A Comparison of Particulate Matter In and Around Two Freeways in Oakland, California

Jacob Adams, Andrea Negrete, Karren Gilliland, Jessica D�az, Bianca Centeno, Camron Girton, Dagmawi Fasil, Damaris Romero, Daniella Ruiz-Arroyo, Devondre Spears, Kamuri Williams, Lindsay Tate, Manaiya Scott, Micah Burris, Philmon Lei, Raul Ramirez.

Our research aims to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between fossil fuel burning vehicles and air quality in East Oakland, Oakland, California.

We evaluated the impact two local freeways have on air pollution in Oakland, California, by counting PM of sizes 0.3, 0.5, 1, 2, 5 and 10 near the I-880 and I-580 freeways. These freeways were selected due to their differences in length, size and the amount of truck traffic. Our sampling sites included four locations near each freeway. Two locations were located less than 20 feet from the freeway and the other two locations were more than 200 feet away from the freeway. Data was collected in the morning hours between 9:30am and 10:30am for five consecutive days.

Preliminary results from our study confirm that these freeways emit higher levels of PM than their busy street counterparts: Fruitvale Avenue, along the 880 freeway and MacArthur Boulevard, along the 580 freeway. Furthermore, preliminary results show that the 580 freeway, which does not permit trucks over 4.5 tons, on average emitted more particulate matter of size 0.3 microns than the I-880. However, higher average levels of 0.5, 1, 2, and 5 microns were found at the 880 freeway. Particulate matter of size 10 microns was similar at both sites.

Further studies will include sampling throughout the Fall of 2010 and monitoring and recording sources of PM such as idling cars, lawn mowers and passing trucks that contribute to increased levels of PM in areas further from the freeways.

Please download the full PDF for map, graphs & figures, and cited works.