Research finds that community air monitoring helps identify more PM episodes than government monitoring alone

Establishing community-based air quality monitoring networks has largely focused on the benefits of engaging communities in environmental issues, building awareness of air quality-related impacts and environmental disparities. But, has such monitoring really improved our understanding of air quality?

This new paper from our group helps quantify the improved air quality information gained from next-generation community-based air monitoring. The research is based on a dense network of monitors that were established by a collaborative involving our research group and various partners in the Imperial Valley, California in 2016.  We observed that with approximately 10 times as many monitors as operated by government agencies in the region, we observed approximately 10 times as many PM2.5 episodes over a 5-month period.

The monitoring for this study is based on technologies and sensor calibration methods developed in our research group. Our group continues to conduct research and make improvements to our community air monitoring methods.  If interested in learning more about our low-cost monitoring projects in Imperial, San Ysidro/Tijiuana, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Baltimore, Winston-Salem please feel free to contact us.