Video: Google Street View cars equipped with Aclima's environmental sensing platform measured black carbon, nitric oxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
Air pollution can vary dramatically, even within neighborhoods. New sensor technology allowed us to collect data showing it can be as much as eight times higher at one of end of a city block than another. These differences in air quality can lead to significant health disparities, especially in low-income areas, among the elderly, and in communities of color.
For this project, we convened a diverse group of partners to harness the latest mobile sensor technology, so we could better see and understand air pollution. Specially-equipped Google Street View cars drove through sections of Oakland, California, where there are three stationary, regulatory-grade air quality monitors, collecting air pollution data. EDF served as the scientific lead, while engineers from the University of Texas at Austin worked closely with Aclima to map and measure and analyze the pollution data.
We know West Oakland has poorer health indicators than some nearby areas. Our research helps explain how air quality impacts health.
Explore levels of three pollutants, and you'll see that busy roadways and commercial and industrial facilities contribute to elevated air pollution.
The I-880 freeway has much higher levels of pollution than the I-580, exposing people who live nearby to differing levels of health risk. Why?