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NIH funds highway pollution and health study in Boston, Somerville
Date:6/19/2008

BOSTON (June 19, 2008) Tufts University researchers and five Boston-area community groups received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study the health effects of pollution exposure in neighborhoods adjacent to major highways. The 5-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) will fund a study of four communities, including Boston's Chinatown and Somerville, MA.

A steering committee comprised of representatives from the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP), the Latin American Health Institute, the Chinese Progressive Association, the Committee for Boston Public Housing and the Chinatown Resident Association will lead the research in collaboration with principal investigator Doug Brugge, PhD. Brugge, director of the Tufts Community Research Center at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship, is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine.

STEP initially approached Brugge about the impact of highway pollution on Somerville neighborhoods next to Interstate 93 - the major highway leading in and out of Boston. "Meeting with other communities in the same situation, a literature review by Tufts faculty and more recent pilot studies on Somerville's I-93 pollution all set the foundation for the great leap forward provided by this NIEHS grant, says Wig Zamore of STEP. "We feel fortunate to be included in this scientific effort to learn more about these understudied exposures and to help better define their most serious impacts." By actively engaging the Boston and Somerville communities, the Tufts investigators predict the study will yield results that more traditional research methods would not achieve.

As part of the study, to be known as the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH), participants will be asked to submit written surveys and blood samples to be tested f
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Contact: Andrea Grossman
617-636-3728
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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