ARB Approves 1999-2000 Research Program
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today approved its research plan for the approaching fiscal year.
ARB Chairman Alan Lloyd said, "Every ARB regulation is based on sound research, much of which this board has sponsored. This year's research program will help us gain the information we need to continue protecting public health in the most effective manner possible."
The $2.8 million plan includes a four- year, $1.15 million study to better determine the role fine particles play in public health problems. Using human and animal exposure studies, researchers will attempt to determine precisely how particulates affect health. Researchers also will examine sensitive people with existing health problems, such as heart conditions and immune deficiencies, to determine their added vulnerability to illness from exposure to various particulate emissions.
The plan also includes a $500,000 study to determine the amount of pollution emitted on weekends compared to emissions on weekdays. Air monitoring data has shown that in recent years violations of state and federal pollution standards are more likely on weekends. Investigating activities that occur mainly on weekends, such as increased use of recreational and lawn and garden equipment, which often have engines that pollute more than cars, may help determine the reasons for these increases. Also, driving patterns tend to be different on weekends, which could add to heightened weekend emissions.
The Board also approved $500,000 to analyze data gathered during the 1997 Southern California Air Quality Study, and $400,000 for two studies to better quantify emissions from paints and industrial coatings. In addition, $150,000 was allocated to validate how emissions are dispersed close to pollution sources. This information will be used to improve computer models that estimate the amount of pollution the public is exposed to within 100 yards from emission sources.
Earlier this year, the Board announced it would continue its landmark study to determine how longterm exposure to air pollution can affect the development of children's lungs. The ten year, $16 million study is the first ever to focus on children who may live in highly polluted regions, such as the Los Angeles basin.