by JG Su, M Jerrett, A de Nazelle, J Wolch
Environmental Research 111:319-3282011
Parks generally have beneficial impacts on air quality owing to the removal of pollutants by vegetation or to buffering of emissions sources. However, because they can also be spaces for increased physical activity, park users may experience increased inhalation of pollutants. This study compared the relative levels of air pollutants (NO2, PM2.5, and O3) in parks and park-adjacent neighborhoods with the levels for the Los Angeles region as a whole and assessed the socio-economic and racial-ethnic inequalities in pollutant exposure. The results showed that levels of PM2.5 and NO2 were lower in parks than in the region overall and levels of O3 were higher. Park-adjacent neighborhoods had higher levels of PM2.5 and NO2 than the region as a whole, likely because of higher traffic volumes. Parks in low income communities and communities of color showed higher levels of NO2 and PM2.5 than the adjacent neighborhoods.