U.S. EPA Aging Initiative List Serve July 2011
II. News, Research, Reports and Presentations
III. New Resources and Opportunities
IV. Building Sustainable Communities
V. Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
VI. Intergenerational Activities
VII. Funding Opportunities
VIII. 2011 Calendar of Events
IX. Call for Abstracts
Cast Your Votes in Rachel Carson Contest
The Environmental Protection Agency invites the public to vote for their favorite entries in the fifth annual Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest. A panel of judges selected the finalists in five categories: photography, essay, poetry, dance and mixed media (photography and a poem or essay). Finalists were selected based on originality, creativity, use of an intergenerational team, and ability to capture a sense of wonder.
Carson is considered to be the founder of the contemporary environmental movement through her landmark book, "Silent Spring." Using the title of another of Carson's books, "The Sense of Wonder," the contest sought submissions "that best express the 'Sense of Wonder' that you feel when observing the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes."
The deadline for voting is September 30th and winners will be announced on the website in October. Each winning team member will receive a certificate for their accomplishment and will be recognized on EPA's website.
The contest is sponsored by the EPA in partnership with Generations United, the Rachel Carson Council Inc., the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and the National Center for Creative Aging. Check out the homepage of the aging website for when the voting will open. www.epa.gov/aging
II. News, Research, Reports and Presentations
Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update:The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregivng: Public Policy Institute AARP
Report by Lynn Feinberg, Susan C. Reinhard, Ari Houser, and Rita Choula
"In 2009, about 42.1 million family caregivers in the U.S. provided care to an adult with limitations in daily activities at any given point in time, and about 61.6 million provided care at some time during the year.
The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions was approximately $450 billion in 2009, up from an estimated $375 billion in 2007. The report also explains the contributions of family caregivers, details the costs and consequences of providing family care, and provides policy recommendations to better support caregiving families."
To read more about the report see http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/ltc/i51-caregiving.pdf
Lung Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Associated with Ambient Air Pollution and Cigarette Smoke: Shape of the Exposure-Response Relationships
Pope CA III, Burnett RT, Turner MC, Cohen AJ, Krewski D, et al. 2011 Lung Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Associated with Ambient Air Pollution and Cigarette Smoke: Shape of the Exposure-Response Relationships. Environ Health Perspect doi:10.1289/ehp.1103639
An analysis of several studies shows that people with Parkinson's disease have a significantly higher risk of melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer and the leading cause of death from skin diseases. The research is published in the June 7, 2011, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder that causes tremors and difficulty with movement and walking. It affects about one million people in the United States.
"Past studies linking Parkinson's disease and melanoma have not been conclusive, so we wanted to explore a larger group of studies to see whether the link was consistent," said study author Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a division of the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
The research examined 12 studies conducted from 1965 and 2010 that looked at the possible association between Parkinson's disease and melanoma. Most of the studies had fewer than 10 cases with both conditions.
The study found that men with Parkinson's disease were twice as likely as those without Parkinson's to have melanoma. Women with Parkinson's disease were one-and-a-half times as likely to be diagnosed with the dangerous form of skin cancer compared to women without Parkinson's. There was no clear link found between Parkinson's and non-melanoma skin cancer.
"Parkinson's disease patients in general have a lower risk for cancer, smoking-related cancers in particular, but they may have a higher risk for melanoma. One possible explanation for the link between Parkinson's and melanoma is that the two diseases may share some genetic or environmental risk factors," Chen said. "However, our understanding of this link is very preliminary." The study was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/577330/
III. New Resources and Opportunities
EPA Strengthens Key Scientific Database to Protect Public Health
The EPA announced plans to improve its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program as part of an ongoing effort initiated in 2009 to strengthen the program. IRIS is a publicly available on-line database that provides high quality science-based human health assessments used to inform the agency's decisions on protecting public health and the environment
"Decision makers rely on the IRIS program for accessible, science-based health assessments of environmental contaminants," said Paul Anastas, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development. "Further strengthening the IRIS program is part of EPA's commitment to continuous improvement and ensuring we use the best possible science to protect human health and the environment."
