Scientists tracked children’s health and respective levels of residential air pollution for about 3½ years before associating chronic unhealthy air exposure to a breakdown in beta cells, special pancreatic cells that secrete insulin and maintain the appropriate sugar level in the bloodstream.
By the time the children turned 18, their insulin-creating pancreatic cells were 13 percent less efficient than normal, making these individuals more prone to eventually developing Type 2 diabetes, researchers said.
Tiny air pollution particles — the type that mainly comes from power plants and automobiles — may greatly increase the chance of dementia, including dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, according to USC-led research.
Scientists and engineers found that older women who live in places with fine particulate matter exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standard are 81 percent more at risk for global cognitive decline and 92 percent more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
If their findings hold up in the general population, air pollution could be responsible for about 21 percent of dementia cases, according to the study.
The Community Engagement Team of the USC Environmental Health Centers hosted a webinar on December 21, Training resources to build community capacity on goods movement & health. Speakers Carla Truax (USC), Eric Kirkendall (Diesel Health Project), and Ms. Margaret Gordon (West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project) highlighted workshops and presentation resources that organizations can use to train new members and students. These resources are all featured in the Moving Forward Network‘s online resource library. During the webinar the speakers talked about their experience developing the materials for all audiences, and noted that the “guides and 101” documents are great for beginners, use an engaging education style, and many are also available in Spanish.
On the evening of November 21, the USC Environmental Health Centers Community Outreach and Engagement Program hosted the Youth & Community Research Symposium at the Exposition Park District Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in Los Angeles.
The 48 participants from community organizations who focus on environmental justice, environmental issues, and urban agriculture, and students from several universities around Southern California presented their work to make the event a very valuable experience. Continue reading “Youth & Community Research Symposium”