A new DOH study [PDF] tracked levels of fine particles like elemental carbon, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide throughout the city's summer air. And though all the maps are different, they paint the same picture: New York is really soiled.
Though Manhattan had it worse for most of the pollutants (ozone affected Rockaway and Staten Island the most), it seems no neighborhood is safe from the dangers of air pollutants. Deputy Health Commissioner Daniel Kass told the Post, "The take-home message here is that the air quality just isn't great anywhere in New York City." Neighborhoods with the largest crowds had an average of 22% higher level of particulate matter than other neighborhoods.
Ground-level ozone, which Kass describes as "basically smog," is more concentrated in areas downwind from the more congested neighborhoods. Kass says, "Any effort the city or everyone else makes to improve air quality in New York City will have benefits across the city. If you reduce traffic in the central Manhattan zone, you will reduce ozone in the outer areas of New York City," and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said the city needs to start relying more on mass transit. So, is the wait for the subway worth the cleaner air?