4/28 Air Quality Focus Group Meeting Notes

Posted April 28th, 2011 by rfoley and filed in Advocacy, Greening Dorchester, Healthy Dorchester

Dotwell, DEHC, and Dorchester residents met at Viet-AID this morning with representatives from the EPA and Harvard School of Public Health to address indoor and outdoor air quality concerns in our neighborhood. The pollutant most targeted is the prevalent Particulate Matter (PM), which can get into the lungs and bloodstream and leads to many instances of cancerous disease. Asthmatic individuals are particularly at risk to suffer negative health effects from air pollution.

The particulate matter in our community is mostly emitted from motor vehicles and especially from cars, trucks, and buses that idle on the street or in parking lots. An awareness campaign will be circulating around Dorchester as a means to reduce car use, idling, and promote healthier options for the community through safe walking, biking, and public transit. Our goal is to educate the community about the concerns of particulate matter, because the resulting health complications of inhaling these pollutants may take decades to manifest and it will be imperative to prevent exposure in our community. We would like to identify the areas of Dorchester with highest concentrations of particulate matter so that people can know how to take action to stay healthy and we want to take action to enforce anti-idling areas especially around schools and health centers as well as significantly reduce the number of local car trips driven in Dorchester.

Indoor Air Quality is another important health concern, as tobacco smoke and radon gas exposure are leading causes of lung cancer. Second-hand smoke and carbon monoxide poisoning from leaving oven doors open are other ways people are exposed to noxious compounds within their homes or place of work. Asbestos and Lead are other toxins found inside buildings that lead to various health problems that are most dangerous for children.

More Air Quality Focus Group Meetings are taking place in the coming months and the Cambridge Science Center is offering free lung-healthiness tests so you can know how healthy your airways are.


Local Air Quality Advisory for Sept 2

Posted September 2nd, 2010 by rfoley and filed in Healthy Dorchester

Elevated levels of air pollution (ozone) are expected today, Sept. 2, in Boston. Poor air quality may cause health affects among sensitive people. Those most at risk are children, those active outdoors, the elderly, and those with existing respiratory illnesses. It is recommended to limit strenuous outdoor activity – take public transportation or work at home, if possible. For more information click here


10/28 Dorchester Lead Poisoning Prevention Celebration for #leadweek

Lead poisoning prevention advocates, policy makers, community members and other interested parties are invited to – A Celebration of Lead Poisoning Prevention in Boston.
Join the Lead Action Collaborative and its partners to celebrate our accomplishments in working towards eliminating lead poisoning in Boston!
Featuring Dr. Bruce Lanphear as the keynote speaker.
October 28, 2010 from 9AM to 2 PM
at the New England Regional Council of Carpenters Training Center in Dorchester.
Pre-registration is required.
Contact Elizabeth Tanefis for more information, 617.279.2240, ext 530.
RSVP for the event – http://LACcelebration2010.eventbrite.com/.  Please see flyer here.


Air Quality Testing: What You Need to Know

CAFEH surveyorsIn May 2010, DEHC began an Air Quality Project to study the effects of the Dorchester Avenue Transportation Improvement Project on air quality affecting travelers and residents on and near the Avenue.  We have finished collecting preliminary air quality data (ultrafine particles) at locations along Dorchester Avenue, and we are now working with CHANGE (Consulting for Health, Air, Nature & Greener Environment) to analyze the data, which we will release on the dehc.org website.  (Click here to view the presentation about air quality we created for Upward Bound and Elmhurst Street Park youth.)

This data will help identify local pollution hotspots, and may help guide other large-scale construction projects that could have air quality impacts in Boston’s neighborhoods.

In addition to DEHC’s air quality project, the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH), will begin a study of Dorchester’s air quality in September 2010.  CAFEH is a project by Tufts University researchers and  Continue Reading »


Get Fit at the Codman Square Farmers’ Market

Posted July 26th, 2010 by LAmes and filed in Healthy Dorchester, Move Dorchester

Codman SquareDid you know there’s a walking group that meets in Codman Square each Thursday at the farmers’ market?  DEHC partner, the BOLD Teens present: The Codman Square Walk Group, sponsored by the Codman Square Health Council.

Every Thursday, from July 1, 2010 to October 28, 2010, walk from Codman Square Farmers Market (corner of Washington Street and Talbot Avenue) from 2-3pm.  It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors while also getting in shape!

For more information, contact the Codman Square Health Council at 617-265-4189 or visit the blog at http://codmancouncil.wordpress.com/


Dorchester House Farmers Market Opens Today

Wondering what to make for dinner?  Pick up some fresh food at the Dorchester House Farmers Market and get a free food sample from the UMass nutritionists while you’re there!  Today, from 11:30 am to 1:30pm, visit the Dorchester House Farmers Market at Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, 1353 Dorchester Avenue (map).

