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New Measurement Technology Helps Community Learn About Air Quality

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched an air measurement study in Kansas City, KS, in October 2017 to give residents in three neighborhoods more information on air pollution emitted from nearby highways, railways and industry.
For one year, researchers are collecting data from new measurement technology developed in the lab and working with residents on a citizen science project.

Published in: Environment
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New Measurement Technology Helps Community Learn About Air Quality

  1. 1. New Measurement Technology Helps Community Learn About Air Quality
  2. 2. Kansas City Transportation and Local Scale Air Quality Study (KC-TRAQS) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched an air measurement study in Kansas City, KS, in October 2017 to give residents in three neighborhoods more information on air pollution emitted from nearby highways, railways and industry. For one year, researchers are collecting data from new measurement technology developed in the lab and working with residents on a citizen science project. Study area map in Kansas City, KS.
  3. 3. From left: Sue Kimbrough, Parik Deshmukh and Richard Baldauf at EPA’s research labs in North Carolina are members of a team getting a mobile measurement vehicle ready for the study.
  4. 4. Batteries Ready Researchers check out the electric car’s batteries used to power the air monitoring instruments and onboard computers.
  5. 5. Plugging in for Power The mobile measurement car is electric to prevent the exhaust from the car interfering with the collection of air samples.
  6. 6. Air Sampling on the Road Tubes anchored to the outside of the rear passenger windows of the mobile measurement car collect air samples and feed the samples into air monitoring equipment.
  7. 7. Back Seat Monitoring The mobile measurement vehicle is retrofitted with sophisticated air monitoring instruments that measure the air pollutants black carbon (BC), fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).
  8. 8. Gold Standard Measurements The portable and integrated samplers measure fine particle pollution (PM 2.5). These devices are considered the gold standard for particle measurements. They are being used in the study to compare results from other air sampling instruments.
  9. 9. Solar-Powered Air Monitors Solar-powered and low-cost monitors (P-pods) measure continuous fine particle pollution (PM2.5 ), black carbon, a component of PM2.5, and meteorological conditions. These monitors can be packed up and moved to various locations in the study area.
  10. 10. Portable Monitors for Citizen Scientists The AirMapper is a prototype portable air monitor that is being used by citizen scientists in the study. Participants can walk or ride a bicycle in the study area with the AirMapper which measures particle pollution, carbon dioxide (CO2), and environmental conditions.
  11. 11. Wyandotte County, Kansas Commissioner Angela Markley speaks at the open house in Kansas City to announce the study.
  12. 12. Engaging Local Students Students visit the fixed site monitor and learn about the study. They are participating as citizen scientists by taking measurements with the AirMapper.
  13. 13. Study Supports Clean Air for Communities The study will provide air quality information to the community and advance air monitoring technology for use by other states and communities.

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