Environmental Defense Fund: New Tool Shows Air Pollution’s Path. “Environmental Defense Fund today unveiled Air Tracker, a first-of-its-kind web-based tool that allows users to plot the likely path of air pollution. Run on real-time, trusted scientific models and coupled with air pollution and weather data and developed in partnership with the University of Utah and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, Air Tracker helps users learn more about the air they’re breathing, including pollution concentrations and its potential sources.” Currently only available for Houston, Salt Lake City, and Pittsburgh, which is why it’s under Research instead of New Resources.
Google Blog: Get some fresh air outdoors with Google. “As temperatures heat up and summer officially begins across the United States, many of us are taking the opportunity to explore the great outdoors. If you have an adventure on the horizon, here are two ways you can use Google tools to stay safe and healthy during your summer activities.”
TechCrunch: Google Search now displays city-level air quality information in the US. “Google is rolling out detailed information about air quality in Search, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Wednesday. The company notes that the launch currently only supports city-level queries. Google first rolled out the feature in India last November. The company says it’s now bringing the feature to Search in the United States to help people find timely and actionable information about air quality in their area.”
The Record: CDTA busses equipped with air-purification system to fight COVID. “[Capital District Transportation Authority] is continuing to take important steps to keep employees and customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In CDTA’s latest effort, all buses are now equipped with a commercial-grade air purification system that uses Photohydroionization® Cell (PHI-Cell®) technology to clean the air, the organization announced in a press release.”
The Register: Will I inhale coronavirus at this restaurant? There’s an app for that. “The Ventilation View app relies on the presence of a CO2 sensor that Chiyoda Ward is giving away to businesses. Once that sensor is installed, and transmitting data, the venue – be it a restaurant and or some other place – will appear on a map, complete with an air quality rating. A rating of 1,000 parts per million or lower of carbon dioxide indicates there’s adequate ventilation to avoid coming down with coronavirus.”
Route Fifty: Employers Have Been Offering the Wrong Office Amenities. “I oversee the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard’s public-health school. Our research focuses on how indoor air affects cognition and other aspects of human well-being. (I should note that I also advise businesses, nonprofits, government leaders, and real-estate companies on ventilation and other healthy-building strategies.) In the United States, an engineering guideline known as ‘acceptable indoor air quality’ governs how much air is brought into a building. The problem is right there in the name: I don’t know about you, but I don’t want acceptable air quality; I want good air quality. Instead of being designed to meet a bare-minimum standard, buildings should optimize human health.”
Deseret News: This tool shows you the smoke forecast for Utah and the West. “The New York Times has a new tool that will help you see the forecast for wildfire smoke in the coming days. The tool — which you can find here — tracks wildfires across the West. Right now, it shows three major fires in California.” I tried opening this in an incognito window and I was not paywalled.
TechCrunch: BreezoMeter, which powers air quality in Apple’s Weather app, launches Wildfire Tracker. “BreezoMeter has been on a mission to make environmental health hazard information accessible to as many people as possible. Through its air quality index (AQI) calculations, the Israel-based company can now identify the quality of air down to a few meters in dozens of countries. A partnership with Apple to include its data into the iOS Weather app along with its own popular apps delivers those metrics to hundreds of millions of users, and an API product allows companies to tap into its data set for their own purposes.”
University of Central Florida: Mitsubishi Power and UCF Develop NOx Tracking Tool. “Mitsubishi Power Americas and the University of Central Florida have formed an industry-education partnership to establish a reliable and accessible source of information that tracks nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions as the U.S. power generation industry undergoes an energy transformation to decarbonize. The online Power Generation NOx Tracker uses data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency database as analyzed by UCF’s Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER) to show trends over time.”
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality: New air quality tool officially launches in partnership with State Climate Office
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality: New air quality tool officially launches in partnership with State Climate Office. “The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has partnered with the North Carolina State Climate Office to develop a new air quality tool, the Ambient Information Reporter (AIR). The new tool contains statewide weather and air quality observations about past, current, and forecasted air quality events.”
CNN: Smoke and soot from wildfires may be causing more Covid-19 cases and deaths, study finds. “As the coronavirus surges again in the United States, scientists have found another disaster is playing a key role in the number of people who contract severe Covid-19 cases and how many die: wildfires. A new study published in the journal Science Advances found that increases in fine particulate matter from wildfire smoke in 2020 led to a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths in California, Oregon and Washington.”
The Verge: Google’s Nest Hubs will warn users about nearby pollution and smoke. “Google is adding air quality data to its Nest Hub smart displays. While the new feature is still only available in ‘select’ US markets, it’ll give some users an idea of how much risk they might face from smoke and pollution in the area.”
European Environment Agency: New European city air quality viewer allows you to check long term air pollution levels where you live
European Environment Agency: New European city air quality viewer allows you to check long term air pollution levels where you live . “Air pollution is a serious problem in many European cities, posing a real risk to health. Today, the European Environment Agency (EEA) launched the European city air quality viewer. You can check how the air quality has been over the past two years in the city where you live and compare it with other cities across Europe.”
New York Times: The Next Trick: Pulling Coronavirus Out of Thin Air. “The [Thermo Fisher Scientific’s AerosolSense Sampler], the company says, can be used to detect a variety of airborne pathogens, including the coronavirus. It could be deployed in hospitals, offices, schools and other buildings to monitor for signs of the virus as society begins to reopen. The AerosolSense, which will sell for $4,995, is not the first air sampler capable of capturing the coronavirus; scientists have used several other models to study the pathogen over the past year. But the new device appears to be simpler and more accessible, experts said.
Los Angeles Times: Another new coronavirus variant found across California, including L.A. County. “So many people have died in Los Angeles County that officials have temporarily suspended air-quality regulations that limit the number of cremations. Health officials and the L.A. County coroner requested the change because the current death rate is ‘more than double that of pre-pandemic years, leading to hospitals, funeral homes and crematoriums exceeding capacity, without the ability to process the backlog,’ the South Coast Air Quality Management District said Sunday.”