Thursday, February 10, 2011

New York City Community Air Survey

New York City Community Air Survey: Results Winter 2008-2009 (38 page pdf)

- the first community air survey in the USA (or as far as I know Canada) has just been published for the time of year when urban air quality usually is poorest and when the major sources (vehicle emissions and heating emissions) are greatest with key meteorological factors (inversions due to surface cooling and light winds) also contributing

Key Quotes:

"the New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS)... involves measurements of street-level concentrations of combustion-related air pollutants shown to impact public health. Measurements are collected, at 150 locations throughout the city, in each season of the year"

"NYCCAS data quantify, for the first time, the extent to which some areas of the city may have higher average pollution levels than other areas."

"Despite improvements, NYC PM2.5 and ozone levels continue to exceed clean air

"Nitrogen dioxide (NO2): Across all wintertime sampling sessions and sites, NO2 averaged about 32 ppb, but varied greatly across NYCCAS sites throughout the city (from less than 10 to almost 80 ppb."

"NO2 concentrations were higher for monitoring sites located along bus routes. Monitors on bus routes had NO2 concentrations that were 4.8 ppb higher, on average, relative to non-bus route sites, after adjusting for effects of time, buildings, and general traffic."

"The map in Figure SO2-4 depicts model-predicted wintertime average SO2
concentrations across New York City. Concentrations are estimated to be higher in more built up parts of the city where there are more residual oil-burning units, including much of Manhattan and parts of the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, compared to less-densely built up areas. Unlike the other pollutants, SO2 is not strongly associated with roadway traffic patterns. "

"NYCCAS data indicate that concentrations within the city vary substantially from place to place. This geographic variation in exposure, as well as geographic variation in population susceptibility to air pollution — which varies with age, health conditions, health care access, and other factors — likely contributes to population differences in the prevalence and severity of air pollution–related illness."

Other comments on this report at Posh Upper East Side has some of city's most polluted air: survey (NYC Daily News)
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