Time-Relevant Communication of Ozone and Particulate Air Pollution Data: A Pilot Project to Raise Public Awareness and Promote Exposure Reduction

EPA Grant Number: R827058
Title: Time-Relevant Communication of Ozone and Particulate Air Pollution Data: A Pilot Project to Raise Public Awareness and Promote Exposure Reduction
Investigators: Goode, Matthew E. , Alter, Lee , Koutrakis, Petros , Loh, Penn , Seidman, Nancy
Current Investigators: Goode, Matthew E. , Allen, George , Alter, Lee , Loh, Penn , Sheehan, Jerry
Institution: Suffolk County Conservation District
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: November 1, 1998 through October 31, 2000
Project Amount: $527,000
RFA: Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Statistics , Water , Sustainability , Air , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration


The primary objective of this pilot project is to develop and implement real-time ambient air pollution monitoring and data management techniques for ozone, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon soot (BC), and visibility to allow time-relevant communication of these data to the public in a way that can be (1) readily available, (2) easily understood, (3) applied by members of the community to reduce human exposure, and (4) used to increase public awareness and understanding of pollution sources, health effects, and precautionary measures.


As part of its state-wide PM2.5 monitoring effort, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) is setting up a monitoring site to determine PM2.5 mass and chemical composition in Roxbury, a heavily urbanized neighborhood in the heart of Boston. The site is expected to be impacted by local bus and truck sources, and there is existing community concern about exposure to diesel exhaust. This project will build on the state's monitoring effort in Roxbury by adding hourly measurements of ozone, PM2.5, BC, and on-site weather conditions. Ozone and PM2.5 were chosen because of heightened concern of their health effects, as shown by the EPA's recent revision to the national air quality standards. BC was chosen because it is a strong indicator of local diesel emissions. A digital camera providing real-time images of the Boston coast and skyline will garner public interest and integrate other air quality values into the local, health-related concerns. Local weather data will help to explain the day-to-day variability of the pollutants. Time-relevant data will be made widely available on the world wide web, by telephone hotline, email/fax listserver, local cable and radio media, and (funds permitting) an interactive kiosk. An existing ozone mapping system will be integrated with the project and enhanced to include real-time PM2.5 data. We will hold community workshops and involve local schools and community health centers as part of our outreach and education effort. Residents will perform ozone, PM2.5, and BC monitoring in locations throughout the community as part of the education and public awareness process. Evaluation and dissemination of project results are included in the proposal to broaden project benefits to other EMPACT cities.

Expected Results:

This project will affect and improve daily decisions by Roxbury residents relating to their personal health. Greater awareness and understanding of air pollution issues will also improve the community's participation in policy decisions affecting Roxbury's long-term vitality. This project will strengthen existing partnerships within the community and provide technical solutions related to time-relevant collection, processing, and reporting of air quality data to the public, including measurement techniques that have not been widely used.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 4 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

EMPACT, air, mobile sources, sensitive populations, monitoring, transportation, northeast., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, particulate matter, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, State, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, genetic susceptability, tropospheric ozone, Ecological Risk Assessment, health effects, particulates, sensitive populations, EMPACT, air pollutants, chemical characteristics, community-based approach, fine particles, health risks, particulate, PM 2.5, stratospheric ozone, ozone , exposure and effects, exposure, ozone, public information, fine particulates, air pollution, carbon black, children, diesel exhaust, modeling, Massachusetts (MA), human exposue, human exposure, mobile sources, web site development, community outreach, community-based, ecosystem health, PM2.5, public access, environmental effects, fine particle levels, public outreach, outreach and education, air quality, atmospheric chemistry, fine particle formation, real-time monitoring, soot, toxics

Relevant Websites:


Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999 Progress Report
  • Final Report