The state-of-the-art equipment has been installed at the University of Leicester and will be part of the government’s AURN air monitoring network
A state-of-the-art air quality monitoring station has been opened at the University of Leicester, capable of measuring gaseous and aerosol air pollutants.
Opened today (October 25) by MP for Leicester South Jon Ashworth, the station will be used by the University’s Atmospheric Chemistry department to aid its study of air pollution.
The station is part of a collaboration between the University of Leicester, Leicester city Council, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and international partners funded as part of the JOAQUIN project by the European Union funded INTERREG IV-B investment programme.
Professor Paul Monks, principal investigator from the University of Leicester’s Department of Chemistry, said: “Air quality remains a critical problem to human health. At the University of Leicester, we are undertaking research to aid our understanding of air pollution and to work towards solutions to reduce the harmful effects.
In July, scientists at the University also announced a project which will see them map air quality across the city from the sky, using planes fitted pollution detecting technology (see airqualitynews.com story).
Professor Monks added: “This new air quality monitoring station will provide unheralded insights for our researchers, particularly into small particles and their effects on human health.â€?
Commenting on the opening of the station, Mr Ashworth said: “The monitoring opportunities offered by this station will enhance the research at the University of Leicester, adding to the quality of education offered in Leicester and making us a world class university city.â€?
The station will form part of Defra’s air monitoring network – the automatic urban and rural network (AURN) and replaces a monitoring station at the city council’s offices.
Leicester is among the cities in the UK to have been found to have high levels of traffic pollution – with Leicester Friends of the Earth (FoE) claiming last month that the city has the worst air quality of anywhere in England and the ninth worst in the whole of Europe (see airqualitynews.com story).
Meanwhile, earlier this month the city council announced it had been awarded £500,000 government funding to fit nitrogen dioxide filters on 32 buses running through areas of the city with poor air quality (see airqualitynews.com story).