Activity 5– Air Pollution
Due: Midnight Sunday May 3 midnight. Late is May 10, midnight
Point Value: 30 Points
Read the book about air pollution. Look at this website (Links to an external site.) to see how Air quality Index is calculated Answer the prompt below – 10 points
Knowing what you learned above use this website (Links to an external site.) to determine the AQI using data below – 5 points
Open the Los Angeles Air Quality Website (Links to an external site.) and answer the prompts below – 5 points
Open the EPA Air Quality Website (Links to an external site.) and answer the prompt below – 10 points
Part 1 (10 points) . Read the book and this website (Links to an external site.) and answer this question. Define Air Pollution and Air Quality Index (AQI). What is measured to calculate AQI? What are the different levels of AQI and how do they relate to human health.
Part 2 (5 points). Open this website (Links to an external site.) and calculate the AQI and Health Levels for the following
As you calculate air quality, look at the values for each pollutant. The highest one is what the AQI level is.
NO= 1.5, SO= 0.25, PM10= 500, PM2.5 = 100
NO= 0.25, SO= 0.25, PM10= 200, PM2.5 = 200
NO= 0.15, SO= 0.15, PM10= 150, PM2.5 = 250
NO= 0.5, SO= 0.25, PM10= 300, PM2.5 = 100
NO= 0.25, SO= 0.75, PM10= 100, PM2.5 = 400
The website has changed. Use the closest pollutant. It doesn’t matter which one you use. Just be transparent and let me know which you used.
Part 3 (5points).
Open this website. It’s the AQI for Los Angeles County.
What is the AQI where you live? Where is the closest monitoring station to your home (estimate where it is). On the top bar there is a link for “Current Monitored Data (Links to an external site.)” Select that link and find the closest monitoring station to your house and click it, What is the pollutant values near you house. Which pollutant is a concern for you (I used PM2.5)? Then select the historical data (on top) Use the pollutant you selected see how the pollutant values changes over the last month. Copy the graph and submit
Part 4 (10 Points):
Open this EPA Website (Links to an external site.) link. On the left side you need to open “Monitors” and “Contours” select all the pollutants. On top select Forecast. Where is the pollution now? Where is the pollution for tomorrow. Is it here in Los Angeles or another part of the Country? Select the Archive Button on top. Select the map for last year (on bottom right) and the data from 6 months ago (plus or minus). How did the pollution change? Is one part of the Country better or worst based on what you saw?
Remember AQI (Air Quality Index is a daily reports of air quality, or how clean or polluted your air is and potential health effects. Check out the different colors and AQI values that range from good to hazardous
Now look at the air quality over the United States. Please note this is live data. It changes every day.
On the day you look at the map, what differences do you see? Today, I can see bad air quality near San Francisco because of the forest fires. I also see bad air quality near Los Angeles because of the fires nearby. That makes sense, forest fires impact air quality. However, I also see moderate air quality over most of Montana. Why is that? More fires.
Your assignment. Check out the map. See how it works. You get to see where the air is good or bad. Then tell me why there are differences. Check out the forecast. Is the air quality getting better or worse? After that, you get to dive into details. Pick a city or zip code. Perhaps your home town? Check out another local area. Then tell me what the air quality differs and why?
Then look at 4 other areas. It can be cities or states. Research their air quality. Which area has the best air quality. What impacts the air quality? Is the air quality due to aerosols or VOC’s? the How about the long-term air quality? Research the long-term air quality of your areas. Where would want to live?
What is the Air Quality Index ?
The AQI describes the five main types of air pollution regulated by the Clean Air Act: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ground-level ozone, and particulate pollution. The EPA and its partners take regular readings of these pollutants, then convert the results into a number ranging from 0 to 500, along with a specific color corresponding to a level of health concern.
Of the pollutants tracked, microscopic airborne particles (particulate matter), and ground-level ozone are the most dangerous to people. Ground-level ozone builds when polluted air comes in contact with sunlight and heat. Ozone is most prevalent in the afternoon and early evening, especially during the summer.
Particulate matter, referred to as PM2.5 in its smaller, more dangerous form, describes microscopic airborne particles such as soot, smoke, dust, and dirt. These particles penetrate deep into your lungs, causing labored breathing and exaccerbating the symptoms of other pulmonary conditions like ashtma. Because the particles are so small – less than 2.5 micrometers in diamter – they can pass directly into your bloodstream, leading to cardiovascular problems like inflamation and increased risk of heart attack, as well. A fitted pm2.5 mask (Links to an external site.) can reduce pm2.5 pollution caused by smoke and other sources by as much as 90%.
What Do the Levels Mean?
Generally, if the air quality is good, the air quality index is either Low (0 to 50) or Moderate (51-100), expressed as either green or yellow, respectively. An AQI of 100-150 means the air is Unhealthy for Members of Sensitive Groups, which include people with asthma, seniors, children, and anyone with a history of heart disease. Once the AQI reaches 200, the air is conisdered Unhealthy, which means pretty much everyone should stay indoors or wear a fitted mask with a pm2.5 filter (learn more (Links to an external site.)).
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