Air Quality

Taking greenhouse gas analysis on the road, er, rails

Since 2014, the University of Utah has maintained research-grade suites of air quality instruments installed on light rail trains. These mobile sensors cover the same area as 30 stationary sensors, providing the Salt Lake Valley with a highly cost-effective way to monitor its greenhouse emissions and fill in gaps in emissions estimates.

Low-Cost Home Air Quality Monitors Prove Useful for Wildfire Smoke

Published recently in the journal Sensors, a new study by Berkeley Lab air quality scientists tested four models of low-cost air quality monitors during actual wildfire pollution events and found that their readings of PM2.5 – or particulate matter under 2.5 microns, which has been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular issues – were consistently higher than the reference monitor used by the regulatory agencies; however, since each monitor had a relatively consistent response to the smoke, it is possible to use the readings to estimate true PM2.5 levels. Overall, the researchers concluded that the monitors can provide actionable information.

COVID-19 and Air Quality: Another Perspective

Researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) discovered the air quality in New York City did not improve during the New York on PAUSE order. While other studies have suggested that the levels of nitrogen dioxide and other air particles decreased during the pandemic in cities such as New Delhi and industrialized parts of northern China, the ESF team found the opposite in the Big Apple.

Arlington, Va., Named ‘Fittest City’ in 2020 American Fitness Index Ranking of Top 100

ACSM and the Anthem Foundation release the 2020 American Fitness Index, ranking America’s 100 largest cities on health behaviors, chronic disease and community infrastructure indicators. Arlington, Va. earned the title of “America’s Fittest City.” Seattle, Wash.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Madison, Wis.; San Francisco, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Irvine, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Boise, Idaho; and Boston, Mass., round out the top 10 fittest cities.

New Documentary Celebrates Clean Air Act, Highlights Communities Still Waiting for Clean Air

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act this year, the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) will host the premiere of a new documentary that highlights the dramatic reductions in air pollution that the United States has achieved since Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970, as well as the disparities in access to healthy air that persist in America.