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Many City buildings closed in honor of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27

The Dearborn Department of Public Health, with the support of the MiNextCities, announced the placement of ten air quality monitors throughout the city in partnership with JustAir, a Michigan-based startup. Using a publicly available dashboard that is also available in Arabic, residents can monitor air quality in real-time and subscribe for alerts when air quality reaches levels of concern.

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud stated, “Dearborn families have suffered from poor air quality for decades. Our partnership with JustAir to place monitors throughout the city is just one way we are working to communicate with our residents, and to make strides in improving air quality in the region.”

The air quality network is part of a broader effort to decrease air pollution and improve public health, including a successful lawsuit against local polluters to decrease particulate matter, fugitive dust, and other air pollutants. This work will be joined by further outreach, enforcement, and regulatory actions to improve quality of life city-wide. 

Monitors will track three primary air pollutants of concern: particulate matter 2.5, particulate matter 10, and nitrogen dioxide; additionally, two of the ten will measure ozone. Neighborhoods in close proximity to industrial areas, trucking routes, and heavily-used highways were prioritized for placement, given their elevated exposure. 

Ali Abazeed, Chief Public Health Officer and Director of the Dearborn Department of Public Health, added, “Dearborn residents are the experts of their experiences, and they understand the air quality in their neighborhoods best. This network will allow us to validate that lived experience, understand disparities across our city, and focus future work on improving air quality for all.”

Air quality data is summarized using the Air Quality Index, or AQI–a scale that runs from 0 to 500 with six categories. While certain levels–above 151–are unhealthy for everybody, even an AQI between 51 and 150 can be unsafe during pregnancy, for individuals with conditions like cancer or obesity, or for the elderly. Additionally, risk can vary based on how long individuals are outside and whether they are involved in strenuous activity. The city is committed to ongoing outreach to empower residents to effectively use and interpret AQI levels. 

Abazeed continued, “This intervention is about being accountable to our residents and communicating saliently to the public we serve. Our monitors have been collecting AQI information for months, and we’re excited to collaborate with partners in the community to improve the health and well-being of all.” 

The move to increase data accessibility is designed to empower parents, educators, coaches, and community leaders to make informed decisions to protect the health of residents. Central to this initiative is a first-of-its-kind pilot installation at Levagood Park that will transform air quality metrics into a color-coded display, allowing residents to check the air quality at a glance. 

Anyone can register for AQI alerts through JustAir’s website at JustAir.app/SignUp

More information about AQI can be found at Airnow.gov/aqi/aqi-basics.

See more about Dearborn's Air Quality Meters in the video below. 

Visit here for more information about the Air Quality Meters with web navigation instructions.

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