OnAir@AAAR: Kicking off Air Science 40

Dan Costa, national program director of EPA’s Clean Air Research Program, presented Air Science 40 at Tuesday’s AAAR conference lunchtime lecture.

The presentation marked the beginning of a yearlong celebration of 40 years’ worth of air pollution research at EPA.

Over the course of 2010, a five-part Air Science 40 seminar series will take place on Capitol Hill and at EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC. The series will include lectures on the hottest topics in air science by some of the most prominent researchers in the field.

Recognizing the importance of communicating this research to policymakers and the public, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) have joined the celebration as sponsors of selected seminars. The AHA will use Air Science 40 as a platform to release an important statement from the cardiology community that contains new information on the impacts of air pollution on cardiovascular health.

In another Air Science 40 milestone, the new Clean Air Research Centers—each funded by a multimillion dollar EPA grant—will be revealed in 2010. The Centers will provide the fundamental scientific research EPA needs to develop multi-pollutant policies and manage air quality sustainably. They will also expand the scope of previously funded EPA PM Research Centers, which gave critical new insights into the sources and health effects of outdoor particles.

Another goal of Air Science 40 is to promote an informed public. Americans are directly impacted by regulatory decisions based on air research; they need and deserve to understand the science behind these important decisions.

Air Science 40

Throughout 2010, the public will have new opportunities to learn about air science and how it has directly impacted their lives. A 10-minute documentary film on the history of air pollution research and its major contributions to environmental and human health will be presented at regional meetings and on the web. Print literature and web features will also be widely distributed to increase awareness about timely air quality issues.

Since 1970, EPA has provided the research to support the development and implementation of national air quality standards. The scientific information, tools and technology to reduce and control air pollution are products of air science research. It deserves to be celebrated.

More information about the Clean Air Research Program

About the Author: Becky Fried is a science writer with EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research. Her OnAir posts are a regular “Science Wednesday” feature.