Working With Imperial County Communities to Monitor Air Quality
In California’s Imperial County, asthma rates are among the highest in the state. PHI’s California Environmental Health Tracking Program worked with partners and community members to launch IVAN Air Monitoring, which uses air quality monitors that provide real-time data so that parents, schools and community members can protect health and advocate for cleaner air policy. Children in Imperial County have an asthma ER rate that is nearly twice the state average, and particulate pollution often exceeds state standards for more than six months at a time.
Before a collaboration with PHI’s California Environmental Health Tracking Program (now known as Tracking California), residents lacked a reliable source of data on air quality in their neighborhoods. The project, undertaken through a collaboration between local organization Comite Civico del Valle and CEHTP, installed air quality monitors around the county that collect data and then made it accessible through a community air monitoring website called IVAN Air Monitoring, putting real-time information in residents’ hands. Leveraging this new data, parents, schools and community members will protect the health of themselves and their children, and advocate for cleaner air policy going forward.