Open Source Air Quality Disparities Mapper
Ambient exposure to PM2.5 is a major health burden and is linked to increased mortality and morbidity. Exposure to harmful air pollution varies precipitously across different socioeconomic groups and is a burden often borne disproportionately by minority and low-income communities. We developed an interactive, web-based air pollution components mapper that is easily accessible to members of the public. The mapper allows to: (i) assess the exposure disparities in exposure to PM2.5 components (e.g, elemental carbon, ammonium, nitrate, organic carbon, sulfate) and (ii) communicate such disparities in a medium that is public-facing and widely digestible to those outside the field. The components mapper combines high-resolution predictions of PM2.5 components from an ensembling machine learning model with demographic data from the U.S. Decennial Census.
For the period January 2014 to May 2022, we found that for each additional half mile of walking distance between schools and the nearest firearm retailer, the odds of a school gun incident are reduced by 3 to 4 percent. Confining firearm retailers further away from schools might thus be an effective strategy to reduce the traumatic consequences of a school gun incident.