Air Monitoring

Port Richmond Personal Exposure Air Monitoring

Clean Air Council is working with Dr. Michelle Kondo of the University of Pennsylvania to monitor particulate matter exposure in Port Richmond. Personal air monitoring devices, developed by Harvard University, will be given to community members in this pilot project. With the goal of collecting data that will facilitate promoting a healthier environment and improved public health for the low-income neighborhood of Port Richmond, this partnership aims to foster a collaborative and community-driven research effort to document community exposure to hazards associated with transportation and goods movement in a port-adjacent neighborhood in Philadelphia. Ultimately, the assessment will be used to advocate for improved emission controls at area ports; to promote changes in policy, to have input into Philadelphia’s upcoming comprehensive plan and zoning code revision efforts; to reflect public health concerns; and to provide a model for participatory health assessments.

The exposure monitors are worn with a backpack or fanny pack to hold their air pumps and a small intake and filtering device that is attached near the wearer's breathing space. (Left) Council staff, Chris Mizes, and Dr. Michelle Kondo calibrate and assemble the monitors. (Above) The monitor's intake and filtering device.  (Below) Council staff, Steve Ross, wears the monitor.

Drexel University Air Monitors

Senior students in the Drexel University College of Engineers and Clean Air Council have developed and deployed a new air pollution monitor that provides low-cost air pollution data at the community level. This innovative system consists of multiple air monitors that communicate the collected data to a central computer system. A portable system such as this fills a potential gap in air quality monitoring at the street and neighborhood levels. The engineering students also developed a computer program to display and graph ozone and particulate matter data, time of day, humidity, and temperature.

Through Drexel University College of Engineering’s EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) Program, the Hunting Park Stakeholders Group, The Public Health and Environmental Justice Law Clinic, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the system has been deployed in various locations in Philadelphia including Southeast Philadelphia, New Kensington, and Port Richmond. If you or your community organization would like to learn more about these projects and how you might get involved, please contact us.

More information:

Drexel Air Monitoring_-_Final_Report_-_Team_19.pdf4.2 MB
Solution for Monitoring Air Quality factsheet.doc214 KB