AirBeam Saga Part III: Analyzing Pollution Data in Five Local Parks

AirBeam Saga Part III: Analyzing Pollution Data in Five Local Parks

After conducting an air study around three major public high schools, I decided to conduct some testing around Birmingham’s local parks. The five parks tested were Elyton, Lynn, Greenwood, Avondale, and Homewood Park. I tested each park over a period of three days, and I spent around five minutes walking around each park.

Day 1:

On the first day of testing, I noticed how different the parks were from each other. In Elyton and Lynn Park, there were no people around. I was quite happy by …

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Federal Roundup: Trump’s First #100Days Edition

Federal Roundup: Trump’s First #100Days Edition

The news is a buzz this week with assessing President Trump’s first 100 days in office. NPR did a great Q&A with Cokie Roberts about this Presidential benchmark and its significance, if any. I have been doing my best to keep you all up to speed since day one of the new administration and how actions at the executive and federal level are affecting clean air and health. It has been a very busy first 100 days to track, sadly mostly not in a good …

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BREAKING NEWS: Alabama Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gasp

BREAKING NEWS: Alabama Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gasp

The Alabama Supreme Court today denied a petition from ABC Coke (a division of Drummond Company) and the Jefferson County Board of Health for writ of certiorari in ABC Coke and Jefferson County Board of Health v. Gasp, Inc. In other words, the Alabama Supreme Court has ruled in our favor, just as the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and Jefferson County Circuit Court did.

They were seeking review of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals decision affirming the Circuit Court’s decision reversing the Board of Health’s dismissal of our …

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Federal Roundup: Recent Executive and Legislative Actions

Federal Roundup: Recent Executive and Legislative Actions

It’s been a few weeks since I updated everyone on executive and legislative actions. Sadly, this is not because there has been nothing to update; so this will be a long one! However, one reason this update is delayed is because I attended an inspiring conference two weeks ago that replenished my “hope budget” and gave me new energy to tackle the many and ever-growing attacks on clean air. Since I blogged last month, several new developments have cropped up and we have new updates:

New …

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Federal Roundup for March 6

Federal Roundup for March 6

Wondering what’s been going on since I blogged about the most recent updates two weeks ago? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This is the latest installment in our series on federal executive and legislative actions. Several new developments have cropped up and we have new updates.

New Developments
January 30
Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (E.O. 13771)

President Trump signed this Executive Order that aims to offset the number and cost of new regulations. It says, “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination.” Many have pointed out …

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Coosa Riverkeeper Introduces New Fish Guide, Toll-Free Fish Advisory Hotline

Coosa Riverkeeper Introduces New Fish Guide, Toll-Free Fish Advisory Hotline

The Alabama Department of Public Health issues fish advisories for contaminants like methylmercury and PCBs — which are toxins hazardous to human health. ADPH also makes recommendations about portion size and frequency of fish consumed in specific waterbodies.

When our friends at Coosa Riverkeeper interviewed more than 125+ fishers, they found some startling results. Nearly half of the Coosa fishers didn’t know about the 34 fish advisories ADPH issues last year for polychlorinated biphynels (PCBs) and methylmercury — or how exposure to those pollutants affect their health.

In response, Coosa Riverkeeper released its new Fish Guide this week, which now includes …

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The AirBeam Saga Part I: Installation and Connection to AirCasting

The AirBeam Saga Part I: Installation and Connection to AirCasting

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to click on the images to enlarge them, especially if you plan to try this at home.]

Before I conducted my pollution study around the city of Birmingham, I needed to test the AirBeam itself. The AirBeam is a portable air monitor that is used to collect pollutant particles. You can purchase an AirBeam at http://www.takingspace.org/aircasting/airbeam/. Once I saw the small box the AirBeam came in, I got really excited. Surely, this will be an easy setup and execution…right? Thankfully, after 15365733 some mistakes, I was …

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Clean Air, Healthy Brain?

Clean Air, Healthy Brain?

New evidence reveals a surprising link between air pollution and cognitive health

Research has for years linked exposure to air pollution with health risks like asthma, lung cancer, and, more recently, heart disease.

But now alarming new studies are connecting exposure to brain health. Specifically, researchers have found a correlation between breathing fine particulate matter and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Scientists at the University of Southern California studied the cognitive health of women between the ages of 65 and 79 for 10 years. They found that those who were exposed to elevated levels of particle …

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Alternative Facts: Air Pollution, Climate Change & Health

Alternative Facts: Air Pollution, Climate Change & Health

This past Sunday, a Meet the Press interview featuring Counselor to President Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway went viral after she coined the phrase “alternative facts.” I couldn’t help but chuckle when I heard this euphemism coming out of the new White House. (I also cringed at the Orwellian undertones. But that’s a topic for a book club.)

WATCH: Kellyanne Conway defends WH press secretary's "alternative facts." #MTP pic.twitter.com/q4PVzhpA1g

— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 22, 2017

Here’s the deal: Gasp is a nonpartisan, apolitical advocacy organization. We just want healthy air for …

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Gasp Launches New Online Air Quality Tool

Gasp Launches New Online Air Quality Tool

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gasp Launches New Online Air Quality Tool

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Jan. 5, 2017) — In an effort to reduce exposure to the harmful health effects of air pollution, Gasp this week announced that it has released a new online tool for users to get the current and next day’s air quality for the Birmingham area.

The Air Quality Widget displays the current air quality index, or AQI, with a corresponding color code based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow data. It updates twice per hour. The …

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