HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Residents in some north Mecklenburg County neighborhoods will soon be able to get real-time air monitoring thanks to a federal grant. 

CleanAIRE NC’s grant is allows for air monitoring in underserved communities. Cornelius’ Smithville, Davidson’s West Davidson, and Huntersville’s Huntington Green and Pottstown neighborhoods have been approved for the monitors, which will be installed at select homes and businesses. 

These communities have dealt with some combination of construction, traffic, downed trees or gentrification. 

“They work by measuring particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), which is a really, really, really tiny micron that is smaller than a piece of hair that your lungs cannot filter,” said Kerstan Ryan with CleanAIRE NC. “That matter exacerbates things like diabetes, heart disease, asthma and things of that nature.” 

The monitors connect to Wi-Fi and send back information in real time. 

Steve Justus with the North Mecklenburg Economic Mobility Collaborative noted that Davidson has never had this type of intensive monitoring before, which could translate into analysis for areas beyond the monitored neighborhoods. His organization is dedicated to finding solutions to the challenges of economic stability and upward mobility.

“It’s information we don’t currently have,” he said. 

Around 20 monitors have been purchased through the grant. Sites are still in the process of being selected. 

The monitors will feed into a dashboard map. The information on the monitors is not identifying, but the results of the testing will be publicly available.