How Toxic Is Your Neighborhood’s Air? This Map Knows for Sure (Video)

By Liz Dwyer
Liz Dwyer
Liz Dwyer
July 9, 2014 Updated: July 9, 2014


If it’s a “green” day we can breathe easy. Thanks to growing concern about the health dangers of inhaling smog and particle pollution, over the past 20 years weather forecasts have given us a daily download on our local air quality. To do that, forecasters tap the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index, which rates conditions in 900 counties across America. 

The system revolves around a 10-pound device called Elm, which can be installed anywhere and runs on Wi-Fi. Once it’s booted up, Elm provides updates on the amount of particulate matter, nitrous oxide, and other pollutants in 20-second intervals. All that local data is beamed to a real-time, color-coded online map that anyone can access.

This article was originally published on, July 8, 2014. Read the complete here.