Matching Items (2)

Assessing Future Extreme Heat Events at Intra-Urban Scales: A Comparative Study of Phoenix and Los Angeles

Description

Already the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States, extreme heat events (EHEs) are expected to occur with greater frequency, duration and intensity over the next century. However,

Already the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States, extreme heat events (EHEs) are expected to occur with greater frequency, duration and intensity over the next century. However, not all populations are affected equally. Risk factors for heat mortality—including age, race, income level, and infrastructure characteristics—often vary by geospatial location. While traditional epidemiological studies sometimes account for social risk factors, they rarely account for intra-urban variability in meteorological characteristics, or for the interaction between social and meteorological risks.

This study aims to develop estimates of EHEs at an intra-urban scale for two major metropolitan areas in the Southwest: Maricopa County (Arizona) and Los Angeles County (California). EHEs are identified at a 1/8-degree (12 km) spatial resolution using an algorithm that detects prolonged periods of abnormally high temperatures. Downscaled temperature projections from three general circulation models (GCMs) are analyzed under three relative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios. Over the next century, EHEs are found to increase by 340-1800% in Maricopa County, and by 150-840% in Los Angeles County. Frequency of future EHEs is primarily driven by greenhouse gas concentrations, with the greatest number of EHEs occurring under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Intra-urban variation in EHEs is also found to be significant. Within Maricopa County, “high risk” regions exhibit 4.5 times the number of EHE days compared to “low risk” regions; within Los Angeles County, this ratio is 15 to 1.

The project website can be accessed here

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-06-12

156630-Thumbnail Image.png

Environmental monitoring strategies for assessing chemical threats to public health

Description

Monitoring human exposure to chemicals posing public health threats is critically important for risk management and for informing regulatory actions. Chemical threats result from both environmental pollutants and elected substance

Monitoring human exposure to chemicals posing public health threats is critically important for risk management and for informing regulatory actions. Chemical threats result from both environmental pollutants and elected substance use (e.g., consumption of drugs, alcohol and tobacco). Measuring chemical occurrence and concentrations in environmental matrices can help to pinpoint human exposure routes. For instance, indoor dust, a sink of indoor environmental contaminants, can serve to assess indoor air contamination and associated human exposures. Urban wastewater arriving at treatment plants contains urine and stool from the general population, the analysis of which can provide information on chemical threats in the community and ongoing harmful exposures. Analysis of sewage sludge can serve to reveal the identity and quantity of persistent organic pollutants in cities and inform estimates of toxic body burdens in local populations.

The objective of this dissertation was to investigate the occurrence and quantity of select, potentially harmful, anthropogenic chemicals in various environmental matrices and to explore the diagnostic value of analytical assays for informing public health decision-making. This dissertation (i) is the first to report spatio-temporal variations and estrogenic burdens of five parabens in sewage sludge from at the U.S. nationwide scale; (ii) represents the first China-wide survey to assess the occurrence and toxic emissions of parabens, triclosan, triclocarban, as well as triclocarban metabolites and transformation products contained in Chinese sewage sludge; (iii) documents the first use of a dispersive solid phase extraction method for indoor dust to measure dust-borne parabens, triclosan and triclocarban and estimating associated human exposures from dust ingestion; and (iv) is the first U.S. study to assess population-level alcohol and nicotine consumption in three U.S. communities using wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE). Obtained data on baseline levels of selected emerging contaminants in sewage sludge and indoor dust can serve to inform the future monitoring needs, risk assessment, and policy making. This work showcases the utility of WBE and urban metabolism metrology via dust and sewage sludge analysis to assess human behavior (e.g., drinking and smoking) and exposure risks more rapidly, efficiently and anonymously than traditional approaches can.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018