A Comparison of Particulate Matter Concentrations in West Oakland and Berkeley, California

Monique Artis, Derrick Bailey, Samuel Delf�n-Polk, Linda Figueroa, Semaj Harris, Shree Harris, Corey Haynes, Kassandra Johnson, Kenneth Johnson, Kyle Lewis, Tony Marks-Block, Cassandra Martin, Alex Vieira, and Ja�Juan Williams

Using a Dustrak 8530 aerosol sensor equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and a Fluke 983 particle counter our research team collected Particulate Matter (PM) data throughout the communities of West Oakland and Berkeley, California. Data was collected by walking on foot along paths that wound through residential areas as well as busy intersections in each community. Identical starting times and locations were implemented in association with each in West Oakland. To reach Berkeley, research team members traveled from West Oakland on a local commuter train (Bay Area Rapid Transit), on which data also was collected. Using the Dustrak instrument samples of particulate (less than 2.5�m) mass (�g) in a given volume (m3) were collected every second, and using the Fluke instrument samples of particle sizes ranging from 0.3�m to 10�m were collected at specified locations and analyzed for concentration levels . Preliminary results indicate higher average PM concentrations in West Oakland compared to Berkeley sampling locations, as well as high PM concentration levels at points along the commuter train route, including those associated with underground locations. These results support our initial hypothesis that West Oakland has higher levels of PM compared to Berkeley, most likely due to its proximity to a major, functioning port and because it has considerably less street and backyard vegetation to filter PM. However, PM concentration levels in certain areas of Berkeley with heavy traffic did mirror PM averages in West Oakland, and above average PM levels were found in areas with ongoing construction in both communities.

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