Breathing disorders are higher in some Dallas neighborhoods than others and experts want to know why.
A series of nine new air monitors have been installed in Dallas neighborhoods to compare parts of the city with high rates of childhood asthma to other areas with fewer breathing problems and less poverty.
“From an equity standpoint, this is probably one of the most important projects we're doing right now, is to get neighborhood-level data where we know we have public health issues,” said Susan Alvarez with Dallas Environmental Quality and Sustainability.
Experts want to learn if the history of industry in older neighborhoods is a key factor or whether highways surrounding those areas contribute more pollution from vehicles.
“We don’t know and that’s part of what we’re looking at here. We want to try to understand. It could be land use. It could be transportation. It could be a lot of things. And so, this is like the first step in trying to understand that bigger picture,” Alvarez said.
Existing regional air quality monitoring equipment continues to show that North Texas fails to comply with federal clean air standards for ozone pollution. But those existing monitors leave large gaps and do not provide the neighborhood level data that the new Dallas equipment will offer.
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The equipment was donated to the city with money from The Nature Conservancy and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
Alvarez said a one-year study is planned, but the equipment could continue to be used by the city long after that.
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