After another month of summer cycling around Hamilton, Mitch & I have noticed reoccurring problem areas where particulate matter levels are high. When cycling by these areas, our particulate matter monitors reached peak levels that were astoundingly high. Below are some of those problem areas we found, each with its own specific cause.
1. Wentworth Metal Recycling (located by Wentworth & Burlington)
Large amounts of dirt-drag out from the entrance of Wentworth Metal Recycling. This is most likely due to the high number of large trucks going in and out of the site. Any cars driving by this area can easily pick up this and drive dirt right into the air! It IS Wentworth Metal’s responsibility to keep this area clean which helps minimize the amount of particulate matter present in the area.
2. West Harbour GO Station (located right around James St. North & Strachan St W)
Construction workers at the new West Harbour GO Station cutting concrete without using water! This results in large clouds of dust that drift off to nearby neighbourhoods.
3. Scott Park demolition (Cannon & Melrose)
The Scott Park demolition site is located right across Cannon Street from the Tim Hortons field. Construction vehicles are the main culprit here, putting debris and dust into the air where they drift off into the surrounding residential area.
Remember, if you see any air emissions from sources that wouldn’t normally be there, please snap a photo and take a few minutes to call the provincial Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060 (toll-free, province-wide, 24/7). For more information on reporting problem air emissions, you may contact us for help or see http://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/report-spill for more details.
Happy cycling and breathe clean!
Mitch (right) and I giving a display of how the air monitors work during 100In1Day.
(Photo taken by Shelly Cameron, from snapd Hamilton) https://hamilton.snapd.com/event/853279#/
The 2015 bicycle air monitoring season has begun and what better timing than with Bike Month starting too.
Air quality has always been a major health concern for many, especially those living in industrial cities, such as Hamilton. By using a portable air particulate monitor and a compact GPS unit, anyone can survey the air quality anywhere in the city at any time.
As this year’s BAM intern, it was my job to get accustomed with using these nifty air monitors and GPS units while getting the project up and running again.
After learning to use the equipment, Mitch (the INHALE intern) and I decided to go for our first monitoring ride this season. Instead of choosing a conventional bike route, we opted for a ride through the industrial core of Hamilton. What we noticed throughout our ride was that we would consistently get readings of high particulate matter (PM) at locations with dirt drag-out, construction/road work, and when large trucks drove past us.
I was really surprised at how straightforward the gear was to use and am looking ahead for more monitoring rides in the coming weeks as the weather continues to get better!
Collecting air quality data is the first step in taking action to address areas in Hamilton that have poor air quality. The next step is to explore ways to see the sources of air particulate reduced or eliminated and this will be an important part of what we focus on this summer!
Interested in the BAM program? We’re always looking for more volunteers! Learn more about the project and sign up here at: http://www.environmenthamilton.org/view/page/BAM
Stay tuned for an online map showing data accumulated over the past year from this project!
An 18 wheeler preparing to leave a site.
A dust cloud left behind from the 18 wheeler truck driving away. Notice the dirt drag-out from the site as well.
High particulate matter readings from sewer work going on at the intersection of James St & Burlington St.