How air pollution changed during COVID-19 in Park City, Utah

Throughout the pandemic, air sensors watched during lockdowns as air pollution fell in residential and commercial areas, and then as pollution rose again with reopenings. The changing levels, the researchers found, which behaved differently in residential and commercial parts of the city, show where pollution is coming from and how it might change in the future under different policies.

Empowering a Neighborhood to Breathe Easy

Companies like Purple Air and IQAir, with air pollution sensors that cost under $300, have brought air quality monitoring to the masses. But when Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Tom Kirchstetter looked at Purple Air’s map last year during wildfire season, he noticed a big hole in Richmond, a city of 110,000 to the north of Berkeley.

ACSM / Anthem American Fitness Index to Reveal 2021 Fittest City

For more than a decade, the evidence-based ACSM / Anthem American Fitness Index has recognized the critical role physical activity and city infrastructure play in a city’s overall health and fitness. ACSM and the Anthem Foundation will release the 2021 Fitness Index rankings at 7 a.m. EDT on July 13.

UCLA-led Research Finds Connections Between Air Quality and COVID Vulnerability

Even as governments across the United States consider lifting mask mandates and relaxing preventative measures as vaccination numbers creep up, new research from a UCLA-led team has found that such basic techniques significantly reduce the risk of getting COVID-19. In addition, the research found that U.S. counties with higher exposures to poor air quality, historically, saw higher county-level COVID-19 mortality rates in 2020.

Argonne’s Wang and Streets named highly influential climate scientists

Michael Wang and David Streets, both of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, were named to Reuters’ “Hot List” of today’s 1,000 most influential climate scientists. Both are in Argonne’s Energy and Global Security-Energy Systems (EGS-ES) division.

Weizmann Scientists Determine How Smoke from Australia’s Fires Spanned the Globe

Prof. Ilan Koren at the Weizmann Institute and Dr. Eitan Hirsch have identified another impact of Australia’s massive wildfires: smoke particles from the country’s southeast actually reached the stratosphere. They then traveled on a steady current that carried them around the world, covering and lingering above much of the Southern Hemisphere.

Pre-COVID Subway Air Polluted from DC to Boston, But New York Region’s Is the Worst, Study Finds

New York City’s transit system exposes riders to more inhaled pollutants than any other metropolitan subway system in the Northeastern United States, a new study finds. Yet even its “cleaner” neighbors struggle with enough toxins to give health-conscious travelers pause.

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.

Study: Air pollution from fracking linked to deaths in Pennsylvania

Approximately 20 people in Pennsylvania lost their lives during a seven-year period because of particulate matter pollution emitted by shale gas wells, according to a recent study including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

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.

Persistent inequitable exposure to air pollution in Salt Lake County schools

Salt Lake County, Utah’s air pollution is at times the worst in the United States. Underserved neighborhoods—and their schools—experience the highest concentrations. A new study utilized nearly 200 PM 2.5 sensors through the Air Quality and U network and revealed persistent social inequalities in Salt Lake County schools.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Air Quality During COVID-19

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 9, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Monica Mazurek is available for interviews on air quality during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are experiencing unusually low levels of gas-phase and particulate air pollutants compared with last year,…

COVID lockdown, seasonal changes affect California’s emissions

California’s nitrous oxide (NO₂) air pollution has been reduced by a combination of the state’s COVID-19 lockdown and naturally occurring effects, according to an atmospheric scientist at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH)

A silver lining of social distancing and quarantine? Better air quality. @HopkinsEngineer has an expert on atmospheric air pollution who can discuss how and to what extent social distancing and quarantine measures affect air pollution.

A silver lining of social distancing and quarantine? Better air quality. As more and more cities across the U.S. clamp down on travel, there have been fewer cars on the road and early reports of improved air quality.  Johns Hopkins…

Scientists Available to Comment on Environmental Impacts of Australian Bushfires

As record wildfires continue to burn in Australia, people are wondering about their long-term impacts, including on the environment. To address these questions, two environmental science experts at IUPUI — Indiana University’s premier urban research campus in downtown Indianapolis —…

As Australia burns, experts available to discuss lasting impacts on wildlife, human health

Two dozen people and an estimated 480 million animals have been killed in Australia during unprecedented early-season bushfires that have scorched 18 million acres, destroyed thousands of homes and shrouded cities in thick smoke. University of Colorado Boulder experts are…

Energy Regulation Rollbacks Threaten Progress Against Harmful Ozone

The fight against harmful ozone is under legal threat. Air quality and carbon emissions regulations are currently in limbo in courts and congress, from core legislation from the 1970s to rules from the last U.S. administration. This study models the future losses in the fight to drive down respiratory-damaging, ground-level ozone if the regulations go away.

Former EPA Administrator Available to Comment on EPA’s Threats Toward California Over Clean Air Act Compliance

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a letter from EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler dated Sept. 24, threatened to pull federal highway funding in California due to the state’s “failure” to improve air quality as required by the Clean Air Act. The…

States’ rights at the center of California auto emission conflict

The Trump administration is expected to strike down California’s ability to set in-state auto emissions standards this week. The move pits California against the administration in an unprecedented legal battle over the states’ right to regulate air quality. David Bateman,…