Topic: air pollution

Mercury exposure may cause birds to change their tune

The amount of methylmercury, a neurotoxin, in the earth’s atmosphere has quadrupled since the days before industrialization, and its toxic effects are changing the songs being sung by birds in the area of Waynesboro, Virginia. An article in Environmental Health News explores…

Smog or Jobs?

[FORUM VIDEO] This Forum webcast examined the scientific and economic arguments around Barack Obama's 2011 announcement of his request that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdraw draft air

‘Green’ buildings appear to boost health of low-income residents

Residents of low-income housing appear to get a boost in health from living in “green” buildings that are built with eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient features, according to a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) study. The researchers, led by Meryl Colton of…

Cyclists breathe easier on their own paths

June 27, 2014 — Boston has installed more than 50 miles of bike lanes since 2007, and the number of pedal-powered commuters in the city, while only 2.1%, is more than three times the national average. To help urban planners continue to…

Coal burning, road dust most toxic air particles

A new Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) air pollution study of millions of deaths from heart disease, lung disorders, and other causes in 75 American cities found that the effect of particles on mortality rates was about 75% higher in cities…

The nano state

[ Spring 2014 ] Can tiny engineered particles help protect us from infectious disease? Hotel rooms, subway cars, offices, airplanes, cruise ships: to most people, the air they breathe inside these places seems benign, if sometimes stuffy and stale. But viewed through the lens…

Improving the pollution-mortality link

Harvard, MIT researchers show the need for an improved approach to measuring pollution’s effects on human health For immediate release: Thursday, April 17, 2014 Boston, MA – As the nation celebrates the 45th Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, researchers from…

Deadly environments

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] On a October afternoon in 1948, daylight barely trickled into the storefronts of Donora, Pennsylvania. Stagnant weather had trapped a noxious black cloud of emissions from nearby steel and zinc plants above the town, nestled in a valley…

Arku's journey

[ Fall 2012 ] Raphael Arku should have been on top of the world. There he was, in his early 20s, a geologist for a gold mining company, a job with prestige and money—neither of which he’d ever had before. The second…