Air quality is a marker of how clean our air is. This is determined by the rate at which pollutants are emitted into the atmosphere and how effectively the atmosphere can disperse those contaminants.
Types of monitoring technology include:
Measure different combinations of pollutants, depending on the individual station’s monitoring objectives. They provide near instantaneous measurements. Substances measured: carbon dioxide, ammonia, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, total reduced sulphurs, nitrogen oxides, ozone, particulates and sulphur dioxide.
Require no power and consist of a series of filters through which air passes, and thus detect low sample amounts. They provide monthly average measurements. Four substances typically measured: sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and hydrogen sulphide.
What can we do to improve air quality?
- Apply dust suppressants
- Use modern farming practices
- Support ‘emission scrubbing’ technology
- Use proper dust collection at source
- Promote hydrogen fuel cell technology, solar powered vehicles and electric-powered vehicles
- Conserve energy
- Conserve energy (e.g., turn off lights, set home temperature lower)
- Use alternate transportation (e.g., walk, bike, carpool, public transit)
- Support alternative energy sources (e.g., wind, solar)
- Better insulate your house
- Reduce vehicle use
- Recycle paper
- Reduce vehicle idling
- Use oxygenated gasolines (e.g., ethanol blend)
- Ensure proper home insulation (e.g., reduce drafts)
- Use energy efficient appliances
- Use paints with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and avoid oil-based paint
- Avoid burning wood and don’t burn materials in your yard (esp. plastics, cardboard, etc)
- Avoid using pesticides
- Compost waste (e.g., leaves, garden trimmings)
- Check tire pressure and regularly maintain your car