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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Turning smartphones into personal, real-time pollution monitors.

A study reported in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, has shown how scientists have used smartphone and sensing technology to better pinpoint where and when pollution is at its worst. When local pollution levels go up, the associated health risks also increase, especially for children and seniors. But air pollution varies widely over the course of a day and by location, even within the same city. The researchers equipped more than 50 school children with smartphones that could track their location and physical activity. The children also received sensors that continuously measured the ambient levels of black carbon, a component of soot. Although most children spent less than 4 percent of their day traveling to and from school, commuting contributed to 13 percent of their total potential black carbon exposure. The researchers conclude that mobile technologies could contribute valuable new insights into air pollution exposure.