Posts Tagged ‘Environmental Protection Agency’
A study of more than 11.5 million Medicare patients aged over 65 has concluded that even short-term exposure to fine particle air pollution significantly increases the risk of contracting cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The study was conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, itself a department within the National Institute of Health.
This is the largest study ever conducted of the effect of fine particle air pollution and heart and lung disease, not only in the country but in the world. Fine particle air pollution is typically caused through power plant emissions or fuel exhaust emissions. These microscopic particles the size of dust or soot particles and around 30 times less than the thickness of a human hair, are able to lodge and accumulate deep within the respiratory system. Over time, lung function decreases while pre-existing conditions such as asthma are inflamed and aggravated.
It is not surprising that counties on the heavily industrialized Eastern seaboard have the highest rates of fine particle air pollution and so, the highest rates of lung and heart disease. Any location where there is heavy use of fossil fuels reports a substantial increase in the number of patients suffering from heart and lung conditions.
The extensive study delivered the proof that even small increases in the levels of fine particle air pollutants gave rise to a significantly higher level of hospital admissions for heart failure, heart and vascular conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and infections of the respiratory system. Patients over the age of 75 years of age are particularly vulnerable and experience significantly higher rates of admissions for these conditions than the rest of the population.
Funding for this huge research study was provided by the U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The research was conducted by a team at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the results were finally published in March, 2006 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The EPA’s Aerometric Information Retrieval Service provides a nationwide network of data collection locations. This retrieval network was used to collect the data on fine air particle concentrations from over 200 counties scattered across the country and provided data over a three-year period.
The EPA is involved because it has a primary function of controlling environmental pollution through the setting of standards and guidelines. The study demonstrates that there is a strong need for the establishment of air quality guidelines, particularly to safeguard the health of the elderly. The study particularly demonstrates that even minor fine air pollution levels, well below those of the existing national standards, are causing significant health implications for patients.
The question as to whether fine air pollution causes increased incidence of heart and lung diseases is now clearly established, however why are such minor levels of fine air pollution causing such high levels of disease? This in turn will lead to what can be done to counter the harmful effects of fine particle air pollution.
Air Pollution Control Market for Coal Fired Power Plants to 2020 – Increasing Plant Capacity to Present Growth Opportunities
The US Environmental Protection Agency consistently works on new strategies aimed at providing a clearer strategy for industrial investment in air pollution controls. The tightening and widening of environmental legislations is one of the prime drivers of the air pollution control market. This market was created and is primarily driven by the mandates embodied in such regulations, since they call for reductions in hazardous air pollutants emitted from coal-fired power plants.
Regulations for the control of pollutants such as mercury are currently being formulated. This calls for technology advancement and the integration of new technology into the existing infrastructure and subsequently results in market growth with the rise in demand.
The Canadian government usually practices coordinating its emission reduction targets in line with US moves. Canada has 51 coal-fired plants producing 19% of the country’s electricity and 13% of its greenhouse gas emissions. However, 33 of these plants are expected to shutdown by 2025 unless the operators make substantial investments to cut emissions from these aging facilities. The regulations planned for the future are much stringent than he current ones for coal-fired power in the U S. The mandates require power plants to comply through different deadlines.
The Asia–Pacific region is witnessing significant growth in its air pollution control market on the back of its increasing coal-fired power capacity. This increasing capacity directly demands higher production of Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) and particulate matter removal equipment. Nitrous Oxide (NOX) removal is also expecting a promising future with upcoming regulations in certain Asia–Pacific countries.
GBI Research, a leading business intelligence provider, has released its latest research, “Air Pollution Control Market for Coal Fired Power Plants to 2020 – Increasing Plant Capacity to Present Growth Opportunities”. The report gives an in-depth analysis of the global Air Pollution Control Equipment (APCE) market for coal-fired power plants, covering four major regions – North America (USA and Canada), Europe, Asia–Pacific and the Rest of the World (South and Central America, the Middle East and Africa). The research analyzes the regulatory framework in the three most significant regions – North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, and the impact of regulations on the air pollution control market for coal-fired power plants. The report covers market revenue forecasts for the air pollution control market for all the regions mentioned, and it also provides a detailed forecast of the market’s revenues by product type – Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD), Nitrous Oxides (NOx), Electrostatic Precipitators (ESP) and Fabric Filters up to 2020. The report also includes geographic and cost analysis data for each product type. This report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.
