Wilmington is considered one of the top destinations for Carolina coastal travelers. Its quaint downtown, rich history, and access to vibrant beaches make it a must-see for anyone this side of the mountains. The charm and appeal of the city make it a great place to live as well. Just ask the roughly 250,000 that live in New Hanover county year round.
Air Quality and Health
Wilmington residents have had longstanding concerns about the environmental impacts of local industry, not the least of which is one of the largest ports in the nation. Air pollution is the #1 worldwide environmental risk according to the World Health Organization. Our Air Quality Health Report for New Hanover County tells the story:
- Between 2010-2014, the rate of emergency department (ED) visits with a primary diagnosis of asthma (Figure 2a) and the asthma hospitalization rate for children ages 0-14 (Figure 2b) were consistently higher than the rates at the state level.
- At a cost of $12,969/case, New Hanover County residents spend an estimated $2.7 million on asthma hospitalizations and $5.8 million on COPD hospitalizations ($21,602/case) every year.
- From 2011 to 2015, 426 people died of chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRDs) in New Hanover County. Poor air quality may also increase the morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases.
Big Data, Bigger Impact
Clean Air Carolina has begun working with Dr. John Bang of North Carolina Central University and Eric Klos, CEO of HEALTHeWeather to address this issue. By harnessing the smart, web-connected air pollution monitors already up and running on our live streaming map, the analytics and interface of the DailyBreath smartphone app, and the contribution of our network of Medical Advocates for Healthy Air, we can tackle air quality and respiratory health in an entirely new way.
Join the Movement!
Clean Air Carolina is deploying a network of smart sensors in every single North Carolina county in 2018! We need your help! If you are in a county not yet covered on the map, become an AirKeeper today, and we can arrange a monitor in your area!