On Thursday, October 8th, Citizen Science Manager Calvin Cupini delivered a crash course on air quality and public health concerns of particulate matter (PM) and ground-level ozone to members of the Graduate Public Health Association (GPHA) at UNC Charlotte.
Air Pollution and Your Health
The talk covered health concerns of air pollution including increased cancer risk, exacerbated allergies, cardiovascular disease, and inflamed airways of the lung. The students learned that air pollution is far more complex to track than typical point-source pollution like those in streams. Especially difficult is the fact that the pollutants that affect North Carolinians most, ozone (O3) and PM, are formed in the atmosphere from complex physical and chemical reactions. They are also invisible to the naked eye, which means monitors are required to measure them.
In order to understand patient outcomes and individualized healthcare, future experts in Public Health and Medicine will need to understand all environmental risks and patient exposures like never before. Someday soon they will be able to use local #airpollution data, like the PM data collected by Clean Air Carolina’s citizen scientists, in combination with patient history to better understand health impacts and make better healthcare decisions for their patients. No doubt the fantastic talent in the UNCC GPHA will be ready!