• Health Effects of Indoor-Air Benzene in Anchorage Residences: A Study of Indoor-Air Quality in Houses with Attached Garages

      Gordian, Mary Ellen; Frazier, Rosyland; Hill, Alexandra; Schreiner, Irma; Siver, Darla; Stewart, Alistair; Morris, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-06)
      Benzene is a known carcinogen. It affects white blood cells; it causes leukemia and aplastic anemia. It may also affect the immune system which is dependent on white blood cells.1 It has been removed from all household products, but it is still present in gasoline. Alaskan gasoline is particularly high in benzene (>5%). Gasoline refined in Alaska has high concentrations of benzene and other the aromatic compounds as much as 50% aromatics by volume. Leaving the aromatics in the gasoline helps cars start in the cold, but it also puts high concentrations of benzene in both the ambient and indoor air. We already knew from previous work done in Alaska by Bernard Goldstein in Valdez2 and the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services in Anchorage3 that people were exposed to high ambient levels of benzene in the winter, and that there were high indoor benzene concentrations in homes with attached garages if the garage was used to store gasoline or gasoline powered engines. Benzene does not bioaccumulate in the body as dioxin or some pesticides do. But are its effects cumulative? Does a little dose of benzene everyday have the same effect as a large dose over less time? Benzene reduces CD4 cells in a dose-response manner at workplace concentrations less than 1 ppm (OSHA 8-hour exposure limit) in workers.4 People who live in homes with high benzene concentrations may be exposed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There have been no studies of health effects of such environmental exposure to benzene. This study was done to determine three things: 1. What percentage of Anchorage homes with attached garages had high levels of indoor benzene? 2. Were the high levels of indoor benzene affecting the health of the residents? 3. Were residents more likely to develop asthma in homes with high levels of indoor benzene?
    • Kids Count Alaska 2006/2007

      Hanna, Virgene; Schreiner, Irma; DeRoche, Patricia; Lampman, Claudia (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-08)
      About This Year’s Book Every year the Kids Count Alaska data book reports on how the children of Alaska are doing. But we also like to tell readers a bit more about life in Alaska, to help them understand the place Alaska’s children call home. This year, we’re celebrating the wildlife that is so much a part of life in Alaska. Alaskans watch, hunt, photograph, and coexist with hundreds of large and small species of animals and birds. That coexistence is not always easy for either the wildlife or the people, but it is always interesting. An increasing number of tourists are also being drawn to Alaska for the opportunity to see wildlife that is either scarce or non-existent in other areas of the United States and the world. The whimsical wildlife illustrations on the cover and at the start of each indicator section are the work of Sebastian Amaya Garber, a talented young artist who grew up in Alaska but is now working toward a degree in industrial design at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. The flip side of each illustration describes something about the specific animals and birds we’re profiling, which are: The sea otter, whose rich fur brought the Russians to Alaska • in the century before the United States bought Alaska The brown bear, one of the most respected and feared land • animals in North America The raven, which plays a big role in Alaska Native culture and • is one of the smartest, toughest birds anywhere The puffin, whose large, yellow-orange bill and orange feet • make it a stand-out in Alaska’s coastal waters The moose, which can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and is • often seen wandering neighborhoods and crossing streets in Alaska’s largest urban areas The humpback whale, whose dramatic breaches make it a • favorite of Alaskans and visitors along the southern coast of Alaska in the summertime Whahat is Kids Count Alaska? Kids Count Alaska is part of a nationwide program, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to collect and publicize information about children’s health, safety, and economic status. We pull together information from many sources and present it all in one place. We hope this book gives Alaskans a broad picture of how the state’s children are doing and provides parents, policymakers, and others interested in the welfare of children with information they need to improve life for children and families. Our goals are: Broadly distributing information about the status of Alaska’s • children Creating an informed public, motivated to help children• Comparing the status of children in Alaska with children • nationwide, and presenting additional Alaska indicators (including regional breakdowns) when possible Who Are Alaska’s Children? More than 206,000 children ages 18 or younger live in Alaska—just under a third of Alaska’s 2006 population of about 671,000. That’s an increase of about 15% in the number of children since 1990. During the past 15 years the age structure of Alaska children has also changed, with younger children making up a declining share and teenagers a growing share. In 1990, children ages 4 or younger made up 31% of all children; by 2006 that share had dropped to 26%. Among those 15 to 18, the 1990 share was about 16%, but it had risen to 22% by 2006. Boys outnumber girls in Alaska by close to 6%. There are more boys than girls in every age group. Even among infants, boys outnumbered girls by 8% in 2006. Alaska’s children have also grown more racially diverse in the past two decades, as illustrated by the figure showing Alaska’s school children by race. In 1988, 68% of school children were White and 32% were from minorities—primarily Alaska Natives.
    • Kids Count Alaska 2008

      Hanna, Virgene; Leask, Linda; Lampman, Claudia; Schreiner, Irma; DeRoche, Patricia (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-05)
      We’re pleased to announce that Kids Count Alaska is part of a new site, the Kids Count Data Center (datacenter.kidscount.org). Developed by the KIDS COUNT national program, the site gives easy access to data on children and teenagers for every state and hundreds of cities and counties across the country. For Alaska, you can select indicators for each of the state’s seven regions and create your own maps, trend lines, and charts. There are also maps and graphs you can put on your Web site or blog. You can go directly to that national site, or you can link from our Web site (www.kidscount.alaska.edu). We hope you’ll find the new data and features helpful. This book and all previous data books are available on our Web site, and each data book is divided into sections for faster downloading. Also on our site is a link to the most recent national KIDS COUNT data book, as well as to other publications and reports. About This Year’s Book Alaska is celebrating 50 years as a state in 2009—and as part of the celebration, we decided to illustrate this year’s data book with historic photos of Alaska’s children before statehood. We also used information from the U.S. Census Bureau to take a broad look at how conditions have changed for Alaska’s children since statehood. In the Highlights at the end of this section (pages 7 to 10) you’ll find some comparisons of the social and economic wellbeing of children in Alaska in 1959 and today. What is Kids Count Alaska? Kids Count Alaska is part of a nationwide program, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to collect and publicize information about children’s health, safety, and economic status. We pull together information from many sources and present it all in one place. We hope this book gives Alaskans a broad picture of how the state’s children are doing and provides parents, policymakers, and others interested in the welfare of children with information they need to improve life for children and families. Our goals are: • Distributing information about the status of Alaska’s children • Creating an informed public, motivated to help children • Comparing the status of children in Alaska with children nationwide, and presenting additional Alaska indicators (including regional breakdowns) when possible
    • Kids Count Alaska 2009-2010

      Hanna, Virgene; Schreiner, Irma; DeRoche, Patricia; Ikatova, Irena; Trimble, Erin (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-02)
      For information on children across America, visit the Kids Count Data Center (www.datacenter.kidscount.org). Developed by the national KIDS COUNT program, the site provides data on children and teenagers for every state and hundreds of cities and counties. For Alaska, you can select indicators for each of the state’s seven regions and create your own maps, trend lines, and charts. There are also maps and graphs you can put on your website or blog. You can go directly to that national site or link from our website (kidscount.alaska.edu). This book and all previous data books are available on our website, with each book divided into sections for faster downloading. Also on our site is a link to the most recent national KIDS COUNT data book, as well as other publications and reports.