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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Applying an environmental public health paradigm to assessing the potential impacts of air pollution on older citizens

Andrew M. Geller, PhD and Hal Zenick, PhD. Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, MD 105 01, Research Triangle Park, NC 27701, 919 541 2283, zenick.hal@epa.gov

The rapid growth in the number of older Americans has many public health implications, including the need to better understand the potential risks posed by environmental exposures/conditions to older adults. Biological capacity declines with normal aging, moreso for individuals with pre-existing health conditions. This may result in compromised pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic response to environmental exposures encountered in daily activities. In recognition of this issue, the Environmental Protection Agency, with its sister agencies, has begun to develop a National Agenda on the Environment and Aging. In this context, the application of an environmental public health paradigm (EPHP) has been proposed to better understand the determinants of, and linkages between, the external sources ® human exposure ® internal dose ® early biological effect ® adverse health effect for this population. Key data needs include 1) behavior/activity patterns of older adults and the pollutants in the microenvironments in which older adults spend time; 2) changes in absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion that will define the dose; and 3) alterations in reserve capacity that will alter the body's ability to compensate for the effects of environmental exposures. Clarification of the contribution of such factors is critical to guiding environmental and public health strategies, and delineating the economic consequences of applying such strategies. This symposium will examine the application of the EPHP to current knowledge about the effects of air pollution on older citizens and the broader implications/application for studying other environmental exposures. This is an abstract of a proposed presentation and does not necessarily reflect EPA policy.

Learning Objectives:

  • This talk will introduce the symposium