The Latest Developments in Air Pollution Monitoring

The rise of new technologies helps complement existing data collection methods for comprehensive reports and data-driven decisions. It is worth noting that the latest technologies do not render traditional methods entirely obsolete. But instead, the new advancements allow for proper identification and classification of air contaminants.
The Latest Developments in Air Pollution Monitoring
The Latest Developments in Air Pollution Monitoring

The industrialization has helped man to make life easier but with dire environmental pollution consequences. Air pollution has become a significant threat to human life, causing discomforts, illnesses, and death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 99% of the world’s population breathes polluted air, making this a matter of global interest. It is the reason governments, non-governmental organizations, and corporates are making efforts to monitor the levels of air pollution.

What is Air Pollution Monitoring?

Air pollution monitoring is the assessment of air pollution emissions so that you can determine the quality of the air we breathe. The procedure applies mathematical and scientific methods to collect data and measure parameters that indicate the level of air pollution.

Monitoring the level of air pollution allows researchers to provide actionable information in combating the types and amounts of emissions to the air. The data assists in assessing the impact of poor air quality on public health, the ecosystem, and living things. Insights from the data allow experts to forecast future trends and give early warnings of excess release of toxic substances. Here are the latest trends in air pollution monitoring.

IoT Based Solutions

The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized nearly every sector from water, gas, supply chain, energy, and agriculture. Luckily, air pollution monitoring is not left out of IoT solutions for a cleaner and safer environment. The technology has led to the rise of sensor detection systems using Arduino or Raspberry pi concepts.

The IoT devices detect the presence of air pollutants and record the information in databases for real-time analysis. Using the technology, industry managers can configure the devices to see the news on their phones. Moreover, you can get push message alerts to notify you when the pollution is becoming excessive. Such signals enable authorities to remedy the situation before it gets out of hand quickly.

The advancement of IoT makes it possible to detect the type and amounts of toxic gases in the air. The insight lets scientists warn about the risks of explosions, suffocation, fires, and other natural calamities. The IoT devices help achieve smart city environment goals and help to protect industry workers from dangers posed by air pollution.

Mobile Air Quality Monitoring

Mobile air quality monitoring is a unique approach that measures air quality in a given location in a preset timeframe. In this method, you mount the portable research-grade monitors in an EPA electric vehicle and measure the air quality.

This method's advantage is capturing data in different places within a city and producing high spatial resolution measurements. The mobile monitors are a cheaper alternative to the federal reference method (FRM) or federal equivalent method (FEM) monitors. They help provide helpful information in areas where such expensive facilities are non-existent or sparse.  However, variable information derived from monitors limits using the systems for regulatory purposes. Also, the data cannot tell air quality trends over time despite the high spatial resolution.

Satellite Imagery

The satellites provide enormous amounts of comprehensive data to help shape air pollution policies. While the initial cost of processing the information is high, it is more reliable and cheaper than land-based monitoring networks. The satellites measure aerosol concentrations in the air by subtracting the radiation reaching the earth’s surface from radiation above the atmosphere. Using statistics and Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS), it is possible to measure the amounts of pollutants moved by the wind from one place to the other.

The land-based monitors help convert the information from aerosol optical depth (AOD) to particulate matter (PM2.5).The conversion helps to remove bias and have accurate measurements of pollutants. Using satellite imagery in air pollution monitoring provides a vertically integrated measure of atmospheric contents and total spatial coverage. The massive data supply allows researchers to improve global air quality models and see the impact of specified events such as forest fires.

Ultraviolet Spectroscopy

Ultraviolet spectroscopy is an advanced technology that helps monitor the effects of air pollution on the ozone layer. Air passes across a beam of UV light, and the absorption is measured by calculating the variance in the light intensity. This difference explains the amounts of pollutants affecting the ozone.


Monitoring amounts of air pollution allows authorities to formulate policies that will safeguard the human race and protect mother earth. For this reason, researchers need to collect accurate, reliable, and timely data to reduce the negative impact of air pollution.

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