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National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Monday, April 12, 2004

John Schelp

Earth Day: Breaking the Mold, Toxic Mold

In honor of Earth Day, more than 85 PBS stations in dozens of states will air an award-winning show on toxic mold funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Targeted to 5th through 9th grade students, "EnviroMysteries: Breaking the Mold," is an informative and fun 30-minute video that teaches viewers about mold, asthma and scientific inquiry. It tells a story of a young girl, Kee, who discovers her true calling in life to be a researcher. After suffering from a serious asthma attack during a short stint on a reality TV show, Kee becomes motivated to learn more about asthma and its possible links to environmental exposures. As she learns more, she makes a startling discovery that affects the lives of many people. By following Kee's experience, viewers learn about asthma, its triggers, and how to reduce or prevent exposures to those environmental triggers.

A website accompanying the show (enviromysteries.thinkport.org/breakingthemold/) offers lesson plans, based on national curriculum standards, for teachers to engage students as they watch the story about Kee. Together the video, educational resources, and classroom activities empower students to assume an active role in environmental issues that can affect their health today and in the future.

The product of a collaboration between Maryland Public Television and a NIEHS-supported Environmental Health Sciences center at Johns Hopkins University, the video earned a prestigious CINE award and an ITVA-DC Peer Award last year and has appeared in numerous film festivals across the U.S.

Part of the National Institutes of Health, NIEHS conducts and supports research to reduce the burden of human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes by understanding environmental factors, individual susceptibility and age and by discovering how these influences interrelate.

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