The improvements announced today will make IRIS even stronger. All new IRIS assessment documents will be shorter, clearer and more visual, concise, and transparent. IRIS users can expect to see a reduced volume of text and increased clarity and transparency of data, methods, and decision criteria. Documents will be rigorously edited to eliminate inconsistencies and address redundancies and will include more graphical and tabular representations of data. Related discussions will also be consolidated into concise narrative descriptions.
To make the scientific rationale behind the assessments and toxicity values as transparent as possible, EPA will evaluate and describe the strengths and weaknesses of critical studies in a more uniform way. EPA will also indicate which criteria were most influential in evaluating the weight of the scientific evidence supporting its choice of toxicity values.
The IRIS database includes more than 540 chemical substances, containing crucial information about how they impact human health. Combined with exposure information, governments and private entities use IRIS to help characterize the public health risks of chemical substances, thereby supporting risk management decisions designed to protect public health.
More information about IRIS: http://www.epa.gov/iris/
Information about the IRIS process: http://www.epa.gov/iris/process.htm
The UV Index
The UV Index, developed by the National Weather Service and EPA, indicates the strength of solar UV radiation on a scale from 1 (low) to 11+ (extremely high). You can use the UV Index to take appropriate sun-protective behaviors and avoid overexposure to UV radiation.
The ozone layer shields the Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Ozone depletion, as well as seasonal and weather variations, cause different amounts of UV radiation to reach the Earth at any given time. The UV Index, developed by the National Weather Service and EPA, indicates the strength of solar UV radiation on a scale from 1 (low) to 11+ (extremely high).
Every day the National Weather Service calculates the predicted UV Index for the next day in each area of the U.S. This UV Index forecast is published in mid-afternoon (Eastern time zone) at the EPA Web site. If the level of solar UV radiation is predicted to be unusually high, and consequently the risk of overexposure is greater than normal, the forecast includes a UV Alert. (You can sign up below to receive e-mail notification of UV Alerts for your community.)
Look up your UV Index Where You Live
Enter ZIP Code or city name and state to get the UV Index forecast for your community or for a place you are visiting. http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html
Health Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation: A fact sheet for Older Adults and their Caregivers
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is released by the sun and by artificial sources such as tanning beds and sun lamps. This fact sheet provides information about the major health problems associated with overexposure to UV radiation. Both the beneficial and harmful effects of sunlight result from the same radiation and, therefore, it is very important to understand the risks incurred by overexposure. This fact sheet provides information about the harmful effects of UV on the eyes and skin and recommendations for prevention. You can read more and order copies on-line see http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/factsheets/heour/index.htm
Fact sheet Protecting Our Eyes and Skin from Too Much Sun http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/factsheets/heour/heour_english_100-F-10-010.pdf
Fact Sheet It's Too Darn Hot" Planning for Excessive Heat Events
August is Cataract Awareness Month.
A cataract, which is formed slowly and with no pain, is the clouding of the eye's normally clear lens, blocking the passage of light needed for vision. It is estimated that 20.5 million people over the age of 40 have cataracts and may not even be aware of it.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataracts are the leading cause of visual loss in Americans 65 and older. Nearly half of adults by age 80 will develop cataracts, or clouding of the lens. This month, learn how to recognize the symptoms, find treatment, and educate others on this common (but treatable) eye condition.
For more information see: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/322938/august_is_national_cataract_awareness.html?cat=70
Safe Use of
Pesticides and Alternatives to Pesticides
By Alex Gorsky
Growing up, I spent a majority of my time playing outside. On the weekends, my parents would join me in their garden. Sometimes they would spray pesticides on the garden and tell my friends and me to stay away. They didn't tell me then, but if you do get exposed to pesticides you can have headaches, dizziness, muscle twitching, weakness, and nausea. Long-term or excessive exposure has been linked to cancer and reproductive & central nervous system effects. In the United States, eight out of ten households use pesticides both inside and outside of their homes.
Grandparents play a key role in keeping children safe by placing pesticides out of reach. Emergency room surveys suggest that children are more likely to be poisoned while visiting their grandparents, since pesticides and other poisons are less likely to be out of reach or have child-resistant closures.
