Identifying air pollution sources in Southwest Detroit

Source: School of Public Health

Air pollution is known to cause a host of negative effects on human health, with urban populations at particular risk. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) estimates that 9 out of 10 urban area residents are impacted by air pollution.

In order to address the disproportionate impact of air pollution on urban populations, there’s a need to identify major sources of emissions. Recently, a University of Michigan School of Public Health research team released a new study in the journal Atmosphere that aims to identify these sources in an area of Michigan with some of the highest levels of air pollution in the country: Southwest Detroit.

In particular, Michigan Public Health researchers sought to identify the major sources of particulate matter (PM2.5) in Southwest Detroit, using data collected over six years (2016-2021) to contrast with previous data collected from 2001-2014.

“These microscopic particles pass deep into the lung, and exposure causes not only respiratory disease like asthma, but also heart attacks and premature death. Children, older adults, people with heart or lung conditions, and minority populations are especially at risk,” said Stuart Batterman, professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Michigan Public Health and senior author of the study. “Such serious health effects can be prevented if we can identify and limit the emissions that cause PM2.5 exposure.”

Read more from the School of Public Health.

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