Air quality is not the first factor typically considered when assessing matters like infrastructure and public health. However, global air quality statistics are truly shocking when it comes to their effects. In fact, 91% of the world’s population lives in locations where the WHO’s air quality guidelines are not met.
Unless action is taken, this global issue is only getting bigger as significant global dynamics like climate change and rapid and complex urbanization are only adding to the problem. Air pollution can have devastating effects on our environment, from crop yields to biodiversity and by degrading our infrastructure.
At the same time, we must also consider pollution’s effect on the air we breathe. The average adult takes in more than 7,500 litres of air each day. Contaminants in the air not only cause damage to our lungs, but recent research shows they can also harm most other organ systems.
Fortunately, with the right access to the right information, it is possible to become more informed, active, and invested in gaining a deeper connection between urban communities and the environment. This can open up new ways of thinking to enable dramatic societal outcomes that support an enhanced quality of life, safety, efficiency and sustainability in communities.
The first step to combatting this challenge is dependable air quality monitoring.
Although air quality monitoring itself does not reduce pollution, it can provide data to help decision-makers understand the risks their community is facing and develop a strategy for how to address air quality concerns.
Access to high-quality information that includes a detailed picture of air quality conditions is key. With comprehensive 24/7 reporting and increased visibility of the most dangerous air pollutants, air quality monitoring can also enhance citizen’s situational awareness and drive down their exposure to pollutant hot spots.
Traditionally, this crucial monitoring is achieved with reference-grade air quality measurement stations, which are highly accurate but often expensive.
They are also typically sparsely placed throughout a city due to their size, which means that getting a detailed picture of an entire city’s air quality status can be extremely costly.
In order to glean insights into air quality on a hyperlocal level, compact air quality sensors are needed to bridge this gap. Vaisala recommends a dense network of air quality sensors to complement the highly accurate, but more expensive, reference-grade stations to give a detailed picture of air quality situation and development. Not only do these network sensors provide the data needed in real-time, but they also provide valuable data for air quality forecasting.
Insights obtained from the high-resolution data from dense air quality monitoring networks play an invaluable role in forecasting.
Understanding air quality situation and development on a hyperlocal level means that decision-makers can disseminate specific information to the public when and where it is needed. This allows individuals to avoid pollutant hot spots and peak pollution times in specific areas.
By doing this, communities can manage and mitigate the adverse effects that air pollution.
Vaisala’s environmental solutions ensure dependable intelligence that people can confidently act on – enabling businesses and communities to make better decision to optimize myriad applications.
For example, government entities disseminating air quality information and forecasts to optimize public health, or implement smart traffic management programs. Understanding where pollutants are concentrated also enables cities to make better infrastructure development decisions, ensuring recreational areas, schools and hospitals are not situated in locations where there are air quality issues.
Vaisala has 85 years of experience pioneering technology for weather and environmental solutions.
With over 1,900 professionals around the world and by investing heavily in research and development, the company has been able to bring those solutions to more than 170 countries worldwide.
Vaisala’s state-of-the-art solutions are used in the top five countries with the lowest air pollution and have received recognition and accreditation from around the globe. These solutions are rigorously tested all in the harshest conditions all over the world until they can be depended on as the gold standard for accurate air quality and weather observation solutions.
The company’s dense air quality monitoring networks, combined with weather monitoring solutions, provide reliable and helpful air pollution insights, empowering businesses and community leaders to fulfil their operational missions for their cities.
Vaisala has developed science-based innovations in sensing technology and data processing software that makes monitoring networks like these possible. Although urbanization and climate change make for new challenges with air quality, Vaisala’s innovations and 24/7 global support can provide the information decision-makers need to make this world a better and healthier place to live.