Hispanic Community Organization Leading Effort To Monitor Pollution in NeighborhoodsUPROSE, a New York-based Hispanic community organization, is training volunteers as part of a national effort to raise awareness about harmful air pollutants by mapping air quality in several urban U.S. neighborhoods, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports.
Some air pollutants commonly found in urban communities can cause skin and eye irritation and asthma, particularly in children, the AP/Chronicle reports. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 90% of Hispanics and 86% of blacks in the U.S live in such communities. Hispanics are more than twice as likely as others to live in communities that do not meet EPA standards for airborne particle matter.
For the project, which is primarily being sponsored by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, UPROSE will train teenagers from a Brooklyn neighborhood to monitor levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and other particles in the air in Sunset Park. Volunteers will use hand-held pollution detectors, GPS and video equipment to monitor, track and document pollutant levels. After six months of collecting data, they will create an interactive report using Google maps.
Jane Delgado -- president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, which is collecting data from similar projects in Detroit; Watsonville, Calif.; and Brownsville, Texas -- said the national goal is to collect data from more than 20 locations. "We need good data, close to the ground, collected by people in the communities," she said, adding, "We tell people go out and exercise, but for some kids, breathing the air in their communities will contribute to asthma attacks and other problems. We need to know exactly what is going on near our homes" (Long, AP/Houston Chronicle, 5/31).
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