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Abstract

Chemical Composition of Airborne PM10 Particles from the Salton Sea Playa: Development and Severity of Asthma in Children under 14 in Imperial County

Margaret Colangelo, Depts. of Communication Arts and Environmental Studies, with Prof. Mary Boyes, VCU Honors College

I was prompted to begin this paper after reading about a water transfer agreement which will significantly reduce the water levels of the Salton Sea beginning in January 2018. Concerns over the impact this change would have on local air quality and how air quality changes would affect respiratory health, particularly in children were present in the community. I chose to investigate the validity of these concerns. The recession of the Salton Sea will expose large areas of playa, or lakebed, that has been significantly polluted by the agricultural runoff that feeds the Salton Sea. In order to determine the impact this change may have on the air quality of nearby Imperial Valley and what effect airborne pollutants could have on local respiratory health, I studied journals concerning the predicted levels of dust from the exposed playa. Another important aspect of the dust emitted from the playa is the particle mass PM10, which several journals connected to a decrease in childhood respiratory health. I also explored journals which connected persistent organic pollutants which are commonly used in agriculture to respiratory distress and the development of asthma. I focused on journals which studied the levels of the same pollutants in the Salton Sea sediment as well. From my research, I found that the composition, as well as the particle mass of the dust emitted by Salton Sea playa will have a significant negative impact on the respiratory health and development of asthma in Imperial Valley children. Furthermore, the levels of dust emitted by the Salton Sea are expected to increase dramatically as the sea recedes. Continued research and studies should be conducted on the exact composition of airborne pollutants produced by the sea, and their specific impact on childhood respiratory health and asthma development.

Publication Date

2020

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Prof. Mary Boyes

Sponsorship

Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters

Rights

© The Author(s)

Chemical Composition of Airborne PM10 Particles from the Salton Sea Playa: Development and Severity of Asthma in Children under 14 in Imperial County

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