The Bronx in New York City has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the United States, especially in the South Bronx which is one of the lowest income areas in New York City. According to literature, air pollutants cause increased prevalence of asthma, wheezing, recurrent respiratory illnesses, decreased lung function, increased lung inflammation, and increased hospital admissions for asthma. The South Bronx provides an ideal context in which to investigate the effects of traffic-related air pollution on children with asthma because large numbers of children with asthma live and attend schools in close proximity to highways and businesses that rely on high volumes of truck traffic. Large volumes of heavy truck traffic pass through the South Bronx along several major highways, as well as neighboring waste transfer facilities, the Bronx Terminal, and Hunts Point wholesale produce markets. For this study, air pollutants were measured at eight different locations in the Bronx to provide more information and data of the air quality in the Bronx to see if areas of the lowest quality also have the highest asthma rates. Air pollution sensors for carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone, UV and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) were utilized in each location.
- Jovan Gonzalez, Student, Manhattan College