Workshop on Fine Particulate Air Pollution and Public Health
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, from 5:30 to 8:00 pm
Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center, 101 Dunkel Street, Fairbanks [Google map]
The workshop will focus on the health effects of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and surrounding communities. These particles, which are approximately 1/30th the width of a human hair, pose health risks because they can lodge deeply into the lungs.
Review a FDNM story on the workshop, Agencies offer look at health, pollution problems in Fairbanks 10/22/2011
Bring your questions for these experts:
Paul Garbe, DVM, MPH, chief of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch
Rachel Kossover, MPH, RD, CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
Jim Conner, PhD, Fairbanks North Star Borough Division of Air Quality
Joe McLaughlin, MD, MPH, State Epidemiologist and Chief, Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology
Chung Nim Ha, MPH, Acting Program Manager, Alaska Division of Public Health, Environmental Public Health Program
Owen Hanley, MD, local pulmonologist
A question-and-answer session moderated by Brenda Holden will take place following the presentations, and presenters will be available for individual questions and discussion as well.
In 2010, Rachel Kossover co-authored a a study on the association between PM 2.5 and Fairbanks hospital admissions while working in Alaska with the CDC. 5,718 hospital visits were analyzed for the study. The mean 24-hour PM 2.5 level was 20.1 μg/m3. The study found statistically associated hospitalizations with increased mean 24-hour PM 2.5 levels. Specifically, for each 10 μg/m3 increase in the mean 24-hr PM 2.5 level one day prior to a hospital visit, there was:
a 7% increased risk for a cerebrovascular disease-coded visit in persons aged <65 years;
a 6% increased risk for a cerebrovascular disease-coded visit in persons aged >65 years; and
a 6% increased risk for a respiratory tract infection-coded visit in persons aged <65 years.
According to Kossover, “Increased hospital visits, especially by the elderly, are shown to occur when PM2.5 levels rise. We’d like to get local input on the problem.”