Title

“Magnesia Alba “Chalk Dust” and Air Quality: A Comparative Study of Two University Rock Walls”

Description/Abstract

Magnesia alba, climbing chalk, creates a fine powdery dust that can be visibly seen or recognized. This chalk dust produces particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) which can cause a negative impact on air quality, especially in enclosed spaces such as climbing gyms. This can lead to significant health risks including lung or respiratory issues. In this study, Dylos DC 1700 particulate matter monitors were placed at Old Dominion University (ODU) and Appalachian State University (ASU) climbing walls to understand potential health risks. Monitors were set to collect particulate matter continuously for a four-hour period. Data were collected monthly in five-day sampling periods throughout the Fall 2019 semester. The data were analyzed in Microsoft Excel for descriptive and inferential statistics. Preliminarily analysis shows that PM2.5 and PM10 values at ‘good’ to ‘moderate’ at ODU based on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality index; conversely, ASU measurements were consistently in the unhealthy (PM2.5) to hazardous range (PM10). These disparities for PM2.5 and PM10 across settings demonstrate a need to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the air quality at ASU and other rock climbing gyms. Considering that there are populations (i.e., staff, regular climbers) at high risk to health impacts, understanding some of the conditions that can influence the air quality is crucial.

Presenting Author Name/s

Grace Tolbert

Faculty Advisor

Kyle Davis

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

Education | Environmental Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences

Session Title

Poster Session

Location

Learning Commons, Atrium

Start Date

2-8-2020 8:00 AM

End Date

2-8-2020 12:30 PM

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Feb 8th, 8:00 AM Feb 8th, 12:30 PM

“Magnesia Alba “Chalk Dust” and Air Quality: A Comparative Study of Two University Rock Walls”

Learning Commons, Atrium

Magnesia alba, climbing chalk, creates a fine powdery dust that can be visibly seen or recognized. This chalk dust produces particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) which can cause a negative impact on air quality, especially in enclosed spaces such as climbing gyms. This can lead to significant health risks including lung or respiratory issues. In this study, Dylos DC 1700 particulate matter monitors were placed at Old Dominion University (ODU) and Appalachian State University (ASU) climbing walls to understand potential health risks. Monitors were set to collect particulate matter continuously for a four-hour period. Data were collected monthly in five-day sampling periods throughout the Fall 2019 semester. The data were analyzed in Microsoft Excel for descriptive and inferential statistics. Preliminarily analysis shows that PM2.5 and PM10 values at ‘good’ to ‘moderate’ at ODU based on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality index; conversely, ASU measurements were consistently in the unhealthy (PM2.5) to hazardous range (PM10). These disparities for PM2.5 and PM10 across settings demonstrate a need to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the air quality at ASU and other rock climbing gyms. Considering that there are populations (i.e., staff, regular climbers) at high risk to health impacts, understanding some of the conditions that can influence the air quality is crucial.