Science Snippets

NYC Air Pollution (PHOTO FROM NYC.GOV)
NYC Air Pollution (PHOTO FROM NYC.GOV)

NYC POLLUTION EFFECTS IQ

Columbia University recently published a study that correlated exposure to air pollution with children’s IQ levels.

Lead author of the study Dr. Frederica Perera of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health used a group of 63,000 children who were born to women on Medicaid in 2002 and used similar methods that were used to find mercury and lead in bloodstreams.

Perera found that researches have been underestimating the effects of pollution for years, adding that, “Our analysis suggests that a modest reduction in urban air pollution would provide substantial economic benefits and help children realize their full potential.”

MAP OF NYC’S CARBON FOOTPRINT MAY HELP IN PLANNING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY USES

Columbia University released an energy map of NYC to help urban planners become more aware of energy use in the city with the end goal of reducing the city’s carbon footprint.

“The lack of information about building energy use is staggering,” said the study’s lead author Bianca Howard, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Columbia Engineering. “We want to start the conversation for the average New Yorker about energy efficiency and conservation by placing their energy consumption in the context of other New Yorkers. Just knowing about your own consumption can change your entire perspective.”

Howard worked with Vijay Modi, professor of mechanical engineering, and mapped out a grid of almost every building in the five boroughs to show their gas, electric and space usage. The scientists are using the data to figure out where best to use alternative energy sources.

QUARTER OF NEW YORKERS HAVE HIGHER MERCURY IN BLOODSTREAM

New York CIty’s Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that more affluent individuals and Asian communities have higher levels of mercury in their blood due to fish consumption.

NYC women between the ages of 20 and 49 have three times the amount of mercury in their system than the national average. Among these women, a quarter of them had levels more than six times the national average.

As a bit of schadenfreude, some of the richest people in New York are also suffering from high mercury levels four times higher than the national average.

City health officials have pointed out to increased fish consumption as the primary source for the mercury.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *