261883 Environmental Policies that Promote Healthy Aging Hearts: U.S EPA Strategies

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kathy Sykes, MA , Office of Research and Development, IOAA, U.S. EPA, Washington, DC
EPA's policies to address air pollution-related health effects are focused at the national, community and individual level.

Regulation: EPA's health-based standards, critical to the health and well being of the entire U.S.--elders and children are greatest risk. Air particle pollution has been linked to increased numbers of premature death; heart attacks; asthma attacks; and chronic bronchitis. Fortunately, EPA regulations have improved air quality. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 were estimated to reduce air pollution-related health effect risks by 130,000 heart attacks, 164,300 adult deaths from PM2.5 and ozone. The new mercury and air toxics standard announced in 2011 is expected to annually prevent approximately 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks. The benefits gained through these and other EPA regulations are captured in the Interagency Forum on Aging 2012 air quality indicator. Statistics and correlations between the percent of older adults living in counties with poor air quality and the number of adverse health instances will be discussed.

Education and Outreach: EPA is partnering with the Million Hearts Campaign to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes in 5 years. EPA's Green Heart strategy is designed to educate health professionals and older women about air pollutants and heart disease, will be discussed.

Community Technical Assistance and Awards: EPA, DOT, and HUD promote sustainable communities through technical assistance and educational materials targeted to communities. Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging (BHCAA), an EPA award program recognizes excellence in community adaptation and programming. The winning BHCAA communities will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how the six principles of sustainable communities can impact air pollution. 2. Explain the importance of the Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics air quality indicator and what it represents. 3. Describe elements of model recognized winning communities for the Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging.

Keywords: Air Quality, Community Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Since 2002, Kathy Sykes has been the Senior Advisor for EPA’s Aging Initiative. This year, she became Senior Advisor for Aging and Sustainability in EPA's Office of Research and Development. She also works on the National Prevention Strategy. She strives to raise awareness among elders, caregivers, health care providers and the leaders in aging about environmental health hazards and encourage older adults to become environmental stewards to address environmental challenges that face our aging society.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.