AQ Monitoring Techniques

Beware of Air

Sensing bad air quality without gadgets/equipment?

In general, we miss out on simpler techniques to understand ambient air quality and seek expensive or technique sensitive mechanism. However, it is very essential to choose appropriate monitoring techniques for different types of pollution. As a first line of monitoring the ambient air quality, human sensory organs play a crucial role.

  • Senses of sight (eg.: reduced visibility due to dust, irritation in the eyes, water discharge or dryness of eyes)
  • Senses of smell (eg.: change in ambient odour, sneeze, cough or difficulty in breathing)
  • Senses of taste (eg.: sudden metallic taste)
  • Senses of touch (eg.: irritation/itchy skin or dryness of the skin)

If these experiences are systematically documented, the data can be turned into important evidence that the authorities cannot refute without basis or proper investigation.

Air quality monitoring equipment:

There are wide ranges of techniques and devices for monitoring the pollutants in the atmosphere. The following are some of the techniques that are widely used to monitor the ambient air quality:

  • Manual monitoring (eg.: Minivol Low Volume Sampler, Bucket Brigade for VOCs)
  • Continuous monitoring (eg.: Regulatory grade monitors used by PCBs)
  • Emission monitoring (eg.: Industrial stack emission monitoring)
  • Low-cost sensor-based monitoring (eg.: Atmos, Purple air, AirVeda, etc)
  • Monitoring using satellite data