Wrapping up Mobile Monitoring

In late 2010 to 2011, Mobile Monitoring, air quality project, took samples from 11 different areas in Hamilton.  While this City has stationary air quality monitors, for example, Hamilton Air Monitoring Network (hamnair.ca), one of the unique aspects of this project is its mobility-data can be collected anywhere in the City.  Rotek Environmental, Inc gathered samples and analyzed the information, using a specialized vehicle with an air quality station mounted on it.  The results were used to determine total health impacts, ie its effects on mortality.  With this information, concerned residents are able to find out the air quality in their neighbourhood and can identify certain predominant pollutants and potentially their sources.  Ideally, with this information, residents can work towards decreasing contaminants in their environment.

Five contaminants that were measured:
• Carbon Monoxide (CO)
• Oxides of Nitrogen (NO, NO2, NOX)
• Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
• PM10 (Inhalable Particulates, is “coarse” an example is dust stirred up by traffic
• PM2.5 (Respirable Particulates, is “fine” and found in smoke or haze and can only be viewed through a microscope)

Originally, 11 locations were monitored: Beach Blvd / Eastport Drive, Delta, Dundas, Jones Road / Arvin Avenue, Lawrence Avenue to Burlington Street, Limeridge Mall, McAnulty Blvd, near Mountain, North West End, Red Hill neighbourhoods, Wentworth North.  After neighbourhood interest, two locations had previously collected data analyzed: Kirkendall and Strathcona Neighbourhoods.

One of the interesting results from the study was that, on average the City has an increased mortality of 11.5%.  In other words, for every 100 deaths in Hamilton (from non-traumatic causes), there is, on average, an additional 11 deaths due to air pollution.
“Non-traumatic” means not caused by car accidents, etc.  Throughout the 11 areas studied, the increased mortality rates ranged from 6.8% to 18.4%.

Next Steps:
In 2012, Green Venture, in partnership with Rotek Environmental, Inc., Ministry of Environment and Clean Air Hamilton will be submitting a funding application to study other neighbourhoods in Hamilton.  There has been great interest from area residents in this project and the continuation of funding would allow Mobile Monitoring to gather and analyze more data in different areas of the City.

Thank you to Conserver Society of Hamilton and District, Ministry of Environment and Rotek Environmental, Inc., and Public Health for their partnership and dedication to this project.

Special thanks to Mobile Monitoring funders, ArcelorMittal Dofasco and Clean Air Hamilton.

Links: The complete report: Hamilton Neighbourhoods: Mobile Air Quality Monitoring to Determine Local Impacts
The map of the boundaries of each area

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