Quantifying Air Pollution- What is the Fuss All About?


June 10, 2019

Quantifying Air Pollution- What is the Fuss All About?

While air pollution and the number of cities getting affected by it is increasing every day, the number of data collection centers or ambient air quality monitoring stations in India is not enough to satiate the demand. Want to know more? Read on

The debate around air quality isone of the hottest topics doing rounds in almost all social media platforms in recent times. Many researchers, literaryexperts, scientists,and environmentalistshave projected their viewpoint and opinions on the same and have even suggestedreformatory measures to bring about a change.

But things don’t seem to havechanged. In fact, the condition has been steadily deteriorating over the lastdecade. This can mean two things: Either air pollution is not as simple as wethought or our approach towards it is wrong. Whichever reason it maybe, it is time we understood it better and found out alternative ways of managing it.

So how do we go about it? We atAmbee believe that the first step ineradicatingany problem is to know its root cause and to quantify it. Knowing only the rootcause is not enough if you don’t know just how much it is affecting theenvironment. Quantifying bad air would give us an insight into what is gettingreleased into the environment and at what rate. This would lead to betterpolicies and also a more informed decision making resulting in a cleaner and amore breathable environment.

The Need, the Reality, and the Lag

When this isthe situation, what is stopping us, onemay ask. The answer is nothing. While many government agencies, policymakers,environmentalists,and researchers aremeasuring and quantifying air pollution, the data obtained is just not enough.

This is thesad reality of this situation. While air pollution and the number of citiesgetting affected by it is increasing every day, the number of data collectioncenters or ambient air quality monitoring stations in India is not enough tosatiate the demand.

According tothe World Health Organization the recommended number of air quality monitoringstations should be one per square kilometer. More conservative estimates pegthis at on per every 15 square kilometers. So a city the size of 1000 sq km wouldrequire 1000/15 or 67 monitoring stations. This number is when there is uniformair quality,and there is no industrialactivity or pollution surge in any part of the city (these would requirededicated centers). However, as of now, we have only 731 stations that are inoperation in around 312 cities. These stations monitor based on a 4 hourlysampling of gaseous pollutants and an 8-hour sampling of particulates, twice aweek. So, the data is neither real-time nor adequate.

This is wherethe problem starts. What we need is nowhere close to what we have,and what we have is also not adequate in termsof reliability and accuracy. The solution? Open source monitoring of airquality. While the ambient air pollution monitoring stations can give you abrief overview of how the air quality prevalent in a city, these smaller, moreaccurate and area-specific data can help I measuring air quality moreeffectively. Every individual carrying our device is a potential data centerwho can help policymakers with more reliable, real-time,andarea-specific data that can help them make better reformatorypolicies.

Come join this new era of pollution monitoring. Be a part of the change. Invest in our air quality monitoring device and check the air around your home now. Follow this link to know more and order. Also available on


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