IJERT-EMS
IJERT-EMS

Field-Level Examination of Air Quality in a Financially Challenged and Demographically Diverse region of Virginia (USA)


Field-Level Examination of Air Quality in a Financially Challenged and Demographically Diverse region of Virginia (USA)
Authors : Tim O. Moore Ii, Ph D, P. E. , Peerawat Charuwat, Eit
Publication Date: 07-10-2015

Authors

Author(s):  Tim O. Moore Ii, Ph D, P. E. , Peerawat Charuwat, Eit

Published in:   International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology

License:  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Website: www.ijert.org

Volume/Issue:   Volume. 4 - Issue. 10 , October - 2015

e-ISSN:   2278-0181

Abstract

Concentrations of ambient NOx and PM2.5 were measured in an urban area of Virginia using a mobile emissions measurement lab. Concentrations were correlated with demographic and socioeconomic information using GIS to detect instances of adverse air pollution exposure by disadvantaged populations. Race comparison results showed that both minority and mixed populations experienced NOx and PM2.5 concentration levels as high as 89 ppb and 19 μg/m3, respectively. However, in all cases of adverse air quality exposure, income level was a factor. For example, low income populations, regardless of race, were exposed to average NOx concentrations ranging from 54 to 89 ppb with 30 minute average concentrations as high as 130 to 137 ppb. For PM2.5, mixed race, low income populations experienced average concentrations of 19 μg/m3 with 30 minute sustained concentrations as high as 42 μg/m3, 23 – 95% higher than the NAAQS limit. On the contrary, high-income neighborhoods with median household incomes (MHIs) ranging from $42,600 – $59,800 experienced much lower NOx concentrations between 22 – 26 ppb, 70 – 109% lower than high minority, low income sites. Comparative studies reveal that low income, minority populations tended to experience cancer risks 3-12 times higher than high-income populations. A DPM risk analysis was also conducted. Low-income populations in the Norfolk area, regardless of race, were experiencing DPM concentration ranging between 0.2-3.2 μg/m3. Using EPA DPM risk analysis methods, results showed an increase of 183-1029 extra cancers per one million people at various low income sample locations, which is 9-53 times higher than the high-income populations in the same urban area.

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