How Technology Is Our Best Hope In Fighting Against Air Pollution?

by September 4, 2019 0 comments

Air Pollution is a worldwide issue. It affects millions of lives on a daily basis. In many ways, it is the technology that we have developed for making our lives easier that also ends up being the root cause of air pollution. The only hope left with us is to latch onto these old and new technological advancements to help us fight the air pollution that we produce.

Air pollution has been an issue for a long time. It started back when the industrial revolution sparked in 1760 and has always increased ever since. Consumption and excess use of fossil fuels are also at an all-time high. We have used our planet’s resources to create technologies that benefit us. However, it’s high time we use these technologies to help us identify pollution sources and protect ourselves from them. In turn, also stopping them for good by replacing them with better and more sustainable options.

There are two important steps that should be taken into consideration when it comes to the fight against air pollution. The first and most important step is identification, i.e. to identify air pollution. This simply means knowing the source and cause of Air Pollution. With the help of technology, this step can be accomplished easily. Low and high-cost air monitors use sensors that check the quality of air around you and what particles are causing harm.

A monitor contains individual sensors which can identify different pollutants including the gases and particles in the air. There is a whole range of low- and high-cost monitors with their own benefits. Low-cost monitors allow portability and the opportunity to place thousands in one area where for the same price perhaps only one high-cost monitor could be placed. A project conducted by www.aqi.in shows exactly this. Hundreds of low-cost monitors were placed across India – a country struggling with pollution and a lack of awareness of the same. For the same cost, barely one high-cost monitor could be placed in a country which has a huge area of land and needs hundreds of monitors in each city to monitor the air. The result shows that air pollution can not only be identified but also tracked. This gives us the benefit of understanding how it spreads across different areas.

Low-cost monitors can also be used for personal use since they are portable and allow the user to measure the air in their homes, offices, schools, and anywhere else they might go. This technology is helping people understand the air around them while also providing awareness of how bad air can be harmful to them. There is a rise in the trend of having a portable monitor which can be easily brought to different places in order to check the air before actually spending time there. This really helps as one knows the health effects that poor air might cause. It has served as an eye-opener for people who were unaware of local pollution sources. During high levels of national pollution – meaning pollution that can cover entire cities; most people are aware, and the media quickly alerts the residents about the high levels. However, there can be local pollution in places which one might not expect. For instance – a forest, a smaller city, or even inside your home.

After the pollution and its source have been identified, the second step is to reduce or remove the source. Since air pollution is not always visible and the symptoms caused by air pollution are easily confused with feeling tired or sick for other reasons, the first step of identifying pollution is crucial.

Different areas face different sources of pollution. Which is why it is important to measure the air on a local level to identify the source and then try to replace it. In major cities, vehicular pollution (majority from diesel vehicles) is often the cause of high NO2-level. These increased NO2 levels can cause great harm to our health. In industrial cities, coal power plants and other old school technologies can cause high pollution levels. In our homes, poor ventilation systems and everyday activities such as cooking can cause pollution we never take into consideration. By switching to renewable and sustainable energy which already exist today, air pollution can be reduced drastically.
Other new technologies which are quickly becoming more and more accessible to us include electric vehicles, solar power, and recycled products. Since it is our consumption and daily needs which create most of the pollution, switching to sustainable energy and recycled products will help decrease the pollution levels. With air quality monitors the sources can be quickly identified. Not just by the government, but every individual with an interest to know more about the air around then. To solve the problem with air pollution, we as individuals hold a lot of power and have access to the technology needed. Now, it is only time to become aware of it.

By Rohit Bansal, Founder of Purelogic Labs

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