Armchair scientists could help uncover new opportunities for air pollution research

Interesting developments on collecting air pollution data today: kickstarter funding has enabled researchers to develop low-cost, domestic air quality monitors which will collect information on levels of NO2, particulate matter and other atmospheric characteristics damaging to our health.

It is hoped that the ‘air quality egg’ monitors, if rolled out to many homes, could provide a large volume of data suggesting patterns of air pollution, indicating opportunities for more detailed research. In turn this could help communities challenge their authorities about poor air quality.

That is an aim with which we at ClientEarth can identify: for the last three years we have been working to challenge the government’s failure to deal with pollution. It’s an insidious problem that causes at least 29,000 premature deaths in the UK every year.

Of course, we shouldn’t count our chickens: the egg devices are  under development and Green Futures points to questions about their accuracy. But if nothing else is achieved, greater awareness  of the under-recognised damage air pollution does to our health and society can only be a good thing.

To read more about ClientEarth’s air quality work, click here.

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