Pesticides are not just dangerous for children. While older adults only account for 2.8% of reported poisoning incidents, they account for 5.9% of all cases with moderate to major medical outcomes and 28% of deaths.
There are some easy ways to reduce your exposure to pesticide hazards. The best guide for safe use of pesticides is to read the label. The label will have instructions for proper use of the pesticide, as well as tell how long you should stay away from the area. Another way to easily protect yourself is by never using pesticide containers to store other things. Once a container is empty, give the container to your community's disposal program. They can properly dispose of the hazardous waste. Furthermore, avoid treating entire floors, walls or ceilings, and avoid spraying where you prepare or store your food.
To avoid getting overexposed to pesticides, the EPA recommends using a pest management strategy called "integrated pest management" or (IPM). IPM combines non-chemical control strategies with less toxic pesticide to minimize the risk to human health and the environment. For example, you can use traps or baits instead of sprays to control pests. By doing this, you can control pests while not causing harm to humans or the environment.
Check out the blog and other blogs at http://blog.epa.gov/blog/
Facts from EPA:
If every U.S. household replaced five conventional light bulbs with ENERGY STAR light bulbs, it would reduce greenhouse gases by an amount equal to taking nearly 10 million cars off the road. Learn more: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=LB
IV. Building Healthy Communities - Sustainable Communities
US and Canada Green City Index
A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Siemens, seeks to measure and assess 27 major US And Canadian cities across a range of criteria and its purpose is to provide stakeholders with a tool to help cities in the region learn from each other to better address common environmental challenges. The tool includes an overall rating and key findings as well as nine independent categories in the index: CO2, energy, land use, buildings, transport, water, waste, air, and environmental governance. It also provides leading best-practices from across the US and Canada. San Francisco was ranked number 1 overall among the 27 cities that were examined.
To read the full report see: http://www.siemens.com/press/pool/de/events/2011/corporate/2011-06-northamerican/northamerican-gci-report-e.pdf
Urban Form and Extreme Heat Events: Are Sprawling Cities More Vulnerable to Climate Change Than Compact Cities?
Stone B, Hess JJ, Frumkin H, 2010 Urban Form and Extreme Heat Events: Are Sprawling Cities More Vulnerable to Climate Change Than Compact Cities?. Environ Health Perspect 118(10): doi:10.1289/ehp.0901879
Background: Extreme heat events (EHEs) are increasing in frequency in large U.S. cities and are responsible for a greater annual number of climate-related fatalities, on average, than any other form of extreme weather. In addition, low-density, sprawling patterns of urban development have been associated with enhanced surface temperatures in urbanized areas.
Objectives: In this study. we examined the association between urban form at the level of the metropolitan region and the frequency of EHEs over a five-decade period.
Methods: We employed a widely published sprawl index to measure the association between urban form in 2000 and the mean annual rate of change in EHEs between 1956 and 2005.
Results: We found that the rate of increase in the annual number of EHEs between 1956 and 2005 in the most sprawling metropolitan regions was more than double the rate of increase observed in the most compact metropolitan regions.
Conclusions: The design and management of land use in metropolitan regions may offer an important tool for adapting to the heat-related health effects associated with ongoing climate change.
V. Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
Save the Date and Plan to Be a part of Next National rake Back Day
The next national Drug Enforcement Administration Take Back Day will be October 29, 2011. The targeted efforts for the take back will include tribes, schools and long term care facilities. http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html
VI. Intergenerational Activities
Promoting Intergenerational and Environmental Health Across the
New York City - June 7-8, 2012
Conference will be held June 7-8, 2012, at the New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street New York City, NY
About This Conference
This day and a half, interactive event
will focus on diverse factors that influence both human and ecological health
across the lifespan. Following the successful October, 2010 conference Children
First: Promoting Ecological Health for the Whole Child at UCSF organized by
the Whole Child Center, the Collaborative on
Health and the Environment (CHE), and the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative
Medicine, we propose to expand this conference program to a multi-dimensional,
lifespan framework of diverse factors that influence both human and ecological
health. These include the many levels of the built, food, chemical,
psychosocial, and socioeconomic environments, and the practices and policies
that promote or impede health at all ages. The conference venue for Promoting
Intergenerational and Environmental Health Across the Lifespan is the newly
renovated New York Academy of Medicine, a beautiful location
across from Central Park on Fifth Avenue located on New York's "Museum
This conference will combine plenary "conversation" sessions featuring prominent leaders in a range of fields, along with innovative educational techniques to bring a deeper experiential quality to the meeting. Provocative dialogues and question and answer exchanges will be co-facilitated by elders and youth. Creative expression of music, art, dance and other experiential activities will be interspersed throughout the conference. Our goal is that this conference will model our vision of healthy systems across disciplines and generations by encouraging active participation and maximizing the creative energy and expertise of attendees, speakers and sponsors.
