Thursday, 5 January 2017

Extreme risk in your neighbourhood looks like this

Here once again is the power of data and the "swarming" approach that we have on Gabriola Island and elsewhere thanks to low-cost, realtime air quality sensors made available through PurpleAir. Our 8 sensors on Gabriola Island show the hyperlocal effects of wood burning on local air sheds. The Berry Point Road sensor is showing a sustained and dangerous pattern of particulate pollution for the past hour. You should also note the sawtooth pattern on roughly an hourly basis that accompanies wood burning from wood stoves and fireplaces. This is an extremely risky environment to live around, yet the cognitive dissonance and the rationalizations of those who generate problems like this create blind spots. This is why regulation and a proactive position by local governments is needed, and also why other organizations like the BC Lung Association need to come out strong against all wood burning.