Teens Monitor Neighborhood Air Quality with ELPC

This summer teens at Woodson Regional Library YOUmedia created a Greenhouse Club and are working with the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) to learn about Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5.

What is PM 2.5, you ask? It's tiny, inhale-able matter, or particles, that's wreaking havoc on our environment and health in Chicago.

Tiffany Davis, an educator and field organizer from ELPC who has been working with teens at the library, explained that as a major transportation hub, "asthma hospitalization rates are double the national average in Chicago," which is one of many reasons why ELPC is working on compiling data about air quality in the city. Last year they collected from 1.2 million data points and this year they are focusing on the South and Southwest sides, hoping eventually to supplement the regional air-quality data collected and monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency. They're especially grateful to teens at Woodson's YOUmedia for helping collect data in their neighborhood, which is collected with devices that pair to one's mobile phone. 

Whether it's creating a campaign to help others understand the state of our air quality in Chicago or examining the data collected and demanding environmental social justice, others can join the effort too! Check out other opportunities to meet ELPC staff at Chicago Public Library as part of our 2018 Teen Summer Challenge, Imagine Doing More!