From: Peggy Heimbrock [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2004 9:48 AM
Subject: [nrmrl] NRMRL News - January 2004
Welcome to this summary of research activities, new publications, and
upcoming meetings, a monthly service provided to you by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Risk Management Research
Laboratory. This report also may be viewed at the following Internet
EPA's Office of Research and Development offers a newsletter of current
research, collaborations and projects that support the Agency's mission to
protect human health and safeguard the natural environment. To be notified
of these activities, please join their mailing list at the following site:
EPA Researchers Use Wind Tunnel to Study Bioaerosol Risk
When handling and treating sediments, small amounts of contaminants may be
released into the air in the form of particles or droplets (aerosols).
Aerosols that contain viruses, fungi, or bacteria are called
"bioaerosols." The addition of lime to treat metal-contaminated sediments
may also have an effect on bioaerosol emissions. To study the potential
airborne movements of bioaerosols associated with the dredging, treatment,
and disposal of contaminated sediments, NRMRL researchers in the Land
Remediation and Pollution Control Division are using an experimental wind
Three variables that can be controlled during field treatment of
metal-contaminated sediments are: mixing energy, humidity level, and the
rate of lime addition. To mimic these variables in a laboratory setting,
NRMRL researchers have developed a unique wind tunnel study. The
controlled environment provided by the wind tunnel allows for adjustment
of varying conditions experienced at a treatment site, such as weather
conditions, relative humidity, wind speed, and wind turbulence. The
results of the study are expected to closely predict worker or community
bioaerosol exposures under varying treatment and environmental conditions,
and can help decision makers evaluate potential risks associated with
sediment management approaches.
Although NRMRL's wind tunnel research is currently focused on bioaerosols
emitted from contaminated sediments, the technology is also applicable to
studies of municipal solid waste, soil, sewage sludge, or materials
contaminated through bioterrorism attacks. Given a better understanding of
emitted bioaerosol components and their known short-term and long- term
health effects, risk management solutions like changes in treatment
processes, protective clothing, increased buffer zones around work areas,
or access restrictions can be put into place to protect workers, nearby
citizens, and the environment.
To learn more about EPA's research in the areas of sediments, bioaerosols,
and wind tunnels, search the EPA Science Inventory using these terms at
http://cfpub.epa.gov/si/ (Contact: Patricia Schultz, 513-569-7773 or
[log in to unmask]).
EPA Engineer to Conduct Air Quality Survey in Guinea
Scott Hedges, an environmental engineer at NRMRL, has been selected for a
post with the Embassy Science Fellows Program sponsored by the U.S.
Department of State. He will be stationed in Conakry, Guinea, located on
the west coast of Africa, from January through late February 2004, where
he will conduct an air quality survey and monitoring project. As an
Embassy Fellow, he will work closely with the U.S. Embassy staff involved
in scientific and environmental technology issues.
Guinea is a French-speaking west African nation (shown in green on the
map) of about 7 million people. Its capital, Conakry, is located on a
peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. As part of his U.S.
Embassy Science Fellowship, EPA's Scott Hedges will conduct a 4-week air
quality monitoring study in Greater Conakry. Based on his findings, he
will recommend a long-term monitoring program for local authorities to use
to fully assess local air pollutant impacts. The Science Fellowship study
was requested by the U.S. Ambassador to Guinea because of air quality
concerns in Conakry (for more information on Guinea, visit the Embassy web
page at: http://usembassy.state.gov/conakry/ ).
The air monitoring project will focus on ambient (outdoor) particulate
levels since particulate emissions from combustion sources (including
diesel vehicles and residential wood and charcoal stoves) and fugitive
dust (from unpaved roads and naturally occurring storms, etc.)
significantly impact the overall air quality of Conakry. Screening of
gaseous pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide,
ozone, benzene and formaldehyde) will provide an immediate "snapshot" to
help understand whether the measured elements are elevated. Using a
portable real-time monitor (see monitor details at
http://www.airmetrics.com/products/minivol/index.html ), Scott will collect
particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) filter samples for analysis of metals
and carbon content upon his return to the U.S.
Scott's professional experience made him a natural selection for the
Fellowship position. During his five years with NRMRL's Technology
Transfer and Support Division, he has produced documents and manuals for
regional, state and local governments. Prior to joining EPA, he lived in
Santiago, Chile, where he developed an air pollution decontamination plan.
He also served as an air pollution engineering specialist on a U.S.
environmental delegation for The World Bank conducting an environmental
audit in Rostov, Russia. (Contact: Patricia Schultz, 513-569-7773 or
[log in to unmask])
EPA Announces New Environmental Technology Opportunities Portal
To help those seeking funding opportunities, information, and links to
programs that assist in environmental technology development and
commercialization, EPA launched the Environmental Technology Opportunities
Portal (ETOP) on December 31, 2003. ETOP links to governmental and
non-governmental programs that foster the use and acceptance of innovative
technologies through collaborative recognition and incentives or advocacy
and information programs. ETOP was established as a result of a
Congressional mandate through the FY 2003 House Appropriations Conference
Report that directed EPA to develop a "one-stop-shop" office to coordinate
similar programs that foster private and public sector development of new,
cost-effective environmental technologies. For more information, see the
website at: http://www.epa.gov/etop/ .
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