Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Roby Greenwald

Second Advisor

Dr. Christina Fuller


INTRODUCTION: Air pollution in urban areas has been a growing concern in the public health sector, especially with regards to negative health effects from traffic-related air pollution.

AIM: The aim of this study is to quantify air pollution levels along the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, a popular urban trail located in Downtown Atlanta, and compare the pollution levels to measurements taken along a nearby roadway. The goal is to ultimately determine if there are any significant differences between air quality along the BeltLine and air quality along nearby roadways. No statistical significance in the data would suggest that individuals utilizing the BeltLine are exposed to the same levels of traffic-related air pollutants that are present on nearby roadways.

METHODS: Samples were collected along the Eastside Trail of the BeltLine and along neighboring roads over the course of 11 days using a mobile monitoring platform. Four parameters of air quality were measured- Optical Particle Counter (OPC) volume concentration, particle number concentration, median particle diameter, and black carbon levels. A paired t-test was conducted to assess any statistical significance between samples taken along the BeltLine versus samples taken along nearby roadways.

RESULTS: While there was some statistical significance between recorded air pollution levels for individual days, the overall results showed no statistical significance for any of the air quality parameters that were examined.

DISCUSSION: The findings of this study indicate that individuals utilizing the BeltLine have the potential to be exposed to the same levels of air pollutants found along roadways.