Researchers from Cambridge University have developed low-cost pollution detectors to help combat the world’s largest environmental health risk.
“To work out the factors we should be worried about, and how we can intervene, we need to rethink how we measure what’s going on,” said atmospheric scientists Professor Rod Jones.
While pollution detectors do exist, their network is currently limited due to the high cost of the devices. Jones and his team have set out to develop a small, low-cost pollution detector that is sensitive enough to track air changes and quality on a street-by-street basis.
The team based their work on an electrochemical sensor that is industrially safe and can detect toxins at the parts-per-billion level.
This from Cambridge University:
The electrochemical devices the team developed can measure a wide range of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone, and they contain laser technology to detect particulates from cars and lorries. The addition of a GPS aerial allows air quality data and location to be mapped simultaneously.
“This was the first time technology like this had been tested in real-world situations as a high-density network,” says Jones.
While it is known that poor air quality can be detrimental to health, the researchers hope the newly provided evidence will help to put more action into motion.
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