KING5 News, Seattle, Washington, November 4, 2013
New research by a University of Washington Bothell professor finds coal and diesel trains in our region pose air quality issues and could impact the health of people living near the railroad tracks.
Dr. Dan Jaffe, Ph.D., tested the amount of diesel exhaust and coal dust escaping from more than 500 trains over the span of one month. He tested air quality levels in a house in North Seattle and at a location in the Columbia River Gorge.
For people living near the railroad lines, Dr. Jaffe’s data suggests that there is a concern with air quality from diesel exhaust. He says coal trains appear to release some larger particulate matter, which is likely to be coal dust.
Dr. Jaffe says he is surprised that levels of CO2 were so high.
“I want this study to inform the community,” he said. “These preliminary findings should be a wake-up call that this region needs more in-depth research on the air quality impact.”