How political history shapes public health action in Somerville

"How Political History Shapes Environmental Health Action" (Public Health Post) "Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH) is a community research partnership that coalesced in 2006 in response to resident concerns about the health risks of living near the Interstate 93 (I-93). The Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership engaged university researchers to provide technical support for a lawsuit. What emerged was a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funded research partnership to study the health effects of living near the highway. The partnership has since systematically documented associations between cardiovascular disease and ultrafine particle (UFP) exposure."

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Webinar: Introduction to Air Quality

Thursday, September 9, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.REGISTER NOW What are the sources of outdoor air pollution? How does outdoor air pollution impact indoor environments? What should we consider when planning for healthy, indoor air environments? What are the health impacts of these air pollutants? What do we know about improving indoor air quality? A panel of experts will answer these questions and more at the first webinar in our series about indoor air quality. Panelist presentations will be followed up a Q&A. Panelists include: > Dr. Neelakshi Hudda: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University > Dr. Jon Levy: Professor and interim chair, Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health > Dr. Doug Brugge: Professor and Chair, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Connecticut…

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Highway justice for people: Mystic & McGrath rally Wednesday, May 26

JOIN:Congresswoman Ayanna PressleyState Reps Christine Barber, Mike ConnollyMayor Joe CurtatoneCity Councillors Matt McLaughlin (Ward 1), Jesse Clingan (Ward 4) demand that MassDOT prioritize the safety of people over the speed of cars. Tell MassDOT to: Accelerate McGrath/Mystic Ave. improvementsCreate Blakeley Ave. crosswalk NOWEnact traffic calming measures nowErect sound barriers along Rte. I-93 to reduce noise pollution RALLY 6pmMeet at the corner of McGrath Hwy. and Broadway at the former gas station lot (empty lot across from Foss Park). Attendees must follow Somerville's Covid-19 mask and social distancing policy. Organized by Somerville Alliance for Safe Streets (

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People of color more likely to live near high-polluting roads

A new study from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) found that 45% of the greater Boston area's Black residents, 47% of the region’s Asian residents, and 54% of the region’s Latino residents live in the highest-pollution areas, compared to only 29% of the region’s white residents. Exposure to vehicle air pollution increases the risk of heart and lung diseases, which have been associated with higher death rates for patients suffering from COVID-19. Read more of the study's findings.

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Virtual community meeting June 1 on traffic pollution research

You are invited to participate in a Community Meeting (via ZOOM) reporting on research done by the CAFEH research team on how traffic related air pollution and noise affects the health and wellbeing of Somerville residents.  At the meeting we will cover what we have learned about the impact of traffic related air pollution on health, the results of noise testing along I-93 and how noise pollution affects our health. And, We will present the results of recent air pollution monitoring during the Covid pandemic when traffic has been very reduced in comparison to the more typical heavy traffic traveling through Somerville.  June 1st, Monday 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm In the comfort of your home via ZOOM Register Here 

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STEP participates in indoor air quality study

"Study to investigate indoor air quality in affordable housing near busy roadways" (Tufts Now) "A first-of-its-kind study led by Tufts University researchers, in collaboration with Somerville officials and citizens, will measure indoor air quality and comfort in multifamily housing developments near busy roadways. The study will develop recommendations for the design and operation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to create a protective indoor environment that restricts residents' exposure to transportation-related air pollution."

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Worried about traffic pollution? The trucks are the biggest problem

"Large trucks are biggest culprits of near-road air pollution" "Research consistently links traffic emissions to negative effects on both the environment and human health. "Whether it be cancer, respiratory problems, cardiac problems or neurodegenerative problems, there are numerous adverse health effects associated with the chemicals in these emissions," said Evans. "If we were able to reduce emission of pollutants like black carbon, we would also see an immediate climate benefit." Black carbon -- commonly called soot -- is a marker for exposure to diesel exhaust which is known to have negative health effects."

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US News & World Report article on Somerville efforts to deal with near-highway pollution

"Fighting for Breath in Near-Highway Neighborhoods"  "In the neighborhoods straddling Interstate 93 in Somerville, Massachusetts, residents know to keep their windows shut each weekday as commuters travel from Boston's suburbs into the city, their cars spouting exhaust and other pollution that collects as soot on the sides of houses. Infamous for its congested roads and rush-hour backups, traffic on I-93 creates significant air-quality and health challenges for residents living near the highway, many of whom are low-income and are more likely to get sick from the pollution exposure, but often can't afford to move or protect their homes from the unnatural elements."

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