New Website Tracks North Texas Air Pollution
The University of Texas at Dallas, Downwinders at Risk, the city of Plano, Dallas County, Dallas College and Paul Quinn College have collaborated to form the SharedAirDFW Network online, with an outpost in one of the most polluted neighborhoods in North Texas. It is the first regional, hyperlocal air monitoring network built by any American city.
Debuting with eight particulate matter (PM) air pollution monitors located from Richardson to southern Dallas and Mesquite to Fort Worth, the network is scheduled to install over 100 more in the next 12 to 24 months, including blanketing Dallas neighborhoods where residents say they’re already breathing bad air but have no way to prove it.
The monitors were built at the physics laboratory at the University of Texas at Dallas campus in Richardson, using an original design by Dr. David Lary, who states, “We’re using the same machine learning technology to calibrate our monitors that NASA uses for its satellites. We can take accurate measurements every few seconds and stream the data in real-time to capture the of air quality at a specific place over time.”
Downwinders Director Jim Schermbeck says, "This network is the purest, most dramatic expression of our 26-year old goal to provide citizens with the tools government won't. We see SharedAirDFW's debut as the public health equivalent of turning on electric streetlights for the first time at the turn of the 20th century. We're building a utility, the full impact of which won't be realized for years.”
For the first time, a single website displays all the online monitors networks collecting PM air pollution data in North Texas on the same map online at sharedairdfw.com.