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New Web Tool Tells People About the Health of Their Community

Just in time for Earth Day, anyone in the U.S. can see important environmental factors easily and instantly

Orono, Maine, April 12, 2012 – With 10Green, a new, interactive web tool (10Green.org) you can get a comprehensive assessment of the health of your local environment with just a few keystrokes. Just enter your zip code or the name of your community and 10Green gives you the health of your location on a simple 0 to 10 scale. This is the first time such a consumer-friendly environmental health tool has been made available.

Developed by the renowned Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, 10Green uses 10 air quality measures representing some of the most significant threats to human health, including Carbon Monoxide, large and small particulates, Ozone, Sulfur Dioxide and heavy metals.

“If you care about the health of your body, chances are you know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and if you care about your financial health, you probably know your credit score,” said Dr. Paul Mayewski, the explorer, scientist and professor who serves as director of the Climate Change Institute. “But if you care about the environment where you live and work, how do you measure the health of your community?  We created 10Green to be a place where you can easily learn about the health of the environment in your community.”

In determining whether communities are healthy or unhealthy, 10Green uses the strictest health standards from those reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, European Commission, California Environmental Protection Agency, Health Canada, and the World Health Organization to assign a health score.

10Green also leverages decades of ice core research by the Institute to promote understanding of how the chemistry of Earth’s atmosphere has changed as a consequence of human activities. (For more details go to: http://climatechange.umaine.edu/icecores/).

And beyond just an overall score, 10Green gives users the health implications of their community’s score and how the health of the community has changed over time.

“10Green was motivated by our years of scientific research into climate change,” said Dr. Mayewski. “People have so much information at their fingertips. It is hard to make sense of all of the data, so we wanted to give people a useful tool that helps them easily understand the implications of climate change and air pollution.”

10Green is a collaboration between the Climate Change Institute and the School of Computing and Information Sciences at the University of Maine, and Garrand, a Maine-based marketing communications firm. Funding for 10Green has been provided in part by The Heinz Endowments, the University of Maine, The National Science Foundation, Garrand, and the UMaine Development Office.

Images and logo available upon request.

Media Contact:

Paul Mayewski
Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine
(207) 581-3019
Paul.Mayewski@maine.edu

Margaret Nagle
University of Maine
(207) 581-3745
Margaret_Nagle@umit.maine.edu


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UMaine News
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System
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