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Air Monitoring Project at University Village

Air Monitoring Project: About Us


In late 2017, a project to better understand the air quality at University Village Apartments (UVA) was initiated by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), in coordination with UVA management and the University Apartments South Residents Association (UASRA). This ongoing research involves working with community members to use a cutting-edge, low-cost air sensor, called PurpleAir, to monitor the air quality in your neighborhood and homes. These sensors present an exciting opportunity to supplement data from EPA monitoring stations to help us better understand local-scale air pollution and to involve citizen scientists and community organizations in the knowledge-making process. 

This project will help us evaluate how low-cost sensors compare to traditional air monitoring devices, gain a better understanding of how freeway emissions impact the air quality in neighborhoods like yours and learn more about users’ experiences with these devices. Our hope is that these air sensors will become a useful tool for community members by helping residents gain a better understanding of the air quality here, why it is important to their families’ wellbeing, and what measures can be taken to protect their health. 

For this project, a particulate matter (PM) sensor was selected due to the impacts of PM on health and because it is one of the major pollutants associated with vehicles. The sensors are mounted outdoors throughout the community and inside select apartments, transmitting data in real-time. Everyone in the complex, as well as the general public, can view the real-time sensor data on the PurpleAir website, helping you become informed about the air quality in your area, plan outdoor activities accordingly and manage your indoor air quality. 

Check out our first report here, which provides more information about air quality in your neighborhood and how this impacts health, as well as some preliminary findings from the project so far. The document also includes tips for improving your indoor air quality, selecting an air purifier, understanding the air sensor data, and more!

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