New York metro environmental specialist Dr. Ana I. Baptista muses, “This story and study on how much air pollution we take in while exerting ourselves raises interesting questions for EJ communities.”
Fine particles, many of which are made up of black carbon, are linked to a wide array of heart, respiratory and other health problems. Using statistical models, city health officials estimate fine particles cause more than 2,000 premature deaths and 6,000 emergency room visits and hospitalizations each year. Most of those are in vulnerable populations: the very young, the very old, and people with conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and hypertension.
But actually measuring fine particles, particularly at the level of specific streets, is tricky. Measuring how many of them get into the lungs is even trickier. And linking that exposure to health outcomes is trickier still.
If you’re interested in participating in the WNYC – Columbia U exercise study on this health issue, sign up here.