Air quality monitoring first came to existence because of the problem of air pollution, or rather, the rising levels of air pollution. So, if you buy an Air Quality Monitoring System, you will find out that it measures the concentration of pollutants, along with other facilities like wind speed, direction, and other parameters.
You can definitely ask us how does monitoring maintains standards. It is simple, standards are set as a regulatory measure to reduce air pollution and meet an ambient level of air quality. So monitoring can reflect upon whether you are meeting the standards or crossing it and help you take the necessary actions if required.
Effects of poor air quality
Poor air quality has a very hazardous effect on the human race. Now since most people are young, they aren’t getting affected by air pollution as of now but with time passing by and no improvement in the air quality, the long term symptoms will pop in. A WHO report suggests that 9 out of 10 people in the world are breathing air containing a high level of pollutants. And this takes us to the other estimate of WHO, which suggests 7 million people die every year from exposure to air pollution, whereas ambient air pollution causes 4.2 million deaths of it, and 3.8 million deaths are caused by household air pollution like from cooking and technologies.
This is an alarming state but people tend to sit hand in hand, believing it could never happen to them. In fact, some governments have even recognized it as the second biggest health threat, after smoking.
Before we begin with more on Air Quality, let us quickly go through the causes of Air Pollution.
Causes of Air Pollution
- Sulphur dioxide
- Nitrogen oxides
- Particular matter (PM10, PM2.5, and PM1)
- Ozone and volatile organic compounds
- Toxic Organic Micro-Pollutants (TOMPS)
- Carbon monoxide
- Lead and heavy metals
You can call this a glossary of the principle pollutants produced by all the sources, like industrial, domestic and traffic. There is a common notion that air pollution is a result of industrialization. But there are other factors that also play a considerable role.
For instance, these days, traffic emissions have been increasing everyday and is a major reason why the air that we breathe has become hazardous. Vehicles are having an increasing depleting impact on air quality. Plus, the pollutants aren’t staying in their vicinity but are also travelling and transporting long distances – that is a bigger problem. It has been seen that industrial and domestic levels of pollution are impactful, but are however improving. On the other hand, traffic pollution problems are only widening.
We believe if you were looking for a reason for continuous measurement of Air Quality – I am sure by now you have already comprehended it. Therefore, let us move on to our next topic on how to improve air quality.
How to improve Air Quality?
You need to understand that there is nothing major or big you need to take up. There are few changes which make a difference and help one go a long distance. Once you execute these changes, you will also find a byproduct of economical salvage. For instance, beginning with trying to reduce our energy consumption in the form of vehicles would be great. Instead of taking your car out on your daily work-visit, you could just walk the distance or even cycle. Even while driving, there are a few changes you can make to make it air-friendly. Maintain a steady speed while driving and try to keep your tyres inflated at all times. You can also be careful and turn off the engines even at short stops, without accelerating and decelerating too much.
Why should you conduct Air Monitoring?
We are all in the same boat when it comes to air quality. It is saddening to say, but air quality is poor everywhere. However, research says that it isn’t the same everywhere. It is more in some places than others. And the reasons for this build up can be due to some isolated areas. For instance, a factory in an area causes air pollution to boost in a specific area, which makes the situation even worse. So, air quality is different for different places and it is when we monitor air quality that we can find out where it is and why is it. Thus, now is the time to take action!
How to go about Air Monitoring?
There are different ways one can go about the process of air monitoring. Below, we have enlisted a few ways about the same.
In this form, no power supply is needed, but all you do is absorb a specific pollutant from ambient air. This will serve your purpose for around 2-4 weeks of time. After this, you will have to send the tubes to the laboratory for further analysis.
Active or Semi Automatic Sampling
This time, you will use a filter to analyze and pull ambient air. After this, you will have to send it to the laboratory to see how much pollution has been detected.
Automatic Point Monitoring
As the name suggests, this is an automatic method, which works by pulling ambient air, and then, it will automatically work by sending the results to the computer and instantly giving you an output.
Photochemical and optical sensor systems
Portable in nature, these solutions will monitor a range of pollutants. They are low in sensitivity and most suitable for near point sources and hotspots near roadsides.
With this, we come to the end of the content piece. Hoping that we were able to help you reckon how important air monitoring is for today. It is important we all try to make a difference in our own little ways and this is surely one of them.