"It was an important study. The data is consistent with what is found in other urban areas like Los Angeles," Mariella said. "We found the highest risk near freeways, particularly from diesel fuel. Risks associated with exposure to these toxics include increased chances of developing cancer.
Individuals can take actions such as: keep your vent on "recirculate" while driving on freeways or major streets; use high-quality air filters in your home if you live next to a major street or freeway; limit exercise or work outdoors next to freeways and major streets during early morning hours and for up to two hours during and just after sunset; and replace your vehicle air filter periodically.
"One of the major benefits from JATAP was the collaboration, relationship-building and trust that developed among project technical staff from the tribes and state/local agencies," Mariella said.
The American Indian Policy Institute at ASU coordinated the second phase of the project and participated in the risk assessment and risk communication elements of the project. Because Mariella had worked previously for the Gila River Indian Community and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, she already had established working relationships. Northern Arizona University served as the facilitating university for the early, data gathering phase of the project.
The Joint Air Toxics Assessment Project produced a lengthy report used to provide risk reduction information to residents as well as an air toxics emissions inventory. The JATAP partners have presented findings to the National Congress of American Indians, American Association for Aerosol Research, United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 9, the Tucson Air Quality Forum, the Arizona Asthma Coalition and others.
|Contact: Julie Newberg|
Arizona State University