For further details, please click or add the below link to your browser:
Visit our report store: http://www.gbiresearch.com
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Bounce Energy, a Texas electricity company, has posted an easy to read report on its website to help consumers who are considering whether or not to take advantage of the 2009-2010 Energy Efficiency Federal Income Tax Credit.
The US Government’s Energy Star Program reports that the typical American household spends approximately ,300 per year on home energy bills. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that homeowners can typically save up to 20% of heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% of total energy costs – or 0) by air sealing their homes through caulking and sealing drafts. Furthermore, a home owner can save up to 0 from their annual heating and cooling costs by sealing leaks and insulating their duct work.
So, for less than 0 and just a few weekend hours of sealing holes and cracks or tape over leaky duct work, a homeowner can potentially save up to 0 from their annual heating and cooling costs.
In fact, any energy efficiency improvements immediately lower energy bills and will pay for themselves over time. This is especially true when considering the major hardware components of a home:
Drafty windows or doors that fail to close snugly and allow water to penetrate and rot the sills Water heaters with sediment-filled or corroded tanks that will leak and fail Heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC) built with inefficient heat-exchangers and high-wattage electronics that waste energy and cause heat Wood-burning stoves or furnaces (or other “biomass fuel”) that burn poorly, heat poorly, and release waste gases Roofs that trap heat and increase the cooling load Not enough attic or wall insulation to maintain the home’s temperature
For the report, they cite an example of a modest starter home: a single-story 3-bedroom 1750 sq. foot home built in 2008 on the Gulf Coast. By installing Energy Star-rated hardware upgrades such as new triple-pane insulating low-E, argon gas wood-framed windows, a whole-house on-demand water heater, and adding 6 inches of attic insulation, a homeowner can recoup 56% from their yearly energy costs. By adding in the energy tax credit, the owner can receive nearly ,000 on a 50 investment.
Energy efficient features will also enhance the market value and saleability of a home and –most importantly – improve its comfort and livability.
The 2009 and 2010 Energy Efficiency Tax Credit for home improvements is a tax credit of 30% or ,500 for energy efficient improvements that consumers make to their existing home. In order to claim the credit, the energy efficient improvements must be qualifying Energy Star-rated products and placed in service from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010.
According to the Energy Star website (www.energystar.gov):
Basically you can spend up to ,000 during this 2 year period on a single or multiple improvements, and get 30% or ,500 (30% of ,000 = ,500) back as a tax credit. If you get the entire ,500 credit in 2009, then you can’t get anything additional in 2010. The ,500 tax credit does not double for married people filing jointly… unless both spouses owned and lived apart in separate main homes.
The tax credit does not include things like caulking and weather stripping. Rather, the tax credit aids in replacing those major hardware components of a home such as windows, doors, insulation, roofs, HVAC, non-solar water heaters, or biomass (usually wood) stoves. Some installation costs are covered, such as non-solar water heaters and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
In addition to the credit for existing homes, there is a credit with no final cost limit for more complex yet far-efficient projects that promote energy independence: geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, electricity-producing solar panels (PV), fuel cells, and small wind energy systems. Projects like these will receive a credit of 30% of their total cost and have until 2016 to be placed in service.
The Energy Star website has wealth of information as well as links to other government websites about all the improvements covered in Bounce Energy’s report. Remember these are all upgrades that keep saving money each year. Some can be improved on further, one step at a time.
So, is the Energy Tax Credit worth it?
Bounce Energy says, “Yes, the Energy Tax Credit is worth it because an energy efficiency improvement will save energy and money and make your home more comfortable. As you can see there are many, many ways to capitalize on energy efficiency improvements to your home; from the weekend with a caulking gun to a four week wind turbine adventure with a 60 foot crane. You might even become so energy efficient you’ll be energy self-sufficient.”
“DANGER OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION IN OUR HOMES AND OFFICES”
Many times we are not aware of the air impurities that linger in our homes and offices. The question is how dangerous is the indoor air we breathe?
In the last several years, the Environmental Protection Agency has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.
Good ventilation is important. There are signs that can indicate your home may not have enough ventilation: moisture condensation on windows or walls, smelly or stuffy air, dirty central heating and air cooling equipment, and areas where books, shoes, or other items become moldy. To detect odors in your home, step outside for a few minutes, and then upon reentering your home, note whether odors are noticeable.
There are 5 main pollutants active in your home or office that you should be aware of, and do something about. They are: mildew, cooking odors, pets, tobacco smoke and heating and air conditioning filter vents. Let’s look at each active air pollutants, its source, and its remedy.
