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EPA awards $500,000 to biomedical institute for air quality research

Release Date: 01/08/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

Institute focuses on air pollutant components as possible link to cardiovascular disease

(Dallas, Texas – January 8, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $500,000 to the Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to develop environmental health indicators of cardiovascular disease caused by air pollution. Exposures to particulate matter, ozone, and diesel exhaust have been identified as a possible cause for cardiovascular disease in humans, but no investigation confirms that pollutants act through known markers of atherosclerosis (e.g., C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor). The Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute will conduct research to develop novel and more specific markers for acute exposure to humans.

“Gaining a better understanding of science, research, and technology is critical to our agency’s mission,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “Research conducted by this biomedical institute will provide life-saving data used to improve the quality of life and help protect our environment.”

Project activities involved in this research will include identifying susceptible individuals, classifying casual components of the complex air pollution mixture, and developing a better understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in air pollution-induced cardiovascular toxicity. As a result of data collected from this study, Lovelace hopes to identify individuals who could be at risk of developing atherosclerosis, a chronic arterial inflammatory disease which may lead to a stroke.

Funding for the grant award was provided through the EPA National Center for Environmental Research’s Science to Achieve Results or STAR program. The STAR program funds research grants and graduate fellowships in numerous environmental science and engineering disciplines through a competitive solicitation process and independent peer review.

Additional information about the Development of Environmental Health Outcome Indicators is available at: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2007/2007_star_health_indicators.html
To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region6
EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/audio.htm#audio010809_lovelace

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