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County of San Diego unveils new air monitoring tools

Posted at 11:19 AM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-10 14:19:13-04

San Diego (KGTV)- After receiving a failing grade by the American Lung Association, the County of San Diego is rolling out some new tools to fight air pollution.

In port-side communities like Sherman Heights, Logan Heights and Barrio Logan, the rates for Asthma are the highest in the state. This morning county leaders unveiled its new innovative monitors and cars.

“This has never been done before,” says Aclima’s Chief Scientist, Melissa Lunden.

For the past three months, two air quality cars have been driven around the county for 24 hours at a time collecting samples of air pollutants.

“You get a map, a street by street map, of what the air pollution is and what the air pollutants are on those particular streets,” says Lunden. “That allows you to really locate in that region an area of concern.”

Stationary monitors will also be set up in areas like Barrio Logan, Sherman Heights, and Logan Heights. Officials will be able to monitor what’s being inhaled by the people who live in these communities.

“What we expect to happen is we’re going to find elevated levels of pollution at the street level that we didn’t see with our regional monitors,” says Assistant Director of the Air Pollution Control District, John Adams.

With each monitor, the air is pulled into an inlet over 24 hours. The filter is then taken out and tested in a lab. The Air Pollution Control District has already placed monitors along Interstate 15 in Carmel Mountain and Interstate 5 in San Isidro.

The state awarded the county’s Air Pollution Control District $2.5 million to implement the program.