Kingston Mayor Steven T. Noble, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Land, Air, and Water at Bard College, has announced the initial findings of the Kingston Air Quality Initiative (KAQI) after its first year of research and data collection. KAQI began in January 2020 as a partnership between Bard’s Community Science Lab and the City of Kingston Conservation Advisory Council’s Air Quality Subcommittee to conduct a first-ever Kingston-centered air quality study. Since then, Kingston residents and Bard College students, staff, and faculty have conducted air quality monitoring in both indoor and outdoor environments.
KAQI’s monitoring efforts this year focused on a regional assessment of air pollution from fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), as measured from the roof of the Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center on Broadway in Kingston. PM 2.5 is made up of microscopic particles that are the products of burning fuel, and is released into the air through exhausts from oil burners, gas burners, automobiles, cooking, grilling, and both indoor and outdoor wood burning. When these particles are inhaled, they can enter the bloodstream through the lungs, creating or exacerbating health issues.
After a full year of monitoring, KAQI found that, while levels of PM 2.5 measured at the Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center do vary, levels rarely reached dangerous thresholds as regulated by the EPA. Occasional spikes in daily averages do occur, and potential sources include burning fuel for heating during cold winter months. However, this is not necessarily the case for air quality experienced at street level, or in different neighborhoods or homes across Kingston.
To get a better understanding of neighborhood and individual-level exposures to PM 2.5, KAQI’s next step will be to establish more air quality stations and to monitor inside and outside homes.
“KAQI is an important model for ways that academic institutions can contribute concretely to the communities who surround and support them,” says Eli Dueker, director of Bard’s Center for the Study of Land, Air, and Water. “We are excited to engage in the next stage of this project, which is to ensure that all Kingstonians, regardless of what neighborhood they live in, play in, or work in, have access to the same air quality we’ve measured on the roof of the Andy Murphy Building.”
For more information please visit: https://tools.bard.edu/wwwmedia/files/1006477/1/Air_Quality_Initiative_release.pdf
Post Date: 03-04-2021
Bard Center for the Study of Land, Air & Water Partners with City of Kingston to Monitor Air Quality
“Although Kingston’s air quality is, for the most part, doing well, we know that increased traffic, train activity, wood burning, and household heating systems can contribute to short-term air quality issues and long-term health issues if not appropriately managed,” said Eli Dueker, director of the Center for the Study of Land, Air, & Water, which partnered with the City of Kingston’s Conservation Advisory Council’s Air Quality Sub-Committee to form the Kingston Air Quality Initiative. “This research addresses what Kingston needs to be able to meet its sustainability goals long-term.”
Post Date: 09-01-2020