Air Quality

Good air quality is key to promoting respiratory health and Design for Health (DFH) addresses it in the following materials. The main sources of air pollution are area sources (dry cleaners, lawn mowers, etc.), mobile sources (cars, trucks, off-road equipment), and stationary sources (factories, power plants, etc.). These different sources produce different types of pollutants that can cause problems for respiratory health, cardiovascular health, and cancer treatment. Locating sensitive land uses in close proximity to polluting facilities or major roadways can raise health concerns for sensitive populations. Some pollutants tend to have a greater effect over an entire metropolitan area and others drop off fairly quickly away from the source.

Design for Health (DFH) Materials

Other Resources

Web Sites:

  • Air Quality and Compact Development Study
    A study from the Journal of the American Planning Association, with the article available for free, examines air quality problems in compact areas.
  • Air Quality Data
    The air quality section of the MPCA’s environmental dataaccess system allows visitors to access air monitoring and emissions data.
  • Air Pollution and Respiratory Health 
    This part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site contains a wealth of information.
  • Air Quality, Pollution, and Trees
    This document from the Boulder Area Sustainability Information Network is a great example of the role urban forests play in improving air quality.
  • European Research on the Indoor Environment 
    The Database on European Research on the Indoor Environment is moving its home, but at present is still available. The free text or keyword searching features in the left menu give access to the data.
  • Environmental Public Health Indicators Project 
    This CDC-sponsored project creates a set of very important public-health indicators. A work-in-progress the link is to the lists of specific indicators in a number of topics. This link is actually quite hard to find on the Web site. Indicators include potential sources for data. See the general overview.

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