EarthShare 2017: Creating a Map of Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution of Carolinas HealthCare System Campus in Charlotte

Apr 21, 2017

EarthShare NC Corporate Sustainability Event with Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte
Clean Air Carolina Team and Carolinas HealthCare System ready to monitor particle pollution at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.


Electric ambulance at Carolinas Medical Center in CharlotteCarolinas Healthcare System (CHS) employees helped create a visual map of fine particulate matter on the CHS main campus at Carolinas Medical Center! This was accomplished in partnership with Clean Air Carolina as part of the 2017 EarthShare Corporate Challenge on April 7th.

Four teams of CHS employees were given some training on air quality and equipped with AirBeam monitors and set out to find fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) on their campus. This task was made more challenging because we had rain the day before and the day of the event heavy winds were blowing. Our group of citizen scientists were not deterred. They embraced the challenge!

It was a blue sky day and most readings were in the good range. They had to search out potential sources of particle pollution- checking parking lots, parking decks, loading docks, idling cars, ambulances and buses. They even saw evidence of CHS taking care of the air, by using some ambulances that are plugging into auxiliary power rather than idling at the emergency entrance.

A team got access to the helipad on top of the building and were there taking measurements as a helicopter took off. The Heart Team found the greatest level of PM2.5, going up into the unhealthy range at 67 micrograms per cubic meter. This occurred at a bus stop located in a tunnel area under a parking deck with a bus idling.

This data is now available on the website as part of our ongoing study to learn more Carolinas HealthCare Systems particle pollution air quality monitoring ambulance at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotteabout hyper-local levels of air pollution in North Carolina. You can view the data they collected at:  Combined AirCasting Sessions, Heart AirCasting Session.

Many thanks to CHS for their commitment to protect our natural environment. They were one of six corporate EarthShare teams in Charlotte this year with over 200 volunteers participating.