Urban Pollution & the Rising Business of Air Quality Monitoring System: Industry Insights

Air quality is a major issue in modern cities due to the major impact of air pollution on the health of people, the global environment, and the economy. According to the World Health Organization, one air quality sensor should be installed for every one square kilometer. Recent studies point to the crucial role of information about pollution on the micro-level, which translates into direct exposure of people to air pollutions.

To provide such information, it is necessary to create real-time systems with a large Spatio-temporal resolution, since such information cannot provide conventional measurement systems performing measurements according to the legislative regulations of particular countries. Current researches focus on the concept of next-generation air pollution monitoring systems that use new measurement technologies and techniques for communicating and delivering data.

What is an air quality monitoring system?

The Air Quality Monitoring System (AQMS) is a facility for measuring wind speed, direction, other weather parameters, concentrations of air pollutants (such as SO2, NOx, CO, O3, THC, etc.) and particulate matter continuously throughout the year. Mobile AQMS can also be programmed to track multiple sites over a single system. Measured data can be remotely tracked and distributed to local central authorities in various formats. It is also convenient to publish data on the Internet for easy public access to spread awareness of current levels of air pollution. In this way, the public can prohibit outdoor activities and reduce health impacts during heavy days of pollution

Some of the most common pollutants:

CO:

The main source of carbon monoxide in cities is fossil fuel burning vehicles. Inhaling CO reduces the amount of oxygen that can be delivered by the blood to the organs and can aggravate acne, confusion, and unconsciousness in high concentrations.

NO2:

Nitrogen dioxide reacts to acid rain with oxygen, water, and other contaminants in the atmosphere. Furthermore, the nitrate particles suspended in the air make it bleak, with the chemical being one of the leading causes of smog.

Ozone:

Ground-level Ozone can cause several health problems, including chest pain, coughing, irritation of the throat, and inflammation of the airways. Long-term exposure can lead to lower lung function and damage to lung tissue.

PM 2.5 and PM 10:

Particulate matter in the atmosphere has a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometers and 10 micrometers respectively. In comparison, human hair has a diameter of 50-70 micrometers. Such particles can trigger short-term irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lung while clinical studies have linked long-term exposure to increased respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and death.

The role of air quality monitoring system industry players in addressing pollution emergencies

Emerson Electric Co., an American multinational corporation, launched ENERGY STAR® certified Sensi™ smart thermostats in October 2019. These thermostats have great compatibility with Awair’s indoor air quality monitoring system. Awair is an indoor air quality monitoring platform, made available through Sensi’s smart home integrations portfolio.

In June 2019, Teledyne API, a subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies, introduced Model T640 PM Mass Monitor. It is a novel ambient air quality monitoring system. The instrument can measure fine particulate matter in real-time below 2.5 microns constantly in diameter (PM2.5) continuously. This instrument can be used by air quality monitoring agencies.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, an American biotechnology product development company, launched advanced Class II biological safety cabinets (BSCs) in May 2019. These cabinets were designed for user convenience, optimizing contamination prevention, and information protection and management. With the use of the BSC technology, Herasafe and Maxisafe 2030i systems of Thermo Fisher can offer smart self-monitoring safety capabilities. This helps the company to maintain the airflow and keep track of critical conditions automatically.

Where do they lack?

Air quality monitoring system is commonly used throughout the residential, commercial and industrial property. The Government has implemented guidelines for the installation of air quality monitoring in industrial premises. Commercial and residential customers have also started to install these devices to monitor the environmental level of air pollutants. Nevertheless, the high cost of air quality control has impeded the progress of the industry. Continuous technological advances are anticipated over the forecast period to help lower air quality monitor costs.

The big picture

The air quality monitoring market has witnessed rapid growth in recent years. The growth rate of this market has been associated with the increased levels of air pollution and higher awareness of health issues caused by polluted air. The truth is that low-cost air quality sensors and highly accurate, controlled sensors have potential in the future of air monitoring. Both of these are positive and negative, yet both play a different and hugely important role in the collective effort of ensuring that the air is safe to breathe for all.

Traditionally, the provision of real-time air quality data to the general public has been a challenge, first and foremost as there are often slowdowns in transferring the collected data at monitoring stations to end-user devices. Encouragingly, recent advances in machine learning have substantially reduced the time it takes to convert source data into digestible, consumer-oriented information.

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