The Health Department and Queens College (QC-CUNY) are conducting the New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS) to evaluate how air quality differs across New York City. As part of the City’s sustainability initiative, PlaNYC, this program studies how pollutants from traffic, buildings (boilers and furnaces), and other sources impact air quality in different neighborhoods.
NYCCAS monitors pollutants that cause health problems such as fine particles, nitrogen oxides, elemental carbon (a marker for diesel exhaust particles), sulfur dioxide and ozone. Although New York City air quality is improving, the Health Department estimates (PDF) that fine particle pollution alone caused an average of more than 2000 deaths, approximately 1500 hospital admissions for lung and heart conditions, and 5000 emergency department admissions for asthma based on levels in 2009-11.
NYCCAS air pollution measurements are taken at about 100 locations throughout New York City in each season. Monitors are mounted 10 to 12 feet off the ground on public light poles or utility poles along streets and in some parks. The monitors use a small battery-powered pump and filters to collect air samples.
Supplemental and Interim Reports
Interactive queries of some NYCCAS results are available on the Environmental Public Health and Sustainability Tracking Portal
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NYCCAS Scientific Publications
- Matte T, Ross Z, Kheirbek I, et al. 2013. Monitoring intraurban spatial patterns of multiple combustion air pollutants in New York City: Design and Implementation. J Exposure and Environmental Epidemiology. doi:10.1038/jes.2012.126
- Clougherty JE, Kheirbek I, Eisl HM, et al. 2013. Intra-urban spatial variability in wintertime street-level concentrations of multiple combustion-related air pollutants: The New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS). J Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. doi:10.1038/jes.2012.125.
- Kheirbek I, Johnson S, Ross Z, Pezeshki G, Ito K, Eisl H, Matte T. Spatial variability in levels of benzene, formaldehyde and xylenes in New York City: a land-use regression study. Environ Health.
Health Department Studies of Air Pollution Health Effects
- Air Pollution and the Health of New Yorkers: The Impact of Fine Particles and Ozone (PDF)
- Kheirbek I, Wheeler K, Walters S, et al. 2012 PM2.5 and Ozone Health Impacts and Disparities in New York City: Sensitivity to Spatial and Temporal Resolution. Air Qual Atmos Health Environ DOI:10.1007/s11869-012-0185-4
- Ito K, Mathes R, Ross Z, Nádas A, Thurston G, et al. 2010 Fine Particulate Matter Constituents Associated with Cardiovascular Hospitalizations and Mortality in New York City. Environ Health Perspect doi:10.1289/ehp.1002667.
- Mathes RW, Ito K, Matte T (2011) Assessing Syndromic Surveillance of Cardiovascular Outcomes from Emergency Department Chief Complaint Data in New York City. PLoS ONE 6(2): e14677. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014677.