Citizen Science Air Monitoring Update

Every month, portable air monitoring capabilities improve, and more community groups use the tools to monitor and map air quality in their neighborhoods.  Here are a few highlights of the recent news.

Group Against Smog Pollution (GASP) bicycle-mounted air monitoring program (Pittsburg PA)

GASP worked with Carnegie Mellon University’s Human Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) to build a bicycle-based air monitoring system to measure fine particulate matter (PM 2.5). Bicyclists check out an air monitor and GPS unit for a week at a time.  When they return the monitor, air quality data is added to this map.

Environment Hamilton and Toronto Environmental Alliance established the Initiative for Healthy Air & Local Economies (INHALE), which allows pedestrians and bicyclists to monitor local air quality.  Like the GASP project, they use a Dylos DC1700 air monitor that costs under $500, and a GPS unit to capture and record the location.

How Portable Air Sensors Are Changing Pollution Detection

Citylab just published an excellent article, which describes several projects, including Google’s air quality monitoring program, which started with a huge network of sensors monitoring indoor air quality in Google’s buildings, and was recently expanded to mobile outdoor air pollution monitors in the Bay area.