Find fresh produce from Flats Mentor Farm, ReVision House Urban Farm and Serving Ourselves Farm (at Long Island Shelter), all farms connected to socially-responsible programs.

Flats Mentor Farm still has Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares available and you can feel good about buying from them, since FMF “assists and supports small farmers of diverse ethnic backgrounds with the land, farming infrastructure and marketing assistance needed to promote and sustain successful farming enterprises”.

Victory Programs’ ReVision Urban Farm is locally based in Dorchester, and has transformed “over an acre of abandoned lots into productive and vibrant farmland”. The ReVision Urban Farm provides job-training for youth and Boston’s homeless, and partners with Victory Programs’ Revision House shelter in Franklin Field to promote healthy eating and sustainable farming while providing residents with free produce to use in their family meals.

The Farm at Long Island Shelter (Serving Ourselves Farm) is located right in Boston Harbor, each year producing nearly 30,000 pounds of high-quality vegetables, flowers, and herbs for the over 850 homeless individuals served each day. The Farm provides hands-on job training, work-readiness skills, life skills and education for homeless individuals as part of the Serving Ourselves Job Training Program. Individuals in the Culinary Arts track of the program have gone on to gain permanent, gainful employment in restaurant, food, horticulture and landscaping industries using skills they developed at the Farm.


MAPC offers free bike racks to cities, towns across Eastern MA

Posted May 27th, 2010 by rfoley and filed in Greening Dorchester

Cities and towns across Greater Boston can install bicycle parking racks in their communities at almost no cost this year, as part of a special reimbursement program administered by the MAPC.

MAPC, the regional planning agency for 101 cities and towns in Greater Boston, has more than $475,000 in funding still available for local governments to bring bike parking into town centers, schools and other areas this year.

With summer on the way, bike racks offer cyclists enhanced opportunities to enjoy warmer weather, to get fit, and to enjoy a low-cost form of transportation that provides an environmentally-friendly alternative to driving.

Bicycle parking can be nearly 100 times less expensive than vehicle parking per space, and employers who offer bike racks alleviate the demand for car parking. Continue Reading »


Codman Square Health Center recognized as Bike Friendly Business

Posted May 17th, 2010 by rfoley and filed in Move Dorchester

On Thursday, May, 20, 2010, Mayor Menino will recognize Codman Square Health Center as a bronze-level Bike Friendly Business.  The Mayor’s Bike Friendly Business award program recognizes Boston companies that encourage bicycling among their employees by engaging in bicycle friendly practices – this has the added benefit of making them more bike friendly for customers as well.   By adopting a few basic, inexpensive practices, companies can significantly “improve the climate” for cycling in Boston. 

Codman Square Health Center already supported bike commuting with a bike rack close to the front entrance and free shower facilities for employees.  A few other simple steps (providing a link on their website to information for employees who would like to commute by bike, for example) garnered the award. The Codman Square Health Center is also exploring setting up a bike share program for employee work trips, using bike messengers for local deliveries, signing up a team for Hub on Wheels event in September, and guaranteeing a ride home for bike commuters in the event of a family emergency.
The Bike Friendly Business Awards are part of Mayor Menino’s vision to make Boston a greener, more sustainable, and livable city.  Thursday’s honorees will receive a “Mayor Menino Bike Friendly Business” window sticker.  We hope you will join us at the 2010 Bike Friendly Business Awards Ceremony, Thursday May 20, 2010, 11 AM at City Hall Plaza.


consider bike commuting…

Posted February 26th, 2010 by rfoley and filed in Healthy Dorchester, Move Dorchester

Why do I commute by bike? For lots of reasons:

  • On my 10-minute ride I can enjoy my neighborhood and experience the seasonal changes.
  • I arrive at work refreshed and full of energy.
  • After work it is a great way to ride off stress.
  • Daily biking helps me stay healthy.
  • It is clean – no pollution!
  • I hate sitting in traffic and then driving around looking for a parking spot.
  • Continue Reading »


    Renovate Right – new deleading rules go into effect April 22, 2010

    Posted February 3rd, 2010 by rfoley and filed in Healthy Dorchester, News

    Beginning on April 22, 2010, federal law will require contractors that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and schools built before 1978, to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
    Renovation work like window replacement, sanding & demolition can create lead dust & chips, which can harm children and adults. To protect against this risk, EPA is requiring new lead-safe renovation practices.

    The New Lead-Based Paint, Renovation and Repair Painting Program (RRP) is a federal regulatory program affecting contractors, property managers & others who disturb painted surfaces.

    • It applies to residential houses, apartments & child-occupied facilities such as schools & day-care centers built before 1978.

    • New training, certification & work practice requirements become effective April 22, 2010. Firms are required to be certified, their employees must be trained in use of lead-safe work practices & lead-safe work practices that minimize occupants’ exposure to lead hazards must be followed.

    For the more on the new RRP requirements click here
    or call 800-424-LEAD (5323)