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New York adds new air monitors to communities hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy


Flooded Avenue in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood of Loisaida on October 30, 2012 (courtesy: David Shankbone)
Flooded Avenue in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood of Loisaida on October 30, 2012 (courtesy: David Shankbone)

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer

December 16, 2012 — New York state officials are adding three additional air monitoring units in the New York City neighbourhoods hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Satellite imagery of Sandy taken on October 26 (courtesy: NASA)
Satellite imagery of Sandy taken on October 26 (courtesy: NASA)

Three additional air monitors are being set up to measure pollutants in the air following Hurricane Sandy.

Officials were concerned that recovery efforts would result in an increase in PM2.5, a pollutant associated with construction debris.

So far, the monitors - which update in near real-time - do not reveal a negative impact on air quality.

"From routine monitoring of outdoor air, we know that the city's overall air quality since Hurricane Sandy has been typical for this time of year," said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, in a statement.

"But essential cleanup and reconstruction work can produce additional street dust and emissions in communities most impacted by the storm."

Health advisories are typically issued when PM2.5 levels reach 35 micrograms of particulate per cubic metre of air, based on a 24-hour time sample.

Data from the air monitors can be viewed online at the Department of Environmental Conservation's website.





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