Local Traffic is Choking Latinx Neighborhoods in Langley Park, MD
Langley Park, one of the communities that will be served by the incoming WMATA Purple Line, is a multicultural community composed of over 80% Latinxs with household incomes that are 83% lower than the rest of Prince George’s County. It is located within the Capital Beltway near a network of heavily trafficked roads. Emissions from industrial traffic and commuter traffic can impact air quality. Individuals who are exposed to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) including particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and other pollutants can have adverse health outcomes including asthma, stroke, heart disease, and pre-mature mortality.
The overall goal of this project is to address gaps in knowledge about pollution levels in neighborhoods near heavily trafficked areas in Langley Park. Our research objectives include: 1) Explore the use of real-time sensors to measure particulate matter and noise levels in a community with heavily trafficked roadways; 2) Assess traffic related disparities through the use of US EPA’s EJSCREEN; and 3) Examine differences in particulate matter and noise levels during rush hour and non-rush hour time periods. We are currently using the Airbeam and the Aircasting system to perform real-time measurements of PM2.5 (µg/m3), temperature (℉), humidity (%), and sound levels (db). We also have used the US EPA’s EJSCREEN tool to map traffic-related hazards in the community and assess any traffic-related disparities compared to the rest of the state, region, and the US. This research provides a foundation to further explore the link between exposure to TRAP and health disparities in Langley Park, Maryland.