In the summer of 2019, East Boston Olin College students, Taylor Sheneman and Christine Dimke, under the direction of their professor Scott Hersey installed instruments that have been measuring a wide array of pollutants caused by fossil fuels emanating from highways and Logan International Airport.
The pilot program is a collaboration between Olin, East Boston’s AIR Inc. and Aerodyne, the manufacturer of the ARISense air quality measuring technology.
The pilot program and other environmental issues sparked renewed interest in environmental justice for a group of Eastie mothers.
Led by Sonja Tenglad an East Boston chapter of the national Mothers Out Front movement was formed and quickly joined the pilot program. Mothers Out Front encourages mothers across the nation to fight for meaningful environmental mitigation to ensure a liveable climate for children.
For the past two years Mothers Out Front has been lobbying to have HEPA purifiers installed in every school, home and daycare in Eastie to combat air pollutants that lead to a wide array of respiratory diseases.
Last week, Mothers Out Front’s efforts got a boost by a city grant. Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced that Mothers Out Front was one of two recipients of the city’s Community Clean Air Grants, a program offered by the Environment Department and the Air Pollution Control Commission.
Mothers Out Front received $51,764 for the East Boston Home Daycare Air Purification project. The project focuses on an air quality campaign providing HEPA purifiers to at-home childcare facilities, many of which are run by women of color and vulnerable populations.
Mothers Out Front East Boston and the East Boston Social Center, in collaboration with Air Partners/Olin College, will install HEPA purifiers in 27 East Boston home daycares. The objectives are to reduce children’s exposure to ultra fine particulate pollution and to create engagement strategies that both build awareness of pollution and related health implications, and also ensure compliance and success.
“Studies show that 70% of East Boston pollution makes it indoors. 21% of residents in East Boston are children who are especially vulnerable to the many health effects of air pollution,” said Mothers Out Front’s Sonja Teng-