At the time of this project, three counties make up Tri-County Health Department (TCHD), Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. Both Adams and Arapahoe Counties have statistically higher than the statewide rate of emergency department asthma visits and hospitalizations. In response, TCHD installed seven air quality (AQ) monitoring sensors in Adams and Arapahoe Counties to gather real time data that can guide strategies for reducing exposure to harmful pollutants for populations disproportionately impacted by asthma and respiratory disease. This effort was done in coordination with Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE), leveraging their work in this area and local partners such as schools and local governments.
What was CO Tracking’s role?
Colorado Tracking provided Tri-County with funding to complete the Love My Air project. In addition to providing funding, Colorado Tracking data (age-adjusted asthma emergency department visit rates) was used to inform the project and prioritize locations of air monitors.
What product or output came from CO Tracking’s role?
Data collected from the sensors are made available in real-time to the general public. Individual organizations can download historic data from the last 24 hours, a week, or 30 days. To assist with air quality education and behavior change efforts, data are displayed in an easily consumable manner. A dashboard display closely mirrors the Air Quality Index (AQI) values and color scheme; in addition, appropriate messages are displayed to the public to support air quality education and informed decision-making. Additionally, partners have identified community events and forums to disseminate data, information about air quality, educational programming, and policy change.
What action or decision was taken to resolve the problem?
Several actions have taken place in Adams and Arapahoe Counties:
Schools have: engaged science teachers to explore air quality topics and data into the classroom, updated and enhanced loaner bike fleets and included education about the benefits of riding bikes, purchased air pollution monitors that are available for teachers to check out for students. Nursing staff at schools were provided access to the air sensors installed and provided nurse toolkits. Materials have been used to educate nurses and students about the warning signs of asthma and other immediate lung health issues.
Counties have: taken steps to reduce emissions at events and promote public education about renewable energy and produced short, educational public outreach videos on air quality and installed an ozone garden and developed associated family-oriented citizen science programming and data collection.
Libraries purchased sensors to be added to their public collection to increase access to air quality monitoring assets and data to the public, opportunities for collaboration with schools and community organizations, and education on air quality topics.
What was the outcome of this action or decision?
Identified community events and forums to disseminate data, information about air quality, educational programming, and policy change.