Navigation Links
Carnegie Mellon researchers apply new statistical test
Date:3/17/2009

PITTSBURGHCarnegie Mellon University's Cliff I. Davidson, Joseph B. Kadane and Nanjun Chu have found that polluted air in the highly populated East End areas of Pittsburgh are more affected by major sources to the city's southeast than previously thought.

Because more than three-quarters of particulate matter found in the city originates from outside the Pittsburgh urban area mainly to the west the importance of certain air quality sources had not been quantified in the past.

However, the new study shows that the most polluted days often occur when the winds are from the southeast, when emissions from the U.S. Steel plants add to the regional background to raise PM (particulate matter) levels over the National Air Quality Standard.

"Those southeast winds are helping pollutants from the Clairton and Edgar Thompson works hitch a ride right into our backyards," said Davidson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon.

Pittsburgh's history and buildings are stained with soot from steel and coal-burning home furnaces and locomotives, but pollution controls over the past decade have helped remove much of the visible dust and soot from the air. Still, interest in tiny, almost invisible PM2.5 particles ballooned in the early 1990s, when studies showed a correlation between these particles and dangerous health effects, including respiratory problems.

In last month's prestigious Environmental, Science & Technology magazine, Davidson's research team said that by using statistical methods incorporating wind speed and wind direction at 10-minute intervals for a full year, they can help track the source of PM2.5. Their research also found that the number of days when concentration exceeds 35 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter of air in the city's Squirrel Hill/Oakland areas was four times higher than the number of days allowed by the National Ambient Air Quality Standard administered by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Kadane, the Leonard J. Savage University Professor of Statistics and Social Science at Carnegie Mellon, said the data was collected between July 2001 and September 2002 using a device that measured 10-minute average PM2.5 concentrations for a full year. The monitoring station was located on a hill in Schenley Park, adjacent to Carnegie Mellon and about six miles east of downtown Pittsburgh.

"The winds measured at this location were representative of regional winds without being affected by local topography," said Chu, a graduate student in Carnegie Mellon's Department of Statistics.

The research team is studying the impacts of these and other sources on Pittsburgh's air quality.

"The low elevations of emissions from the U.S. Steel plants could contribute to the concentrations we see in the East End, but we need to do further studies," Davidson said. "The demise of the steel industry contributed to great improvements in Pittsburgh's air quality, but there are still hot spots where emissions can contribute to levels of PM2.5 over the federal standard."


'/>"/>

Contact: Chriss Swaney
swaney@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-5776
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Carnegies Donald Brown receives lifetime achievement award from Society for Developmental Biology
2. Carnegies Doug Koshland elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology
3. Carnegies Joe Berry elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
4. Carnegies Arthur Grossman receives Gilbert Morgan Smith medal
5. Carnegie Mellon to unveil new sequestration plan
6. Carnegies Field and Koshland Elected AAAS Fellows
7. Carnegie Mellon developing automated systems to enable precision farming of apples, oranges
8. Carnegie Mellons Philip LeDuc participates in think tank forums
9. Carnegie Mellon to receive $900,000 from EPA for brownfields research
10. Carnegie Mellon MRI technology that non-invasively locates, quantifies specific cells in the body
11. Carnegie Mellon urges industry to broaden carbon footprint calculations
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... Lithuania , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, ... released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System ... of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process ... accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face or ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product ... and Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate ... solutions.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ... to provide their customers enhanced security to access ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... New Jersey and ... Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ... und marketingorientierten Lösungen für die Life-Science-Branche, Pharmaunternehmen ... ein bekannter weltweiter Anbieter von innovativen wissenschaftlichen ... Zuge des Starts von IntraScience heute den ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 Q BioMed ... it will be a featured presenter at the 5th Annual ... New York City at the Grand Hyatt ... , Q BioMed Inc. CEO, is scheduled to begin at ... the company,s business strategy, recent developments and outline milestones for ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... are used in leading laboratories all over the globe. Their cute firefly logo ... to manufacturing awesome cuvettes, FireflySci makes spectrophotometer calibration standards that never require recalibration. ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Founder of the Fitzmaurice Hand ... and surgery of the hand by the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons, ... and beyond in his pursuit of providing the most comprehensive, effective treatment for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: