Air Quality

Toxic Particulate Matter – “PM” – is the New Lead PM is the scientific name for industrial soot. It comes from burning things. Wood. Gasoline. Diesel. Coal. Waste. Everything that depends on on burning something, produces Particulate Matter: cars, trucks, buses, locomotives, boilers, furnaces, kilns, etc. PM pollution is tiny. It’s much smaller than nature’s […]

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Not quite two weeks ago, on Thursday October 19th, something happened to throw local air quality conditions into the red zone for most of the day. There was a inexplicable smokey haze extending along the limestone escarpment from Midlothian to Dallas and then north to Denton, sending Particulate Matter pollution soaring to Beijing levels and ozone […]

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Brown, Big: 1971-2018

by jim on October 15, 2017

After years of declining fiscal health, the Big Brown lignite coal plant finally succumbed last Friday.  An announcement was made by its most recent caretaker, Vistra Energy last Friday morning. The cause of death was obsolescence. It was 47. Controversial from its birth, the 1. 2 Gigawatt Big Brown lived up to its name and was Texas […]

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Announcing Downwinders 3.0

by jim on September 9, 2017

Downwinders is Regrouping, Renewing, and Regenerating. Almost half our new board is under 30. We have a new scientist. We have a new focus. Now we need you. Many of you are aware of the time and effort Downwinders at Risk put into the unprecedented UNT Ozone Study which brought DFW elected officials and local atmospheric researchers […]

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Most of us are used to hearing about the traditional physical ailments caused by breathing poisoned air, and even about the more recently-connected neurological impacts. But a new Swedish study is the first time we’ve seen a report linking air pollution to mental illness in children. The new research, peer reviewed and published by the journal BMJ Open, found that relatively small […]

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If you missed our “Science and Socializing” series of roll-out events for the DFW Air Research Consortium in June, you have a chance to catch the show again on Thursday September 7th when the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods is using its September monthly meeting to host a repeat performance.  Dr. David Sterling and Graduate Assistant […]

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Meet Our New Scientist

by jim on August 30, 2017

Downwinders’ Wise County Ozone Project Gets A Director Downwinders at Risk is proud to announce Kari Northeim, a doctoral student in Environmental Sciences at the University of North Texas, has agreed to become our Wise County Ozone Project Director. Kari brings an impressive resume and a rigorous level of scientific methodology to the use of our two new EPA-calibrated […]

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Anti-Litter Group “Keep America Beautiful” Teams-Up with Dow and Hefty to Burn Plastic Bags Full of Plastic Garbage in Cement Kilns  And They Want To Do It Here…   We’ve been warning you for a while that garbage burning was coming to North Texas one way or another. What we didn’t anticipate was that “Keep America Beautiful” […]

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And Now a Word From NOT our Sponsor

by jim on July 15, 2017

A note of explanation: There are two meetings next week in DFW concerning the large and complicated Volkswagen legal settlement over the company’s lying about the air pollution its diesel vehicles emit. Each state, as well as about 20 counties in Texas, are looking to score millions for various reasons and programs. The two DFW meetings are sponsored by Public […]

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Air pollution kills thousands of Americans every year, even at levels far below the current legal limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s the conclusion of the largest study of its kind ever done, performed by the Harvard School of Public Health and published last Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. It comes […]

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Downwinders’s “Evenings of Science and Socializing” Concludes with SRO Crowd in Denton   We’re pretty sure it was the first time Cambridge-trained UTD Physicist Dr. David Lary had presented in a bar. The occasion was opening night of Downwinders’ “Evenings of Science and Socializing” at Bryan Street Tavern, in a dark back room that came complete with fog […]

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“An Evening of Science and Socializing” Monday, June 22nd  7- 9 pm   The Ginger Man 3715 Camp Bowie   Featured Guest: Dr. David Sterling, Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of North Texas Health Science Center Co-Sponsored by the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods In 2013, researchers at the University of North Texas Health Science […]

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Our local “environmental paper of record”  DFW GreenSource has a piece up about the DFW Air Research Consortium’s plan for a local 21st Century air monitoring network that quotes UNT Health Science Center researcher Leslie Allsopp and Downwinders’ Chair Tamera Bounds. Meanwhile the Texas Observer just put up an article about Downwinders’ Wise County Ozone […]

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      Only three months into the 2017 “ozone,” or smog, season, DFW has already recorded air pollution levels high enough to guarantee the region will remain in violation of the Clean Air Act for the 26th year in a row. The bad news? So far, we’ve had a pretty mild kick-off to “ozone […]

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Get Me To the Geeks

by jim on June 8, 2017

Come See How Radical The Future Really Is 3 Evenings of Exploring One of the Most Exciting Collaborations between Scientists and Citizens in the Nation while their grant is under consideration at the National Science Foundation   A consortium of North Texas universities, municipalities, and citizen groups, including Downwinders at Risk, is laying the foundation […]

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At one point in mid-May, four out of eight days were “ozone alert days.” While only one of those was critically high, the wave of higher levels was enough to push the regional average over the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) standard for 2017. It will be the 26th year in a row the […]

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