Eco Minute

Producer and Host
Dr. Enid Sisskin received her PhD from Columbia University in Pathobiology. She has worked as an environmental activist for more than 20 years. She is currently on the faculty of the School of Allied Health and Life Sciences at the University of West Florida. She is the creator of the Eco Minute and has produced & hosted the series since 2005. Her interests include continuing to garden despite yearly failures and she continues to work for environmental protection with her husband and children. She is also everyone's favorite Jewish mother and stage manager at RadioLive.

Click on the dates below to listen to each Eco Minute.

It’s summertime and that means more time outdoors in the heat.  It’s also time to be aware of air quality levels.  Two types of air pollution are ozone and particle pollution and both are unhealthy. Ozone, or smog, is the most widespread air pollutant. When you inhale ozone, it irritates your lungs, leaving them with something like a bad sunburn. It can cause health problems the day you breathe it in, and even days after.

Although transportation, power generation, and industry are the largest contributors to air pollution, they’re not the only ones.  Other activities, such as mowing your lawn with a gasoline powered mower also contribute.  In fact, on an hour-for-hour basis, a gasoline-powered lawn mower produces as much pollution as 40 cars.  On bad air quality days, put off lawn care for a day or two until the air is cleaner - then get a good workout by pushing that trusty, old hand mower!  Additionally, especially on bad air quality days don't use other gasoline-powered equipment like leaf blowers and ch

The EPA estimates that indoor air can be more polluted than outside air.  Some of the indoor pollutants of concern are asbestos, carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde and pressed wood products, cleaning supplies, pesticides, lead, and second hand smoke.  Apply paint with rollers and brushes instead of sprays; it cuts down on fumes. Oil-based paints and varnishes contain a high percentage of VOCs, so use water-based paints and solvents and store them in an air tight container.

Asthma is the leading serious chronic illness of children.   Asthma is also the third leading cause of hospitalization among children and one of the most common causes of school absenteeism.  Episodes of asthma are often triggered by infection, exercise and irritants.  Air pollution can worsen existing asthma.  Common symptoms include coughing, audible wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing after running or crying, chest tightness and shortness of breath.  Frequent respiratory infections may indicate asthma.  Recurrent night cough is common, as asthma is often worse at night.  Even though ast

Air pollution is a threat to your health, the environment and the economy.  According to the EPA, each day, pollution causes thousands of illnesses leading to lost days at work and school.  Toxic air pollutants and the chemicals that form ground-level ozone and acid rain can damage trees, crops, wildlife, and water bodies.  It reduces agricultural crop and commercial forest yields by billions of dollars each year.   Two of the biggest contributors to air pollution are vehicles and electric utilities.  By decreasing the amount of driving you do and your electricity use, you can make a diffe

It’s getting warmer now and that means more time outdoors in the heat.  It’s also time to be aware of air quality levels.  While exposure to ozone air pollution causes adverse health effects in most people, children are especially susceptible. Children spend more time outdoors, especially in the summer when ozone levels are the highest.   And, they engage in vigorous activities resulting in more air and pollution taken deep into their lungs.

Spray products can be a major source of air pollution.  In the San Francisco Bay Area, 50 tons per day of pollution come from spray products. That's more Volatile Organic Compound emissions than from all the Bay Area oil refineries! These aerosol products include hairspray, furniture polish, cooking sprays, bathroom cleaners, air fresheners, antiperspirants, insecticides, and hobby craft sprays.

    

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