The intention of the conference is to have all participants leave with:
We welcome all those who share the vision embodied in this event, including:
For more information see:
VII Funding Opportunities
Translational Research to Help Older Adults Maintain their Health and Independence in the Community (R01)
Deadline: Standard Dates Apply: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
Using Systems Science Methodologies to Protect and Improve Population Health
NIH solicits applications to apply one or more system science methodologies to public health and health care system problems and contribute knowledge that will enhance effective decision making.
Deadline: September 7, 2011. Read more...
at the Aging/Cancer Interface (TRACI) (R01)
The National Institute on Aging, encourages research grant applications from institutions/organizations that propose translational research in the overlapping areas of human aging and cancer.
Deadline: September 7, 2011. Read more...
CDC: Grants for Injury
Control Research Centers
Letter of Intent Deadline: September 13, 2011
Application Deadline: October 28, 2011. Read more...
Asthma in Older Adults (R21). Read More.
This FOA encourages Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) applications that propose to study the pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and/or management of asthma in older adults. Much of what is known about asthma in adults is based on studies in younger adult populations; however, the mechanisms underlying asthma in some older adults may differ, which may impact on diagnostic, treatment, and prevention strategies.
2011 Calendar of Events
Generations United 16th
July 27-29, 2011
Cataract Awareness Month
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataracts are the leading cause of visual loss in Americans 65 and older. Nearly half of adults by age 80 will develop cataracts, or clouding of the lens. This month, learn how to recognize the symptoms, find treatment, and educate others on this common (but treatable) eye condition. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/322938/august_is_national_cataract_awareness.html?cat=70
September 13th :Protect Your Groundwater Day
Simple ways everyone can act to protect groundwater
Everyone can and should do something to protect groundwater. We all have a stake in maintaining its quality and quantity. For starters, 95 percent of all available freshwater comes from aquifers underground. Being a good steward of groundwater just makes sense. Most surface water bodies are connected to groundwater so how you impact groundwater matters.
In addition, many public water systems draw all or part of their supply from groundwater, so protecting the resource protects the public water supply and impacts treatment costs.
If you own a well to provide water for your family, farm, or business, groundwater protection is doubly important. As a well owner, you are the manager of your own water system. Protecting groundwater will help reduce risks to your water supply.
To learn more about how you can get involved in protecting your groundwater see http://www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/groundwater-day/Pages/default.aspx
Active Aging Week: September 25th to October 1st
Now in its ninth year, Active Aging Week, September 25–October 1, promotes the benefits of active, healthy lifestyles for adults over 50. During that time, host sites invite older adults in their local communities to experience free wellness activities and exercise in a safe, friendly and fun atmosphere. Below are some insights from veteran organizers as well as some general planning tips for participating in this kind of health promotion event:
World Health Organization
International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities
September 28-30, 2011
National Community Planning Month
APHA Annual Meeting 2011
Oct 29- Nov 2nd, 2011
Washington, DC (139th Meeting)
Gerontological society of America (GSA) annual meeting
November 18-22, 2011
IX. Call for Abstracts
on Ageing 11th Global Conference on Ageing
Prague Czech Republic.
May 28- June 1, 2012.
Deadline: December, 2011. http://www.ifa2012.com/abstracts/call-for-abstracts
2012 Calendar of Events http://www.epa.gov/aging/calendar/2012/index.htm#2012_01