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.

Jem Sullivan

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.

Jem Sullivan

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.

Jem Sullivan

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 asth

Jem Sullivan

The Clean Air Act was originally passed in 1963 establishing funding for the study and cleanup of air pollution.  The act was passed after several notorious air pollution incidents.  In 1948 a thick cloud of air pollution formed over the industrial town of Donora, Pennsylvania and lasted for five days during which time it killed 20 people, and sickened 6,000 of the town’s 14,000 citizens.  In 1952, more than 3,000 people died when a so-called, “Killer Fog” settled over London.  In 1970, a stronger Clean Air Act was passed and then the EPA was created that same year and was given the role of

Jem Sullivan

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) has been a leading voice for energy reform to protect the quality of life and treasured places in the Southeast for more than 20 years. This is the EcoMinute and I’m Stephen Smith,  Executive Director of SACE. 

Founded in 1985, SACE is the only regional organization primarily focused on developing clean energy solutions throughout the Southeast.  With miles of coastline, and varied ecosystems, the southern region is particularly vulnerable to climate change effects. 

Jem Sullivan

Schools throughout the country are flying green, yellow, or red flags.  This is the EM and I’m ES.  Schools across the country are raising the colored flags to help teachers and parents track EPA’s daily Air Quality Index. These flags help students and teachers know what the air quality forecast is for the day, and help them track whether students’ asthma symptoms get worse when the air is polluted and whether they need to take extra steps to protect their health. 

Jem Sullivan

Air pollution comes from many sources.  Some causes of air pollution are natural, such as volcanic eruptions, dust storms, decomposition of vegetation or radioactive decay within the earth’s crust, but most pollution is anthropogenic or human caused.  These include combustion of fossil fuels from stationary or mobile sources, industrial processes, fumes from chemicals and solvents, waste decomposition in landfills, agriculture, or military actions. 

Jem Sullivan

According to the EPA, cars, buses, trucks, and off-highway mobile sources such as construction vehicles and boats produce a substantial amount of air pollution. Even though nationally air pollutants are created from a great variety of industrial and combustion processes, the personal automobile is the single greatest polluter. 

Jem Sullivan

Air pollution remains a serious threat to all of our health. Our community needs to provide healthy air for all our citizens.  This is the EcoMinute and I’m Patsy Malley.  Air pollution is more dangerous for some people. Infants, children, senior citizens, anyone with lung diseases like asthma, people with heart disease or diabetes, and anyone who works or exercises outdoors are at risk.  

Jem Sullivan

An estimated 26 million people, including approximately 7 million children, have asthma and almost 13 million people report having an asthma attack in the past year. This is the EM and I’m ES.  Asthma accounts for over 15 million physician office and hospital visits, and nearly 2 million emergency department visits each year. 

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