Summer is the time for yard work. Love it or hate it, millions of Americans maintain lawns at their homes, using a variety of tools. Those tools can be a source of pollution, as our AirKeeper Robert Parr found out.
Gas-powered lawn mowers are not subject to the same emissions regulations that cars are. Neither are leaf blowers, trimmers, chainsaws, etc. This means that the exhaust of the small engines in the yard can actually emit more particulates and harmful pollutants than a heavy truck! Two-Stroke engines are even worse for the atmosphere, as fuel and oil are mixed and ejected from the engine without any capture.
With the help of an AirBeam particle sensor, Clean Air Carolina AirKeeper Robert Parr measured his particle exposure while maintaining his lawn. A common task for him, and many millions of Americans. What he found were highly elevated levels of inhalable particles, from the kicked up dust, shreds of grass, and unregulated exhaust.
This kind of activity exposure data could only be possible with the help of new, low-cost sensor technology and the diligent work of Citizen Scientists like Robert.