National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging
National Agenda Resources
In the Spring of 2003, EPA held public listening sessions throughout the country to solicit input from older Americans and other interested persons to ensure the development of a comprehensive National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging.
National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging
A major goal of the Aging Initiative is the development of a National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging. The National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging is being developed through a public participatory process which includes ongoing work within the Agency, input from public listening sessions held across the country, the proceedings from a National Academy of Sciences workshop entitled "The Differential Susceptibility of Older Persons to Environmental Hazards" and collaboration with federal, state, and local agencies and many academic, research, health, aging, and environmental organizations. It also has the input from many older adults.
The National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging has three main components:
- To identify research gaps in environmental health hazards on older persons.
- To prepare for an Aging Society in a Smart Growth Context
- To encourage older persons to become involved in communities to reduce environmental hazards and protect the environment
EPA has a history of conducting research on environmental hazards that affect the health of susceptible populations, including older persons. Examples of such research can be found in an inventory of aging-related projects (PDF) (12 pp, 72K, About PDF). The Office of Research and Development (ORD) leads the Agency's efforts to identify research gaps to help further our understanding of the effects that environmental hazards have on older persons. As more research results and information related to the environmental health of older persons (from within EPA and from outside sources) becomes available, it will be posted in this section of the Aging Initiative website. The following studies, reports and articles may be of interest.
Reports and Studies
June 2004 - Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease, American Heart
Association Scientific Statement (with permission from American Heart
Cardiovascular Mortality and Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution, "Circulation" Journal, American Heart Association, December 15, 2003Health, Wealth and Air Pollution: Advancing Theory and Methods [PDF, 10 pp., 435 KB], Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 111, Number 16, December 2003
Toxicological effects of Methylmercury (2000) Commission on Life Sciences , Committee on the Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, National Research Council, The National Academies (National Academies Press)
Articles on Research on the Environment and the Aging
Aging Research: The Future Face of Environmental Health , Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 111, Number 14, November 2003
The Beat Goes On: Researchers Consider Aging Baby Boomers Health (PDF) (2 pp, 71K, About PDF) , Environmental Science and Technology, July 2003
The United States is a rapidly aging nation. By 2006, the first of the nation's baby boomers will begin to turn 60, and by 2030, the aging population will double to more than 70 million. As our country ages, it is critical that we examine the impact that this demographic trend will have upon the environment and develop tools to prepare for our future. Community-based environmental protection is a new approach to environmental protection which focuses on the health of an ecosystem and the behavior of humans that live within its boundaries. Research has demonstrated that there are linkages between developmental patterns and environmental degradation. That is why it is important to use development to promote a healthy environment and prepare for an aging society. As more information on community-based environmental protection becomes available, it will be posted in this section of the Aging Initiative website.
EPA Smart Growth Office
Community Involvement and Civic Engagement of Older Adults - June 14, 2004 Reinventing Aging: Baby Boomers and Civic Engagement, Report by the Harvard School of Public Health-Metlife Foundation Initiative on Retirement and Civic Engagement
Encouraging Smart Growth
Getting to Smart Growth II: 100 More Policies for Implementation
National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
Creating Great Neighborhoods: Density in Your Community
Smart Savings: Climate Solutions for Cities (PDF) (4 pp, 163K, About PDF)
GreenScapes, Environmentally Beneficial Landscaping
Office of Water Fact Sheet on Smart Growth
Safe Mobility for a Maturing Society: Challenges and Opportunities , U.S. Department of Transportation, November 2003.
This report presents strategies for addressing the major transportation areas identified as needing improvement as it relates to a rapidly growing aging population, and complements EPA's efforts to prepare for an aging society.
Participation by older adults is a critical to the success of the National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging. Many older adults give of their time to improve quality of life for themselves, their families and their communities, including protecting the environment. The nation's 76 million baby boomers who are rapidly approaching their own aging will no doubt contribute to promoting civic engagement in a variety of ways. EPA's Aging Initiative intends to harness the energy generated by this growing number of older persons and baby boomers to inform their communities about hazards which threaten the environment or public health. As emerging information on how older persons and baby boomers already are -- or may be -- involved in protecting environmental health and communities becomes available, it will be posted on this section of the Aging Initiative website. Also included will be links to agencies and organizations which promote community involvement and intergenerational programs to protect the environmental health of all generations.
June 14, 2004 Reinventing Aging: Baby Boomers and Civic Engagement, Report by the Harvard School of Public Health-Metlife Foundation Initiative on Retirement and Civic Engagement
Experience at Work
Volunteering and Giving Among Americans 50 and Over
A report by Independent Sector and AARP
Giving and Volunteering in the United States in 2001
Independent Sector Survey Measures the Everyday Generosity of Americans
Private Sector Programs:
- Civic Ventures
- Experience Corps
- Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement
National Council on the Aging Family Friends
- Generations United
- National Association of RSVP Directors
- Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning
- Volunteers of America
EPA held public listening sessions in six cities for six consecutive weeks beginning April 3, 2003 and ending May 7th. EPA's Aging Initiative has partnered with universities and area agencies on aging to hold these important listening sessions.
Comments received electronically have been posted for each listening session. In addition, each listening session was videotaped in its entirety. If you wish to receive a copy of the videotape of a particular listening session, you may do so by contacting us to request it. You must be prepared to provide at least one blank VHS video (which session you select will determine length, so please contact us in advance) and a copy will be made and mailed back to you.
The listening sessions were held in the following cities:
|April 3, 2003||Tampa, FL|
|April 8, 2003||San Antonio, TX|
|April 15, 2003||Iowa City, IA|
|April 23, 2003||Pittsburgh, PA|
|April 29, 2003||Los Angeles, CA|
|May 7, 2003||Baltimore, MD|
American Society on Aging Focus Groups: Environmental Impact on Elders of Color, Summer 2003
A project of the American Society on Aging and California Endowment, with support from EPA, on environmental hazards that affect communities of color and recommendations for the EPA. This article is posted with permission from the American Society on Aging, and appeared in Aging Today, March - April 2004.
National Academy of Sciences Workshop
On December 5 and 6, 2002, the National Academy of Sciences held a workshop entitled " Differential Susceptibility of Older Persons to Environmental Hazards" which brought together more than 30 distinguished researchers and leaders in the fields of aging, environment and health to begin to shape the National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging. The workshop built upon a previous NAS report that was supported by EPA and the National Institute for Environmental Sciences entitled "Aging in Today's Environment."
- Unedited transcript of the National Academy of Sciences Workshop on the Differential Susceptibility and Exposure of Older Persons To Environmental Hazards.
- Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman, former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at the National Academy of Sciences Workshop
- Discurso de la Gobernadora Christine Todd Whitman