Environmental Justice: Measuring Various Air Pollutants in Low-Income Areas
Air pollution and its effects on population health are one of the most important environmental and public health issues today. Socio-economics, population growth, and transportation are major factors in a city’s air quality. Though air pollution levels have been decreasing dramatically over the last few decades, some areas have higher levels than others. These areas are usually low social economic status (SES), surrounded by industry. Exposure to Particulate Matter (PM) of various sizes can have adverse health effects, including debilitating headaches, development of respiratory problems such as asthma, and an increased risk of cancer, especially for highly receptive populations such as elementary school children. Through analyzing data collected with PurpleAir nephelometers loaned by the Air Quality Sensor Performance Evaluation Center (AQ-SPEC) by South Coast AQMD with funding by EPA, and comparing these values to the EPA’s recommended Air Quality Guidelines, correlations between higher levels of air pollution and low-income areas are evident.