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State tests air quality in storm-damaged neighborhoods

December 16, 2012 6:19:30 AM PST
Environmental officials have installed air-monitoring stations in several New York City neighborhoods devastated by Superstorm Sandy to ensure residents aren't breathing in unhealthy doses of dust or exhaust.

The monitors measure fine particles kicked up by heavy construction activity and feed readings around the clock to the Department of Environmental Conversation.

Residents can also see results on the Internet.

Monitoring is under way in Staten Island's Midland Beach section, the Mill Basin and Gerritsen Beach neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Manhattan's financial district and the Rockaway Beach part of Queens.

Dust released by demolition work was blamed for agitating asthma and causing other respiratory problems in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

New York hasn't detected a pollution increase yet, but experts say people in indoor spaces being renovated should wear dust masks.

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