skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

New Research in MI on Preterm Births, Environmental Toxins

play audio
Play

Friday, January 13, 2023   

Wayne State University has received an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate how volatile organic compounds contribute to preterm births.

The five-year grant will be used to fund the Center for Leadership in Environmental Awareness and Research, where scientists will study the link between volatile organic compounds and preterm births in the City of Detroit.

One goal is to create new ways to pinpoint the sources of industrial pollutants, and develop ways to mitigate their negative health effects.

Carol Miller, professor of civil and environmental engineering and co-leader of the program at Wayne State University, said the ultimate goal is healthier moms and babies.

"Very specifically, we're looking at how those contaminants impact women of childbearing age, and may be a factor influencing the high preterm birthrate in the Detroit area," Miller explained.

Preterm births occur before 37 weeks, often leaving infants with breathing and feeding issues, developmental delays, or problems with seeing and hearing. According to the March of Dimes, among large American cities, Detroit has the highest rate of preterm births, at 14.6%.

Volatile organic compounds are toxic vapors or gases, mostly generated by industrial sites. There are hundreds of contaminated sites in Detroit, and researchers theorize the effects of the compounds contribute to Detroit's high preterm birthrate.

Dr. Melissa Runge-Morris, professor of oncology at and co-leader of the program, said preterm births most often occur in marginalized communities.

"We are particularly plagued by environmental health disparities that affect and impact the most vulnerable members of our urban community," Runge-Morris emphasized.

A parallel goal of the study is to develop new technology for detecting the location and source of volatile organic compounds to help develop a program to mitigate their health effects. Runge-Morris said the team of 31 researchers includes engineering and biomedical scientists, educators and community partners.

"A lot of what we're doing is what would be called sort of 'big data' analysis, to evaluate large numbers of sensors," Runge-Morris noted. "To figure out not only home-by-home, but certain neighborhoods."

Disclosure: Wayne State University contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Education, Environment, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Some 43% of young voters say they are more motivated to vote by candidates who represent their values, not by voting against candidates who do not represent their values (27%). (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The youngest North Carolina voters could end up shifting the political landscape of the state in the not-too-distant future. New data from the …


Social Issues

play sound

Protests have heightened in New York as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joins the United Nations General Assembly today. Sonya Meyerson-…

Environment

play sound

Many across the state of Nevada will celebrate National Public Lands Day tomorrow. Nevadans will be able to visit state parks for free on Saturday…


Almost nine of 10 voters who used ranked choice voting said they were confident their ballot would be counted accurately, according to Utah Ranked Choice Voting. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Across Utah, 10 cities will be using ranked choice voting in the general election in November. In 2018, Utah passed a bill to establish a pilot …

Social Issues

play sound

While North Dakota does not have voter registration, civic engagement groups say efforts are still needed to help underserved populations get …

USAFacts.org reports in 2020, $12,268 was the average amount spent on health care per Indiana resident. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Open enrollment begins soon for employer-sponsored health insurance for coverage starting Jan 1. Most people will have multiple options to choose …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Health care advocates are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign four bills aiming to lower medical bills, improve transparency, and make health care more …

Environment

play sound

Rural advocates are supporting the Farmland for Farmers Act in Congress. It would restrict the amount of Iowa farmland large corporations can own…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021