Yesterday (12/11), BYP youth presented the results of a pilot air quality study they conducted, in partnership with PhD students, Sara Gillooly and Leah Cambal, and professors, Kyra Shields and Jill Kreisky, from Pitt’s School of Public Health. The study’s purpose was to determine whether or not tree leaves can be used to measure pollutants in the air. Leaves were collected and analyzed, and the results were compared with those collected by traditional air quality monitors, which were installed on telephone poles near the selected sample of trees.
BYP youth met several times with the Pitt faculty and students prior to the start of the study, aided in the leaf collection part of the research, visited the air quality lab where analysis is done, and planned this community meeting to share results with members of the Braddock community.
Preliminary results have shown that using leaves to monitor air quality is a valid method. Further steps include selecting additional sample sites in the Braddock area. Leaves allow for samples to be taken from more places that are close to ground level (where we breath) versus on top of buildings (where monitors are usually installed).
The community meeting was held in the soon-to-open Braddock Community Cafe, on the lower floor of the Braddock Community Center (416 Library Street).