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Story Ideas for Media 9-14-07


Study takes first look at toxic air pollution in urban parking garages, finds SUVs bigger polluters.
The pollution produced by light trucks, SUVs and minivans is only one-half of a percent higher than that produced by conventional cars, based on a recent study.
But researchers say that this tiny difference becomes enormous when considering the number of light trucks moving along the nation's highways.
"That small difference becomes tremendously magnified when you consider the billions of miles traveled by automobiles every day in this country," said Timothy Buckley, the study's senior author and an associate professor of environmental health sciences at Ohio State University.
"There are easily tens of millions of light trucks on the roads every day."
While the findings are linked to vehicle driving, the conclusions derive from a study of air quality inside an inner-city parking garage, one of the many "micro-environments" found within cities. CONTACT: Timothy Buckley, (614) 293-7161; tbuckley@cph.osu.edu SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/parkpoll.htm


One year after spinach recall, Ohio State scientists work to reduce risk.
A year after a spinach-related outbreak of E. coli that sickened 199 people and killed three, Ohio State University scientists are learning more about how such organisms contaminate leafy greens, and how to more effectively communicate findings to growers, retailers and consumers to reduce risk.
Microbiologist Jeff LeJeune is leading two projects dealing directly with this type of food safety issue. A $2.5 million, four-year project will focus on working with small and medium-sized vegetable farms and farmers such as Amish or African-American farmers. The new project expands upon LeJeune's other study, a three-year $600,000 project that began in September 2006 focused on reaching larger commercial growers in Ohio. Both studies include a significant amount of microbiological research to examine how contamination occurs and what can be done to remove it.
"With today's food system, we believe that any grower, anywhere, can have a major impact on the food chain," LeJeune said. "But the information that small and medium-size farms need may be totally different than what Dole or Fresh Express is getting."
Ken Lee, director of Ohio State's Center for Food Safety and Security, said it's important not to focus just on the farm when examining food safety. For example, current distribution practices often provide conditions just right for E. coli survival. CONTACT: Jeff LeJeune, (330) 263-3739, lejeune.3@osu.edu; Ken Lee, (614) 292-7797, lee.133@osu.edu; Doug Doohan, (330) 202-3593, doohan.1@osu.edu; Sally Miller, (330) 263-3678, miller.769@osu.edu. SEE: