Town Square

Post a New Topic

Measuring airplane exhaust

Original post made by Exhausted from Airplanes, Fairmeadow, on Oct 13, 2016

As I listen to the noisome roar of plane after plane passing overhead tonight (my windows are open to hopefully hear/smell the rain), I can't tell if I am imagining that I am smelling plane exhaust, or I am actually smelling it.

So -- does anyone know if there are instruments we can buy to measure the level and type of pollutants in the air around our houses? Or is the City already doing this?

Comments (11)

Posted by 9/11
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2016 at 11:58 am

9/11 is a registered user.

Remember 9/11/2001? When all air flights were grounded? People were forced to use "surface transportation "?

The air was never cleaner, at least not in 50 years!

The skies were never more quiet, either!

Newspapers later reported that air travel played a much larger role in air pollution than was previously thought! One big reason is the sheer huge amount if exhaust they emit!

The other reason is that the jet fuel the planes use is extraordinarily toxic, and causes more noxious exhaust than any other fuel!


Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2016 at 9:12 pm

There are times when I either cannot sleep or have not gotten enough
exercise or activity in a day and I will go out for a midnight stroll. I have
walked Middlefield from Embarcadero to San Antonio and back fairly
often and in the middle of the night sometimes when airplanes go over
the whole area will smell like kerosene or diesel fuel.

The smell lasts for blocks occasionally, and I am not hearing a truck
idling or anything, and it is not in the commercial area, so i was
thinking it was from the airplanes.

I did not report it because I was unsure, and I do not smell it in the
daytime.

Is that possible. It was not on every flight but once or twice it was
almost choking in the Middlefield area just south of the Embarcadero
intersection. The smell went on for 4 or 5 blocks.

Do our city of county government sample and track our air and
water and how close. It would be nice to know for sure if we have
a problem, when and where it is.

Of course noise is also a concern.

It is bed enough that some industries will take advantage of sleeping
people to fly over at a low altitude and dump noise on us, but if they
are also spreading fumes, that is even worse.


Posted by Dumped On
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2016 at 10:53 am

Dumped On is a registered user.

I have no doubt about Plane Speaker's suspicions!

I was an RN who worked night shifts for five years, and I have experienced that odor-- it burns the eyes, nose, lungs!


Posted by Planes are amoung us
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 16, 2016 at 11:09 am

"The air was never cleaner, at least not in 50 years!"

This is not true.
please cite your reference where we can verify the data.

"Newspapers later reported that air travel played a much larger role in air pollution than was previously thought! One big reason is the sheer huge amount if exhaust they emit!"

Again, please cite your reference. If this was actually reported in newspapers, it should be easy for you to provide links.

"The other reason is that the jet fuel the planes use is extraordinarily toxic, and causes more noxious exhaust than any other fuel!"


Again, please cite your reference.


Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm

There is far less air pollution in the Bay Area today than there used to be,
that is true ... but it is a different kind of pollution now.

When we first moved here it was a rare day when Palo Altans could see
the hills or the other side of the bay. The old Dumbarton Bride most days
used to fade into a smog bank and the mountains if you could see them
at all were faded with grey smog.

I don't know what the constituents of the air pollution was in the 70's and
I am not sure what it is today, but just because it is cleaner and clearer in
general today does not mean that we are OK with jet and propeller plane
exhaust raining down on us constantly from above.

A lot of these planes are foreign planes and who knows what is in their
fuel and what or how much is in our local air.

The local Bay Area governments need to get together and figure out a
way to measure and share the costs and the results of this data ... and
these days who believes any authority when they say pollution levels are
nothing to worry about? Not me.


Posted by Village person
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 16, 2016 at 9:44 pm

A lot of planes are foreign? And who knows what is in their fuel? Plane speaker surely you are joking, right..... Hmm, maybe not


Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm

@Plane Speaker "...A lot of these planes are foreign planes and who knows what is in their
fuel and what or how much is in our local air...."

