Role Of Air Quality Monitoring To Cope With Current Air Pollution

Air pollution threatens the lives of millions each year. It is now considered to be the largest threat to human health globally. Exposure to air pollution exacerbates a wide range of diseases, including asthma, different types of cancers, heart disease, acute respiratory infections, and pulmonary illnesses. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 91% of the world’s population breathe air that exceeds WHO guideline limits, demonstrating the urgent need to reduce air pollution to limit the vast number of unnecessary deaths (4.2 million annually) caused by exposure to high levels of pollutants.

Newly developing sensor technology could make air pollution monitoring more accessible and may be vital in accelerating much-needed reductions in air pollution. Below, we discuss new developments for detecting air pollution in cities with the use of sensors.

air quality monitoring

Air Quality Sensor is Key Strategy Reduce Air Pollution

Collecting and sharing air pollution levels in real-time offers experts an opportunity to better understand the nature of air pollution and make meaningful changes to improve air quality in cities, particularly those that struggle with traffic levels. Sensors can highlight the times of day and areas of the city where air pollution is highest. This can guide strategy makers to target the worst-hit locations and implement problem-solving to reduce the cause of the elevated pollution.

Air pollution sensors have become increasingly popular over recent years. A range of sensors is currently available that accurately measure levels of air pollution. Many of these air sensors are connected, opening the opportunity to use the internet of things (IoT) to automate traffic management systems and other pollution reduction strategies in response to rising pollution levels.

There are four main types of sensors that have been developed to measure air quality. Reference sensors, also referred to as conventional air quality monitoring sensors, portable sensors, passive diffusion tubes for gaseous pollutants, and newer digital or low-cost sensors (LCS).

In terms of monitoring air pollution city-wide, the newer digital sensors show the most promise. They are smaller than the other types of sensor, more compact, cheaper to make, simpler to run, and produce high-resolution spatiotemporal data relating to air pollutant concentrations. They have the opportunity to gather and communicate high-quality data that spans the entire city if installed at appropriate locations. Their digital nature allows them to connect, giving experts a clear view of the dynamic air pollution changes that occur daily. The fine-grain data can even allude to pollution causes beyond surges in traffic by using analytical tools to study connections with other data sets, such as weather or behavioral data.

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