Intern Kenneth Paik: What I’ve Learned So Far

Intern Kenneth Paik: What I’ve Learned So Far

Interning at Gasp has definitely brought a lot of things to my attention regarding health and safety in the city of Birmingham. Birmingham per se contains an immeasurable number of pollutant factors, all of which produces damaging toxins into our air. These factors include industrialized buildings, trains, cars, etc.

The population—you, me, family, friends, babies, grandparents—are ALL affected by the pollution in the air, and a change is vital for the safety of our lives. Because what originates from the minor emission of CO2 and ground …

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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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The AirBeam Saga Part II: Placement and Testing Around 3 Birmingham High Schools

The AirBeam Saga Part II: Placement and Testing Around 3 Birmingham High Schools

Once I was able to understand how to connect the AirBeam to my phone, and to input data into its open source map, AirCasting, I was finally able to test the pollution around Birmingham. To learn how to connect the AirBeam to your phone, and how to operate AirCasting, check out my previous blog post here.

The sunroof was closed almost completely shut, except for a tiny space to allow the rope to go through. This allowed the AirBeam to be securely placed at the top of …

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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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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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Stronger Air Pollution Standards Could Save Lives

Stronger Air Pollution Standards Could Save Lives

“Meeting tighter pollution standards could prevent 63 avoidable deaths, 117 serious illnesses, and 88,414 adverse impact days in Birmingham alone.”

A report released this week by the American Thoracic Society and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University shows the toll air pollution takes on public health. In “Estimated Excess Morbidity and Mortality Caused by Air Pollution above ATS Recommended Standards, 2011-2013,”  researchers calculated the health benefits of stricter air pollution standards.

The interactive Health of the Air website, which complements the report, lets users enter their ZIP code to see the possible effect of reducing ozone and fine particle pollution (PM2.5) in terms …

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Alabama Ranked 5th Most Polluted State for Particle Pollution

Alabama Ranked 5th Most Polluted State for Particle Pollution

HealthGrove, a website that offers news and data analysis about health topics, has named Alabama’s air pollution the fifth worst in the nation. Specifically, their researchers analyzed fine particulate matter data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you’re new to air quality measures, it’s important first to understand what we’re talking about here. Fine particle pollution refers to microscopic solid and liquid droplets in the air we all breathe that are less than 2.5 micrometers (µm, or microns) in diameter. Also known as PM 2.5, …

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Guest Blog Post: How Clean Is The Air in Your Home?

Guest Blog Post: How Clean Is The Air in Your Home?

With all the attention on pollution from cars and factories, you might think about your home as a sacred space of filtered purity. But the truth is that the air in most homes is two to five times more contaminated than outside.

And city homes with tight spaces are especially susceptible to low air quality. The good news is that you can easily clear the air in your home. We at Modernize think that knowledge is power, and indeed, the first step to clearing the air …

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Gasp Responds to 2013 State of the Air Report

OFFICIAL STATEMENT
Despite Progress, Birmingham Region Still Lags in Air Quality

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Once again, the state of Alabama lags behind much of the nation in air quality, according to the just-released 2013 State of the Air report from the American Lung Association (ALA).

The Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman area failed two of the study’s three measures: high-ozone days and annual particle pollution. Strikingly, the area ranks 14th worst out of 277 metro regions in the number of high ozone days.

A news release from ALA notes that progress has been made, …

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Birmingham’s quest for clean air. Past and present. / The Red Mountain Post

Forty years ago in Birmingham, air pollution from the steel industry and other sources regularly caused a thick toxic yellow haze over downtown and surrounding areas. It was literally making people sick. A group of young activists, inspired by federal Clean Air legislation and the first Earth Day, formed a group they called Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop Air Pollution or “Gasp.”

Kirsten Bryant is Executive Director of an organization which recently adopted the name Gasp. “Once we learned what these citizens did in the 1970s, …

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