I've always suspected that foreign governments have been spiking the fuel for flights to the United States with mind altering chemicals and chemicals that effect the crops we grow. That is the major reason the low birth rates and the high suicide rates for our children. This increase in foreign flights can be directly linked to the increase in Autism and the use of social media.

This is state sponsored attacks on our country. We should stop all flights to the United States unless they buy US refined fuels.

Oh, sorry, I thought this was the conspiracy theory forum. :^)

/marc


Posted by Exhausted from Airplanes
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 16, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Exhausted from Airplanes is a registered user.

This refers to a relatively recent study, but it correlates pollution with distance from airport, rather than altitude or volume of flights, so not sure how to apply to our situation. Web Link

It has some alarming comparisons between jet pollutants and automobile pollutants. "Researchers calculated that it would take between 174 and 491 miles of freeway traffic — or about 20% to 50% of the highways in Los Angeles County — to generate levels of pollution equivalent to those detected east of LAX."

The EPA will soon be regulating aircraft emissions with an eye towards global warming. But I can't find much on the impact on air quality.


Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 17, 2016 at 12:14 am

10/16/16 - 11:45 PM - plane after plane is going over and with the current atmospheric situation you can hear them coming from far away - clack and drone over head - then struggle onward. The sequence is taking forever. Imagine the number of people on those planes all arriving when most of the shops and food are closed at the air port. And the ground crews have to unload the planes and get the baggage inside. The clean-up crews have to clean the planes for the next outgoing trip. Imagine the passengers all going down to stand around while their baggage comes out of the chute then go outside to wait for transportation. And the flight crews also trying to get to a hotel to get some rest - all this going on in the middle of the night.
I understand there have been delayed flights due to weather but having everyone arrive in the middle of the night is crazy. And the rental car agencies have to stay until the last flights so people can get their reserved cars. Imagine having to check in cars and clean and gas them for the arriving people in the middle of the night. Imagine passengers who are not familiar with the area trying to figure out where to go in the middle of the night after they have picked up their cars.

If this is the current "business plan" for the airport then the cost for personnel in all of the support activities is going to be overrun. Running all of the related activities and keeping the passengers and crews moved out to the transportation areas is not a cheap activity. The airports are going to have to reign in the FAA and airlines to discourage this middle of the night activity. Besides the noise there are people picking up the passengers that are out in the middle of the night. A huge movement of equipment and people. Who ever is making these decisions needs to rethink this whole situation.


Posted by Jason
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 17, 2016 at 8:04 am

These planes should not be permitted to fly over our neighborhoods and permanently pollute our town! They should be able to fly over or at least other neighborhoods that aren't as nice. Why can't we change this? Palo Alto is the crown jewel of the Bay Area. We should have more pull here.

-Jason


Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 19, 2016 at 9:17 pm

It always seems like a shame to me when a snarky unproductive comment gets
so many "likes". Airplane exhaust is not a joke and Palo Alto is full of hard working
people who don't act like royalty and do not want any special treatment. This kind
of sarcasm has marginalized people who just want to be free of a toxic environment
and is not meant to hurt others.

The environmental battle fought in the 70's saved the Bay which would probably have
dried up almost to the point of being able to walk across it, and cleaned up the air
so that we can see our mountains and what is on that other side of the bay, it was a
real success for everyone. Maybe jokesters might think about this before taking the
cheap shot?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Craving a two-foot pizza? Pizzone serves Milan-style magic in Palo Alto.
By The Peninsula Foodist | 2 comments | 6,333 views

PA's downtown business problems not simple to solve
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 5,317 views

"It's too little too late" and other reasons why not
By Sherry Listgarten | 13 comments | 4,339 views

Recall Election Reform: Forgetting that the talking points were only that
By Douglas Moran | 12 comments | 2,894 views

Couples and Premarital: Parallel Living: What to Do
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,551 views