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New centers will examine pollutant mix

By Colin Ricketts - 08 Mar 2011 17:35:0 GMT
New centers will examine pollutant mix

Scientists in American universities will receive money from the US Environmental Agency to investigate how pollution in the air affects us by examining how pollutants act together when mixed.

Each of four new centers will receive $8million dollars over the next five years to examine how possibly harmful chemicals interact with each other and with the different types of people who may breathe them in.

Although pollution legislation regulates single chemicals our lungs aren't so selective and, says Dr Paul Anastas assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Research and Development, this mixing process is crucial to the real world effects of pollution.

Dr Anastas said: ''These centers are critical to understanding how to improve air quality and protect Americans' health from complex mixtures of air pollutants. The centers will focus on important scientific questions remaining in air research.''

The universities benefiting from the $32million investment are: Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta; Harvard University; Michigan State University, East Lansing; University of Washington, Seattle.

The research carried out at the new centers will also look at how pollution affects people in different stages of their lives and how it interacts with existing health conditions.