Thursday, August 18, 2016

NYU Health of the Air

A tool created as a collaboration between NYU's Marron Institute of Urban Management and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) exposes annual health impacts for air pollution concentrations that exceed standards. The tool is called Health of the Air and can be found here:

Speck and CREATE Lab are located in Pittsburgh, PA, so that's exactly what we searched for here. You can type your city name or zip code to see a report from your area.

Health of the Air displays 3 screens of results based on ATS standards- the first are local impacts, second are ozone standards across the country, and third lists the cities that would benefit the most from moving to ATS standards.

1. Local Impacts: Pittsburgh, PA

Immediate results for Pittsburgh yield that we are not meeting EPA standards for particle pollution or ozone. In terms of particle pollution (which is what the Speck measures) in Pittsburgh, ATS has estimated 197/285 deaths last year. Further, a whopping 331 incidents of heart attack, chronic bronchitis, hospital admissions (cardiovascular and respiratory), and emergency department visits (respiratory) were estimated. Come on, people!

2. Ozone Standards: A Look Around the Country

Note here that Pittsburgh is in the orange / does not meet EPA standards area at the southwest corner of PA. Ugh.

3. Which cities would gain the most from moving to ATS standards? Avoidable Deaths

Pittsburgh ranks #3 on the overall list! Avoidable deaths is an opportunity for change. Giving community members access to free tools such as Health of the Air is the first step in promoting fluency in data analysis and influencing positive change.