Study: 1 in 4 Newark children has asthma; EPA steps in for air quality testing

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Monday, March 23, 2015
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Anthony Johnson has the details.

NEWARK (WABC) -- A new study shows an alarmingly high number of children in Newark with asthma, and now, the Environmental Protection Agency is stepping in with sensors that measure air pollution.

According to the study, Newark has one of the highest rates of children suffering from asthma in the state, with reports suggesting that one out of every four children is suffering.

Much of the problem appears to be in the Ironbound section, where a community-based program is working with the EPA to test air quality.

"People know that the air quality is bad," said Isella Ramirez, of the Ironbound Community Corporation. "When you are participating in these projects and you have the data in front of you, you're able to give proof to that lifelong struggle that you have."

There are now four air quality monitors being used to gather data on particulate matter in the air.

Some of the factors contributing to concerns over air quality include the waste station, the proximity of the airport to residential neighborhoods and the daily presence of lines of truck traffic.

The data will be collected during a two-month period, and it will then be analyzed to see what recommendations can be made.