Michelle Kondo Presenting at Diesel Difference

Trucks heading south on I-95 passing Port Richmond, leaving a trail of exhaust along the way


Next week Michelle Kondo, a member of the air quality research team at portrichmondAIR, will be presenting some of the findings from our most recent air quality monitoring deployment at the November meeting of the Philadelphia Diesel Difference Working Group. The working group consists of air quality experts, local policy makers, and regional air quality advocates, and we’re looking forward to getting the word out about our air research in Philly. The details are below. E-mail Chris at cmizes(at)cleanair.org if you are interested in attending.

“Scattered fixed-site measurements of black carbon concentrations in a port neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA”

10:00 AM Monday, November 19th
DVRPC: 190 North Independence Mall West, 8th Floor

Communities along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, such as Port Richmond, are host to goods movement industry. While these industries provide a vital source of employment and revenues for urban communities, port-related goods movement can pose health consequences for adjacent communities and surrounding regions. Exposure to particles and gases from diesel truck traffic in particular is associated with increased incidence of asthma and respiratory infections among other health outcomes.

In Port Richmond in 2010, 26% of children and 23% of adults suffered from asthma. At present, it is not possible to assess whether elevated asthma levels are related to air pollution. Air Management Services currently monitors air pollution in Philadelphia at just 10 sites, and this data cannot detect variation in pollution levels at the neighborhood, street, or individual level even though these differences could have a meaningful impact on health. Neighborhood-scale monitoring is an effective way to determine the spatial patterns of pollutant concentrations throughout a neighborhood and identify pollution sources.

Dr. Kondo will describe a study to characterize spatial and temporal variation in concentrations of black carbon (BC) in Port Richmond, and its relationship to expected sources such as truck traffic using outdoor stationary monitoring over a 4-week period during the summer of 2012. Preliminary results show elevated BC concentrations closer to diesel traffic routes, and in morning hours. This study represents a collaborative effort between Port Richmond residents, Clean Air Council, University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University (with assistance from DVRPC and Philadelphia’s Air Management Services).


  1. lindaj said:

    Hi michelle & air quality team,
    I think this is great that your team is concerned & proactive in such an important cause. I travelled 95 everyday & always felt as though the trucks should be more restricted to time frames in travelling 95, (ex. Not during certain hours), would prevent accidents…….on the way home from work one day around 5:40 pm a trucks tire blew and hit front driver side bumper and window, i was lucky i didn.t swerve into heavy traffic……not only that so many with black smoke coming out of exhaust pipes and some with steam pipes…..city or state could have more restricted inspections and/or fines for trucks poorly maintained. Another thing that bothers me is cars sitting in no parking zones that are running at the supermarkets, elderly and toddlers walking by breathing in the exhaust, particularly in the summer. So many people have lung cancer and so sad to see…………thank you again for taking action on a very worthy cause……….lindaj

    • cmizes said:

      Thanks, Linda! We’ve never experimented with designated times for truck traffic, but there are certainly places with truck only roads that help with congestion quite a bit. There are definitely some restrictions on idling, though. Not more than five minutes and there is a potential for a fine. We have a website, idlefreephilly.org, where you can map and report these things. We could also try and put up some no idling signs anywhere you feel it is a problem. Let me know!

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