person's ability to cope with heat."

Gold provides patients with specific educational resources and actions they can take to protect their own heart health and the health of their family, neighbors, and community from risks caused by air pollution and extreme weather. For example, she describes how patients who have internet access can monitor local air quality forecasts, and advises people to plan activities when air pollution levels are lower. She also encourages people to offer the elderly and other vulnerable people in their community "help they can trust," such as a shelter with air conditioning and water during periods of extreme heat or prolonged power outages, or a safe warm place during periods of extreme cold.

According to Dr. Gold, "Clean air and safe outdoor environmental conditions are community resources often not within the control of individuals. A three-pronged approach, with actions at the individual, neighborhood/community, and national level, may be needed to protect heart health when susceptible people are exposed to air pollution or weather extremes."

PEPH in the Environmental Factor

The February issue of the NIEHS Environmental Factor features several stories highlighting our PEPH colleagues. Take a moment to catch up with some of the latest projects and activities happening in the PEPH network:

Community engagement drives new pilot study on fracking and air quality
A team of NIEHS-funded researchers met with citizens of Carroll County, Ohio, Jan. 9 marking one of the first steps in the new one-year, community-engaged pilot study of fracking and air quality.

NIEHS exposome faculty connects scientists from across the Institute
Scientists from across NIEHS gathered Jan. 10 to help inaugurate the Institute's exposome faculty, who are working to develop the concept and study of exposome science at NIEHS. At the meeting, PEPH program lead, Liam O'Fallon, reported on community engagement activities to explore how the exposome relates to public health work.

Research supported by NIEHS informs policy and regulatory discussion
NIEHS-funded researchers found themselves, this winter, at center stage in the national discussion concerning policy and regulatory issues related to environmental public health.

New Videos Explain Passive Wristband Samplers used by OSU Researchers

Two four-minute videos  help explain how passive wristband samplers absorb chemicals in the air to monitor and characterize personal exposure to air pollution. The wristbands, developed by Kim Anderson, Ph.D., and colleagues from the Environmental Health Sciences Center at Oregon State University, are small and lightweight so people can comfortably wear them throughout the day and as they sleep. The wristbands are being used in several community-based research projects, including a pilot study of fracking and air quality that is being conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cincinnati.

Summer Institute in Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins

The Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health is offering a two-week Summer Institute  for students in degree programs and for public health professionals. The courses are designed for practicing public health professionals with responsibilities for health, safety, and environmental matters in government agencies, non-government organizations, and industry; and for students who are interested in learning more about environmental health sciences concepts. The Summer Institute will be held June 9-21, 2014.

Call for Papers: Eliminating Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  has issued a call for papers for a special issue on "Eliminating Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity." The purpose of the special issue is to highlight the latest interdisciplinary and innovative research, tools, methods and approaches to assess, reduce and prevent environmentally driven social, racial, and ethnic health disparities. Submissions are due by July 31, 2014; see the announcement  for more information.

New Environmental Health Chat Podcast about Arsenic

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Arsenic poisoning is a recognized health threat worldwide. Although contaminated drinking water is a primary culprit, people can also be exposed to arsenic through foods. In this podcast, learn why rice and other foods sometimes contain arsenic and get tips on how to reduce your exposure. You can also find past podcasts on the Environmental Health Chat Web page, or subscribe to the series on iTunes  .

PEPH Webinar on Socioeconomic Effects of Polluted Sites

The March PEPH webinar, "Socioeconomic Effects of Polluted Sites," will address the various social and economic consequences of living in a community located near a hazardous site. Stay tuned for the webinar announcement and registration link.

EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers Webinar on Prenatal Exposures and Prevention

In this month's EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers Webinar, four presenters will discuss their research on preconception and prenatal exposures, and preventing harmful exposures before and during pregnancy. The webinar will be held March 12, 2014 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET. Register online  .

Upcoming PEPH-Related Meetings

March 23-27, 2014: 53rd Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting  in Phoenix, Arizona.

March 26-28, 2014: " National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program  ," in Washington, DC, will focus on the needs and challenges of communities, governments, tribes, and other groups with an interest in environmental justice.

April 30-May 3, 2014: " Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Conference  ," in Chicago, Illinois. Also be sure to check out the preconference workshops  .

May 7-9, 2014: National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Environmental Conditions in Communities  in Arlington, Virginia. The conference serves as the main public outreach and training event for EPA's TRI program, which provides communities with information about toxic chemical releases and waste management activities.

July 7-10, 2014: National Environmental Health Association Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition  in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Funding Opportunities

Visit the PEPH Funding Opportunity Announcements page for more PEPH-related funding opportunities.

Notice of Intent to publish FOA for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers   (P01). The NIEHS and EPA intend to publish a joint FOA to solicit applications for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers. This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects and cores. The FOA is expected to be published in April 2014 with an expected application due date in July 2014.

Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC)  (P30). An EHS CC is designed to establish leadership and support for programs of excellence in environmental health sciences by providing scientific guidance, technology, and career development opportunities for promising investigators. Deadlines: March 22, 2014 (Letter of Intent); April 22, 2014 (Application).

NIH Revision Awards for Creating Virtual Consortium for Translational/Transdisciplinary Environmental Research (ViCTER)  (R01). The purpose of the ViCTER program is to foster and promote transdisciplinary collaborations and/or translational research efforts among researchers who have come together in common interest around a particular environmental stressor(s). Deadline: March 4 2014.

Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) Funding Opportunity  : The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, will support up to six HIA demonstration projects that inform a specific decision, with a focus on tribes, states, and territories that have limited experience with HIAs to date; and up to five HIA program grants that enable organizations with previous HIA experience to develop programs that integrate HIAs and related approaches in policymaking at the local, state, or tribal level.

Chronic Condition Self-Management in Children and Adolescents ( RO1  and R21  ). To encourage research to improve self-management and quality of life in children and adolescents with chronic conditions. Deadlines: June 5, 2014 (R01); July 16, 2014 (R21).

Translational Research to Improve Diabetes and Obesity Outcomes  . Deadline: June 5, 2014.

Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations (R01)  . Deadlines: April 15, 2014 (Letter of Intent); May 15, 2014 (Application).

Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities  ( RO1  and R21  ). Deadlines: June 5, 2014 (R01); June 16, 2014 (R21).

Health Promotion Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Males ( RO1  and R21  ). Deadline: June 5, 2014 (R01); June 16, 2014 (R21).

Do you have an announcement to share with the PEPH community? Send us your news for the next issue of the PEPH Newsletter ( peph@niehs.nih.gov).

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