The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recently released report entitled Transforming EPA Science to Meet Today’s and Tomorrow’s Challenges. The report reflects the findings of a committee, convened by NASEM and of which I was honored to be a member, tasked with providing EPA with recommendations on how to best orient their scientific enterprise to meet their current mission while also anticipating future environmental challenges.
The report recommends, among many recommendations, that EPA leverage its air quality and air pollutant measurement expertise to advance the science of aerobiology and improving our understanding of airborne infectious disease transmission:
“ORD should partner with the appropriate agencies within National Institutes of Health…. the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advance and expand aerobiology research (the study of the dispersion of airborne biological materials) as well as sponsor or support integrated studies that bring together engineering, medical, epidemiological, and other scientific frameworks in an effort to lessen the disruption of and strengthen defenses against seasonal infectious diseases and periodic pandemics in which significant airborne transmission occurs.”