Summit Will Examine Indiana's Air Quality

Release Date: 
May 16 2011

Public Health Concerns include Asthma, Heart Attacks

Indiana’s air quality is improving, but the metro areas around Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati and Chicago still have some of the most unhealthy air in the United States, according to the American Lung Association.

New clean air standards being announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will bring health benefits for many Hoosiers and also impose new costs on Indiana power plants and manufacturers, important components of Indiana’s economy.

On June 6, 2011, Improving Kids’ Environment and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will convene their third Environmental Health Summit, bringing together health experts, environmental professionals and concerned citizens. The summit will examine issues affecting Indiana’s air quality and how proposed solutions will impact Indiana residents and businesses.

The free summit, Air Quality and Public Health, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Campus Center at IUPUI, 420 University Blvd. Lunch will be provided. The summit is open to the public, although space is limited. Register at

Poor air quality affects the health of many children and adults with asthma and other respiratory diseases. Air pollution also has been linked to premature deaths from heart attacks and cancer.

Daniel Greenbaum, president of the Boston-based Health Effects Institute, will summarize the latest research of the health effects of air pollution. Janet McCabe, deputy assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will review the accomplishments of the 40-year-old Clean Air Act and look at the challenges ahead in implementing new federal clean air standards.

Other speakers will include:

Thomas Easterly, commissioner, Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Gabriel Filippelli, Ph.D., professor of earth sciences and director of the Center for Urban Health, IUPUI
Dan Johnson, Ph.D., assistant professor of geography, IUPUI
Cheryl Newton, U.S. EPA, Region 5
Thomas P. Rarick, ERM, Inc.
Girish Vitalpur, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, IU School of Medicine and Riley Children’s Specialists

Topics explored will include:

Health effects of air pollution
Research on air quality and health, including exposure to multiple air pollutants
Effects of climate change on urban health
Clean Air Act’s major accomplishments in public health protection
The current state of air quality in Indiana
Mercury deposition in Central Indiana
Economic impact of proposed national air quality standards
Air quality and children’s health in Indiana
Recent utility settlements and their impact on air quality

The summit is a collaborative effort of the IU School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health, the Center for Urban Health at IUPUI, and Improving Kids' Environment.

Sponsors include the Richard and Susan Van Frank Fund, IUPUI Conference Fund, IUSM Department of Public Health, Marion County Public Health Department, IU Health, United Water, Center for Earth and Environmental Science at IUPUI, Citizens Energy Group, Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy, Health by Design and Hoosier Environmental Council.