One environmental group has found a way to help reduce the air pollution across the globe. Their solution is putting nature back into the environment.
A new survey shows planting trees can help reduce air pollution and extreme heat during summer.
Robert McDonald is the lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy, which conducted the survey. He said there are two issues the study focuses on.
“One is how trees cool the air and they do that by shading pavement, and asphalt preventing it from getting the sun’s energy. And then the reports focuses on particulate matter, which globally the most damaging type of air pollution. So when we burn gasoline and other fossil fuels there are little particles that float around in the air.”
McDonald said particulate matter pollution contributes to strokes, heart attacks, asthma and other diseases. It kills some three million people a year. He said trees help by serving as a giant filter, and cool surrounding areas by up to four degrees.
The awareness week is scheduled in the fall because we are approaching the winter months when water heaters, furnaces, and other fuel burning entities are more frequently used.
Jennifer Eisner is the Public Information Officer with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“Carbon monoxide is very hard to detect, the warning signs would include flu like symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. So if you start to have sudden, severe flu like symptoms there is the potential that it’s carbon monoxide poisoning so it’s very important that you leave the area immediately and seek medical attention.”
Eisner says infants, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease are at greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and typically show symptoms earlier.
She says if you notice symptoms it’s important to leave the area and immediately seek medical attention.
After years of debate, the EPA has decided to cap and consolidate hazardous waste at Kalamazoo’s Allied Paper Landfill. Several residents wanted all of the waste removed from the Superfund site.
Others suggested hiring the bioremediation company BioPath Solutions – which uses microbes to neutralize toxic chemicals. Michael Berkhoff is the EPA’s remedial project manager for Allied. He says BioPath Solutions could not prove to the EPA that their product works on PCBs.
The EPA’s record of decision released Friday calls for consolidating about half the contaminated soil into a capped mound in the middle of the site. This would allow room for industrial or commercial business – which the City of Kalamazoo advocated for last year.
Once the work starts, the agency expects the 63 million dollar project will take three years to complete.
The A4 study, as it’s known, is focused on people 65 to 85 years old who still have a normal memory, but have early signs of Alzheimer’s.
These people will be administered a drug to see if it will slow or stop the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Reisa Sperling is the Director at the Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment.
“This is a new study and what’s particularly new about it is trying it in people who don’t yet have symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. So we’re really trying to change the way we think about Alzheimer’s disease and focus on prevention, rather than most of the trials which unfortunately have not done so well at later stages of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Dr. Sperling says the study has been going on since 2014, and results are expected in 2020.
Sperling says the study will cost around $140 million and is funded by the National Institutes of Health.