Smog News

Dallas installs monitors to measure air quality and maybe thwart asthma

Dallas installs monitors to measure air quality and thwart asthma

Dallas air quality exall
Here's one of the devices being installed right now. Courtesy photo

The city of Dallas is installing devices that will monitor the quality of the air we breathe.

In partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Texas and Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the city is installing air quality monitors in nine Dallas neighborhoods such as Exline Recreation Center, south of Fair Park.

The program is part of a project called Breathe Easy Dallas which tracks the effects of air pollution on childhood asthma.

Susan Alvarez, assistant director of Environmental Compliance & Sustainability, says they're excited to finally get the equipment into neighborhoods.

"This project will give us better insight on neighborhood-level air quality, while also advancing the state of the science related to this equipment," Alvarez says in a release.

According to Alvarez, these instruments have been calibrated to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)-monitors that are used to determine overall air quality in Dallas.

"It will be interesting to see how well these instruments work, and how we can best use the data from these sensors to improve public health," she says.

Breathe Easy Dallas started in 2017 and is a collaboration between:

  • Texas A&M University Transportation Institute (TTI) Center for Advanced Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy and Health (CARTEEH)
  • the city of Dallas (COD)
  • The Nature Conservancy in Texas (NCT)
  • other health and community organizations (OH&CO. just kidding.)

Their ultimate goal: to improve public health outcomes among high-risk populations.

"In deploying these air monitors in the field, we embark on a critical, one-year study that will provide us with the data necessary to better understand the role that local air quality plays in relation to pediatric asthma," says Dallas Healthy Cities Program Director at The Nature Conservancy in Texas Kathy Jack.

"The collected data will be shared with local health and community stakeholders to advance additional, parallel research efforts and inform future air quality related health interventions" Jack says.

The nine neighborhood locations were selected through review of current Safe-Route-to-School program areas, along with available public health data relative to prevalence of childhood asthma, and racial and economic demographics.