Science Friday Cycles the City

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Until recently researchers weren't able to measure a person's actual air pollution exposure — how much pollution she actually breathed in. Traditionally, air pollution monitoring has been conducted high above the street level. Now, however, a new generation of compact laser-equipped devices are portable enough for people to easily carry.

WNYC and Columbia University have set out to measure what riders are exposed to, how much actually gets into their bodies, and whether it affects riders’ health. With the help of a voluntary ‘bicycle brigade,’ we’re also trying to find ways to get people to reduce their risk, perhaps by choosing different routes or altering the timing for their rides.