Mildew is a big contributor in indoor air pollution. Mildew spores will grow anywhere there is moisture. You will find it in carpets, upholstery, a damp wall and bathroom. Mildews release disease-causing toxins. As it grows it spreads bacteria, which become airborne that causes health problems, such as allergies.
Cooking odors, are a combination of steam, oils and smoke. It is easy for these odors to travel around the house, and cling to walls and furniture. Soon the odors will age.
It can be a buffet for insects, like cockroaches. The cooking odors can be diminished by proper ventilation and clean oven air filters.
Pet odors are the most offensive odors in a house. Dogs rubbing their backs on the carpet, or sleeping near or on a sofa will leave their body oils and dander. Male cats marking their territory with pungent urine scent. These pet odors are hidden deep in your carpet and upholstery that will attract fleas, dust mites and lice, and creates a health hazard. Health experts claim that many health problems that children have come from playing on dirty carpets. It can cause allergies and rashes.
To remedy this problem, have your carpets vacuumed at least 3 times a week. For deep cleaning of your carpet, have a professional carpet cleaner do the job. Your carpet will be fresh and clean, which will reduce many health problems.
Tobacco smoke is one of the unhealthy indoor air pollutes in homes and offices. The smoker is inhaling a complex mixture of over 4,000 compounds, more than 40 of which are known to cause cancer. Tobacco smoke lingers on for days. It has the nature to cling on fabrics and walls. I have seen darkened walls at homes and apartments of people who smoked. The unhealthy fact is that nicotine and carbon monoxide are present in the sticky oily residue tobacco leaves behind on fabrics and walls.
Heating and air conditioning filters, are culprits, which cause unhealthy indoor air pollution in homes and offices.
Mechanical ventilation systems in large buildings are designed and operated not only to heat and cool the air, but also to draw in and circulate outdoor air. Inadequate ventilation can occur if the air supply is blocked in such a way that outdoor air does not actually reach the breathing zone of building occupants. Improperly located air intake vents can also bring in air contaminated with automobile and truck exhaust, fumes from dumpstors, or air vented from restrooms. These air vents can also become a breeder for bacteria, mold and mildew. These toxins are airborne making it unhealthy in working and living environments.
To insure your safety and those around you, invest in a good air cleaner. Air cleaners with a HEPA filter removes 99.9% of tobacco smoke, pollens, bacteria, harmful fibers, allergens and pollutants. There are many types and sizes of air cleaners on the market, ranging from relatively inexpensive tabletop models to sophisticated and expensive whole-house systems.
Indoor air pollution can be reduced, and make your home or office a healthy environment for your family and co -workers.
Furnace filters are added fixtures of a furnace or heating system. They help purify the air we breathe. There are plenty of options of home furnace filters that are sold the market, but their function is different from one another. Selecting a excellent filter can greatly reduce the amount of airborne particles that circulate around your home, improving air quality and reducing indoor air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes poor indoor air quality as one of the biggest environmental risks. In fact, it placed at top five ranking.
Indoor air pollution in in many households can be two to five times more severe than the pollution found outside. With those kinds of facts, it’s easy to see why selecting a high quality replacement furnace filter is so important. When it comes to furnace filters, there are a number of different types and styles. Certain models of filters do not fit into some heating systems, so it is recommended to first check the owner’s manual of your system to see which types of filters are fitted for your system. There are plenty of sizes and thicknesses to go with different models of heating systems.
They also come in disposable models, which are replaced and thrown away after a specified period of use, or in permanent models, which can be subjected to cleaning at ceratin intervals, but still keep their function. Most cold air return filters function by using an electrostatic charge that captures airborne particles as they flow through the filter, capturing them so that they are not sent into the air that is blown throughout the home or building. Models can work with a pleated style, while others accomplish the task with a flatter style.
Depending on the model, there may be multiple layers of replacement furnace filter material that capture as many airborne particles as possible. It is vital to replace or clean your heater and air conditioning filters at scheduled intervals. Not only does this keep the air quality in your home as high as possible, but it also produces a more efficiently operating heating or cooling system. When particles buildup heavily the filter, the efficiency of the airflow through the system is lessened. Furnace filters can dramatically lower levels of indoor air pollution. High quality return air grille is especially important in homes where there are inhabitants with allergies or compromised immune systems.
Not only do the filters capture dust, but they can also trap particles that carry bacteria and viruses as well as animal dander, pollen and mold spores. Maintaining the sanitation of your living quarters begins with using quality furnace filters.