Researchers raise alarm about air pollution levels in Haiti

The researchers—associate professor Mary Davis and Ann Rappaport in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning—say that air pollution levels put people at higher risk for respiratory illnesses, including lung cancer and heart disease.

For their study, Davis and Rappaport monitored the levels of particulates produced by combustion in Haiti’s two largest cities, Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien, for a week in May 2013. “Concentrations of particulates around Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien are higher than levels observed elsewhere in the developing world, with the exception of India and China,” says Davis.

In the affluent Pétionville suburb of Port-au-Prince, they found air quality that would be considered a moderate health concern, according to EPA guidelines. But during morning rush hour in Port-au-Prince, Davis and Rappaport recorded particulate concentrations that consistently exceeded levels the EPA would deem hazardous. In Cap-Haïtien, the levels were even higher. via phys.org.

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