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Idaho State University

New Research Will Be Shared at Free Workshop

February, 3, 2004

Boise - Everyone who lives, works, and breathes in the Treasure Valley is affected by the inversions that are a fact of life in the winter months. Just how much the inversion affects your health is the topic of a free workshop sponsored by the Idaho State University Boise Center.

"Research indicates small particles in the air not only have a profound impact on breathing, but can contribute to problems in people with diabetes or heart disease," said Dr. Holly Lenz, director of the ISU master of public health program. "These particles are so small they can pass into the bloodstream where they can contribute to atherosclerosis - a common disorder of the arteries."

The keynote speaker for the workshop is Dr. Jane Koenig, director of the EPA Particulate Matter Health Effects Research Center at the University of Washington. Koenig is a professor of environmental health in the UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Seattle. She has spent her career studying air pollution and its impact on health.

Koenig's research has involved controlled exposures of human subjects, often with asthma, to common air pollutants; epidemiologic studies of associations between air pollution and emergency department visits for asthma; and studies of the effects of air pollutants in cultured human nasal epithelial cells. Her current research projects are on the health effects of particulate matter, especially regarding asthma aggravation.

Lenz and Michael McGown, regional airshed manager with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, also will speak.

The free workshop will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Jordan Ballroom in the Boise State University student union building. The public is invited. Due to limited parking, attendees are urged to carpool.

For more information, call Lenz at 685-6764.