|Interstate 65 & Air Pollution in Boone County
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|Author:||mackenzielancaster24 [ Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:27 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Interstate 65 & Air Pollution in Boone County|
Interstate 65 runs north through Boone County, Indiana. As a heavily trafficked, industrial route leading to Chicago, Illinois, Interstate 65 is responsible for immense amounts of air pollution. Neighboring Interstate 65 in Boone County is the living community of Anson. Included in the Anson community are the BLVD @ Anson apartment complexes, the Woodlands by Redwoods apartment homes, and the Clark Neighborhood housing development. With the living community being home to thousands of residents and families, the pollution from the interstate traffic is an important concern for both indoor and outdoor air quality. The known adverse health effects of living in close proximity to roadway air pollution include: higher rates of asthma onset and aggravation, cardiovascular disease, impaired lung development in children, pre-term and low-birthweight infants, childhood leukemia, and premature death (USEPA, 2017). The three residences making up the Anson living community are located approximately one-half mile east of Interstate 65. Upon observing the community in relation to the interstate, it is clear to see that there are no barriers between the roadway and the communities to prevent air pollution from impacting residents. The land separating the community from the interstate is very flat and, aside from grass, contains no vegetation. The interstate appears to be heavily traveled at all times of the day, and the traffic causes the area to be very windy. The residents of the community frequently use a walking trail located centrally between the three neighborhoods, a lake located behind the BLVD @ Anson apartments, and a playground located in the center of the Clark Neighborhood development. In addition, the community as a whole is made up of individuals of all ages, including those who are immunocompromised, such as children, pregnant women, and elderly individuals.
In the opinion of a former indoor air quality specialist, the pollution from emissions on interstate 65 is “severe enough to compromise air quality in the Anson living community and is an especially concerning issue for immunocompromised individuals” (personal communication, March 12, 2017). An energy engineer working with Siemens Industry, Inc. believes that the interstate emissions and the impact they have on air quality for surrounding neighborhoods was “not properly considered when building the housing developments because of the lack of air pollution countermeasures in the area” (personal communication, March 14, 2017). It is the opinion of an environmental health specialist, former indoor air quality specialist, and energy engineer that the current air pollution situation in the Anson living community is not safe, and that it is not safe to continue building homes without measures being taken to counteract outdoor and indoor air pollution from interstate 65 (personal communication, 2017). Reducing exposure to air pollution in the Anson community can be done on both a personal and policy level. Laumbach, Meng, and Kipen recommend that individuals reduce outdoor air infiltration into their homes as well as clean the indoor air with the use of air filters (Laumbach, et al., 2017). In addition, they recommend that on high pollution air days, individuals should stay indoors and limit physical exertion (Laumbach, et al., 2017). Adding vegetation between Interstate 65 and the community is a necessary step in reducing air pollution. Nowak explains that “trees remove gaseous air pollution primarily by uptake via leaf stomata, though some gases are removed by the plant surface” and that “ In 1994, trees in New York City removed an estimated 1,821 metric tons of air pollution at an estimated value to society of $9.5 million” (Nowak, 2002). It is evident that there is a concerning air pollution issue in the Anson community. What is also clear is that there are several solutions to counteract the emissions from vehicles on Interstate 65 and reduce exposure to air pollution. With Whitestown being one of the fastest growing cities in Indiana, it is crucial to the health of residents that action be taken to ensure a safer, healthier community.
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