A few years ago, Elaine Hill was a doctoral student in applied economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, studying maize markets in Uganda  and dairy supply chains in the northeastern U.S . But when fracking—a controversial, hydraulic fracturing technique used to produce oil and natural gas—became a hot topic in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Hill was motivated to shift gears.
After watching a documentary about fracking, Hill decided to search for scientific evidence on its possible health effects, but found relatively little high-quality data. So, she embarked on a new project—one that eventually earned her a Ph.D.—to evaluate what, if any, impact fracking has on infant and child health. Now, supported by a 2015 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, Hill is pursuing this line of research further as an assistant professor of Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY.
Tags: 2015 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, child health, drilling, environmental health, epidemiology, fracking, fracking leases, gas, groundwater, high-pressure hydraulic fracturing, hydraulic fracturing, infant health, International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, oil, pediatrics, reproductive health, respiratory diseases, shale, shale gas well
After college, Perry Hystad took a trip to India and, while touring several large cities, noticed the vast clouds of exhaust from vehicles, smoke from factories, and soot from biomass-burning cook stoves. As he watched the rapid urban expansion all around him, Hystad remembers thinking: What effect does breathing such pollution day in and day out have upon these people’s health?
This question stuck with Hystad, and he soon developed a profound interest in environmental health. In 2013, Hystad completed his Ph.D. in his native Canada, studying the environmental risk factors for lung cancer [1, 2, 3]. Now, with the support of an NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, Hystad has launched his own lab at Oregon State University, Corvallis, to investigate further the health impacts of air pollution, which one recent analysis indicates may contribute to as many as several million deaths worldwide each year .
Tags: air pollution, air quality, asthma, Bangladesh, biomass, Canada, cardiopulmonary health, clean air, cookstove, environmental health, fine particulate matter, fossil fuels, global health, India, lungs, NIH Director's Early Independence Award, PURE, PURE-AIR, respiratory diseases, satellite technology, South Africa, wearable sensors
America is waking up to the importance of a healthy lifestyle. But while what you eat is important, what you breathe in matters, too. As you’re biking, running, or walking in the city—or anywhere for that matter—you’re inhaling car exhaust and other air pollution. Have you ever wondered how many lung-irritating particles you’re inhaling? And what effect air quality has on your health?
To address these questions, NIH, with the Department of Health and Human Services (our parent agency) and the Environmental Protection Agency, issued a challenge: the “My Air, My Health” challenge. (more…)
Posted In: Health