Four AQMesh pods are to be deployed at individual remote monitoring locations near schools in Kitchener, forming a small network to measure levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Monitoring local air quality at schools
Many people are concerned about children being exposed to harmful pollutants not only while they travel to and from school but also whilst they are spending large proportions of the day there. Commuter traffic during busy periods and idling vehicles near the school entrance are common sources of pollution that affect the local air quality around school premises. Studies show that NO2, O3 and PM2.5 are particularly dangerous for young people as they can significantly impair lung development, as well as being key asthma triggers and causes of lung disease and cancer.
Monitoring air quality around schools can help with initiatives for reducing vehicle traffic and encouraging more people to walk to school or use bicycles, as part of wider pollution mitigation strategies in the local area, such as increased pedestrianisation, use of public transport, improving road networks, implementing low emission zones and introducing "no idling" laws.
School case studies
Cleves School in Weybridge, Surrey (UK) has used AQMesh to measure pollution at the primary school’s entrance.
Schools near Glasgow have been monitoring air quality as part of a project aiming to reduce the levels of pollution emitted by vehicles as they drop off and collect children.
The project is a collaboration with Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council who have installed 22 air pollution sensors outside schools that are located close to major roads.
Supporting the aims of Clean Air Day today, 20th June 2019, the Guardian has published a short film demonstrating the changing levels of pollution that children are exposed to as they walk to school in London.
Breathe London preliminary analysis results reveal substantial NO2 pollution reductions after the UK government implemented restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid-19, particularly after social distancing was strongly encouraged on 16 March.