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The original item was published from 10/13/2021 10:03:00 AM to 10/23/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Tri-County Health Department News

Posted on: September 15, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Tri-County Health Department Expands Local Air Quality Monitoring

LoveMyAir image of an air-quality monitoring device

Love My Air Program adds nine new air sensors in Adams and Arapahoe counties

Today, Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) announced the launch of an expansion to the Love My Air program to include additional air monitors. The monitors will provide local air quality data to allow public health to better monitor local air quality conditions. For more than a decade, the Denver/Front Range area has had many unhealthy ozone days year after year, giving the area an ‘F’ in terms of air quality and ozone. Ozone can cause difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing, and inflammation of airways. It can be particularly serious for individuals with asthma or other respiratory illnesses.

The air quality sensors will measure for a common pollutant - Particulate Matter (PM2.5). PM2.5 is an extremely fine particle about 30-times smaller than a strand of hair that can lodge deep inside the lungs and cause severe health problems, including asthma and heart disease. 

TCHD initiated Love My Air programming and monitoring in the winter of 2020 with five monitors installed at TCHD’s Commerce City office and at partner locations through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Colorado Environmental Public Health Tracking grant program. The enhanced program includes the addition of nine air monitors, which have been installed throughout Adams and Arapahoe counties making for 14 monitors total. 

 “We are inspired by our partners, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Adams County, City of Northglenn, City of Thornton, Anythink Libraries, and Arapahoe Libraries,” stated Annemarie Fortune, Tri-County Health Department land use and built environment specialist. “Together we are strengthening our understanding of air quality and incorporating what we learn in programming, outreach, community messaging, and policy to protect the public’s health.”   

TCHD partner agencies includes schools, local government, and libraries. Each partner develops strategies for how best to incorporate the data from the air sensors in programming and education for populations most susceptible to poor air quality and policy changes that improves public health. Katie Keefe, manager of Adams County’s Community and Economic Development Department Environmental Program, states: “Adams County is thrilled to be a project partner in the TCHD Love My Air Program and now has two solar-powered, fine particulate matter air sensors installed Rotella Park and the Justice Center. This is an exciting opportunity to leverage real-time, localized air quality data to deliver educational and action-oriented air quality information to some of our most impacted residents. We envision LMA participation as a platform for developing a more comprehensive, long-range air quality program for Adams County. “

The air-quality monitors use low-cost, cutting-edge air pollution sensor technology, which has been redeveloped with solar, battery storage, and data connectivity. 

“Support from TCHD through the Love My Air program has helped us bring real-time air quality data and hands-on tools to our students to assist in educating them on the complexities of air quality science, human health impacts from poor air quality and their own biology. Additionally, funds from the program are being used to revitalize a bike fleet that our physical education teachers are able to check out for elementary students, to help kids learn how to ride a bike, bike safety and the personal health benefits of bike riding,” said Shannon Oliver, Adams 12 Five Star Schools energy and sustainability manager.

 Individuals, organizations, and businesses can monitor local air quality at www.denveraq.com/tricounty and learn more about the Love My Air program at www.tchd.org/LoveMyAir

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