Mengyuan Li

ESPM & Geography
Fall 2018

Air quality has been viewed as an important factor for determining respiratory health and mortality, particularly for individuals aged 0 to 5. Studies show that exposure to high levels of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) correspond to the volume of communicable and non-communicable respiratory condition and disease cases, such as asthma, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A strong positive association between poor air quality and infant mortality has been documented throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting vulnerability at early developmental stages of life. In the West African country of Senegal, heightened levels of particulate matter brought by dust storms originating from the neighboring Saharan desert are generally considered to be an environmental health hazard. Maggie Li has been conducting research analyzing the impacts of PM exposure on asthma outcomes throughout the fourteen districts of Senegal, with a focus on children under 5, to push for stricter monitoring of PM levels to protect young children and vulnerable subpopulations. Using GIS, she is investigating the relationships between air quality, age and health through fine spatial and temporal scale visualizations. She will be presenting a talk at the 99th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, 10th Conference for Environment and Health.