This Earth Day, air pollution is the greatest environmental health hazard facing our planet. It is estimated to cause 1 in 9 deaths worldwide, with a staggering 92% of the world’s population breathing dangerously polluted air.
Yet, despite the extent of this global environmental health crisis and growing awareness worldwide, huge parts of the world still lack access to air quality information. Specific measurements are needed to reveal how pollution affects different areas, and how different communities must respond to tackle the problem. While air quality reporting is increasing in many places, countless communities still remain in the dark regarding their air, and how to stay safe.
However – access to air quality information is undergoing a revolution, thanks to an expanding global network of community activists who are taking local air pollution into their own hands. By deploying networks of newly accessible low-cost air monitors around the world, communities are becoming empowered to protect health and also campaign for significant changes in their local environment – with some incredible achievements already underway.
Since communities began deploying AirVisual air quality monitoring stations during the past 3 years, these now provide live air quality information for hundreds of cities across 50 countries. Many of these stations have become the first to reveal up-to-date local air quality conditions.
In the city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia one activist has organized a city-wide monitoring network to reveal the air quality status during periods of smog known as “black sky mode”. Their community platform has amassed a dedicated social media following, and their tireless campaign efforts have galvanized commitments from local government to act upon cleaning up the city’s air.
In Mongolia, humanitarian aid organization People In Need has rolled out the first national air monitoring network to promote access to air quality information extending beyond the capital, Ulaanbaatar. This network has almost doubled the amount of live information available to citizens, which is now helping to track the impacts of coal-burning activities, and promote health protection for vulnerable communities in response to previously unknown pollution levels.
Meanwhile, in Thailand, numerous community members and voluntary organizations sought to better understand the recent prolonged periods of heavy air pollution which led to school closures among other major disruptions, by deploying a dense monitoring network providing detailed air quality information across Thai cities.
In particular, dozens of schools set up their own campus air monitoring stations to more powerfully safeguard the health of vulnerable children. The hyperlocal data has enabled staff to enforce actionable air quality policies, while also distributing air quality information throughout the school communities.
Elsewhere, from an ever-growing monitoring network tracking air quality in Pakistan, to networks in Hawaii Island and Kabul, Cote d’Ivoire to Qatar, community members the world over are sending clear signals that the global air pollution cannot, and will not, be ignored.
Here's how to do it, in 4 simple steps:
1. Choose location
All you need to set up your IQAir AirVisual Pro for outdoor public measurements:
+ Access to electrical outlet and a Wi-Fi connection.
+ An outdoor location sheltered from weather conditions such as direct sunlight, rain, winds.
Places like a sheltered porch or terrace, under an overhanging roof or open garage, are well-suited.
+ Good airflow surrounding the device
+ No higher than 10 meters
+ Away from localized pollution sources (e.g. cigarette smoke, BBQs)
2. Submit details of your device location and photos of its installation online
We will check that the set-up is suitable, and offer suggestions if any adjustments are required. Full instructions on how to submit your information here.
3. Data validation
AirVisual will analyze the readings for 1-2 weeks before publishing your device's data to the public air quality map.
4. Congratulations! You have moved your community a step closer to beating local pollution.
Now your neighbours and global air quality data enthusiasts can draw valuable conclusions and preventative actions from the state of your community’s air.
What are you waiting for? Become an outdoor data contributor today, and bring your community a step closer to cleaner, safer air!
Note: Out of respect for regulations, AirVisual prohibits the reporting of non-government data in China. As a result, no data from IQAir AirVisual monitors within China national borders is made public.