Next Article in Journal
The Nexus between Energy Consumption, Biodiversity, and Economic Growth in Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC): Evidence from Cointegration and Granger Causality Tests
Previous Article in Journal
Probabilistic Human Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metal Intake via Vegetable Consumption around Pb/Zn Smelters in Southwest China
Open AccessArticle

Next-Generation Community Air Quality Sensors for Identifying Air Pollution Episodes

1
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
2
Comite Civico del Valle, Brawley, CA 92227, USA
3
Study Community Steering Committee Member, Brawley, CA 92227, USA
4
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
5
Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA 94607, USA
6
California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA 94804, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183268
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 28 August 2019 / Accepted: 31 August 2019 / Published: 5 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Conventional regulatory air quality monitoring sites tend to be sparsely located. The availability of lower-cost air pollution sensors, however, allows for their use in spatially dense community monitoring networks, which can be operated by various stakeholders, including concerned residents, organizations, academics, or government agencies. Networks of many community monitors have the potential to fill the spatial gaps between existing government-operated monitoring sites. One potential benefit of finer scale monitoring might be the ability to discern elevated air pollution episodes in locations that have not been identified by government-operated monitoring sites, which might improve public health warnings for populations sensitive to high levels of air pollution. In the Imperial Air study, a large network of low-cost particle monitors was deployed in the Imperial Valley in Southeastern California. Data from the new monitors is validated against regulatory air monitoring. Neighborhood-level air pollution episodes, which are defined as periods in which the PM2.5 (airborne particles with sizes less than 2.5 μm in diameter) hourly average concentration is equal to or greater than 35 μg m−3, are identified and corroborate with other sites in the network and against the small number of government monitors in the region. During the period from October 2016 to February 2017, a total of 116 episodes were identified among six government monitors in the study region; however, more than 10 times as many episodes are identified among the 38 community air monitors. Of the 1426 episodes identified by the community sensors, 723 (51%) were not observed by the government monitors. These findings suggest that the dense network of community air monitors could be useful for addressing current limitations in the spatial coverage of government air monitoring to provide real-time warnings of high pollution episodes to vulnerable populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: air quality; sensors; community-engaged research; community-based participatory research; citizen science air quality; sensors; community-engaged research; community-based participatory research; citizen science
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Seto, E.; Carvlin, G.; Austin, E.; Shirai, J.; Bejarano, E.; Lugo, H.; Olmedo, L.; Calderas, A.; Jerrett, M.; King, G.; Meltzer, D.; Wilkie, A.; Wong, M.; English, P. Next-Generation Community Air Quality Sensors for Identifying Air Pollution Episodes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3268.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map

1
Back to TopTop