• Air Pollution in Interior Alaska
    • Abdul Kadir (Graduate Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UAF)
    • March 09, 2018

Fairbanks and North Pole, two cities in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Interior of Alaska, are well known for their bad ambient air quality. The topography contributes to air temperature inversion and low mixing height in winter. Along with low air temperatures, this city is exposed to high concentration level of PM2.5, which is particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micron. The air pollutants are trapped for days, sometimes for weeks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared the Fairbanks North Star Borough as PM2.5 non-attainment area in 2009 for not fulfilling 24-h National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Additionally, forest fires in summer can also result in acute conditions of unhealthy air. The polluted air can affect indoor air quality too due to poor ventilation systems. In this seminar I want to present my studies on air quality in Fairbanks and North Pole that include (i) understanding spatial variation of road-side PM2.5; (ii) exploring correlation of ultrafine particulates (particles less than 0.1 micron in diameter) with PM2.5, meteorology and traffic counts; and (iii) assess the impact of high concentration of outdoor particulates due to forest fires on indoor air quality.

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