What you should know about air pollution & How to Measure it With Ontoto’s Air Quality Sensors

Air quality sensors, also known as air pollution sensors can detect and monitor dust and particulate matter in the air around us. These sensors can be used inside to detect indoor air pollution and outside to monitor pollution in the environment.

These sensors are small and provide data in near-real time at low cost and using low amounts of power.

Sensor based measurement devices are becoming more popular as people are becoming aware of harmful pollution, smoke and dust, and the health impacts this has on individuals and the environment around us.

The air quality sensor comes bundled with our weather station solution.

Ontoto’s particulate matter (PM) sensor features new technological breakthroughs in comparison to traditional optical PM sensors. Its measurement principle is based on laser scattering and is contaminant resistant. This technology, together with our high quality data loggers, enables accurate monitoring from the device’s first start and throughout its lifetime.

ontoto air quality

PM2.5 and PM10 refers to particulate matter (PM) with particle diameter up to 2.5 microns and 10 microns, respectively, and are among the most dangerous air pollutants for humans. Due to their small size, PM2.5 particles can travel deep into the human lungs and bloodstream, causing a variety of health issues; such as triggering asthma attacks or contributing to cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Ontoto’s air quality solution delivers simple yet accurate air quality monitoring & data insights.

What is Particulate Matter?

ontoto dust monitoring

PM stands for particulate matter (also known as particle pollution) which is the term for a combination of dispersed solid particles and liquid particles. Many particles are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye, such as dust, dirt, soot or smoke. Others are so small they can be observed only through an electron microscope.

Particle pollution mesurements primarily consist of:

  • PM10: inhalable, 10 micrometre and lower diameter particulate matter.
  • PM 2.5: inhalable particulate matter with 2.5 micrometre diameters and lower.

What is 2.5 micrometres small? Think of a single hair on your head. The median diameter of human hair is approximately 70 micrometres–30 times that of the largest particulate matter.

Sources of particulate matter and its harmful effects

Particulate matter can come in many sizes, shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals. PM is emitted directly from sources like construction sites, vehicles, power plants, industry and fires.

Severe health problems can be caused by inhalation of microscopic particles. Many particles with a diameter of less than 10 micrometers can be inhaled deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream. PM2.5 Particles pose the greatest health risk due to their size. These fine particles cause respiratory issues and cardiovascular disease in the body.

Air particles can also reduce visibility and cause haze if in high enough concentrations in the area.

Ontotos air quality sensors provide air quality meter pm 2.5 insights as well as pm10 particulate matter.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and other air pollutants

photo of polution and the need for air quality sensors and monitors

VOC’s, also known as Volatile Organic Compounds, are gases that are emitted from different materials that can have short-term and long-term health implications.

Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds can include many household products such as cosmetics, cleaning products, hairspray, paints, disinfectants, and more. Burning things like wood and natural gas also produce VOCs.

Formaldehyde is a common VOC and can be found in materials such as plywood, insulation, drapes, furniture fabric, and glues.

Short-term direct exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds can trigger lung irritation, tiredness, and queasiness, and throat inflammation. Whereas long-lasting direct exposure has actually been connected to serious lung damage, in addition to liver and kidney damage.

Temperature and Humidity

High temperatures and excessive humidity can cause mildew and mold growth. Causing structural damage and can also cause allergy-like symptoms. Monitoring temperature and humidity can help you prevent health problems, as well as find cracks, leaks and poor insulation.

Carbon Monoxide

Most people are aware of carbon monoxide’s deadly effects in high concentrations. Although exposure to lower levels emitted by heating appliances can cause side effects such as confusion and memory loss.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide was once thought to have little to no effects on the human body, although it has been found that concentrations as low as 1,000 ppm can have an adverse effect on cognition and memory.

An inconvenient Conclusion

air quality sensor in a polluted city at night

Poor air quality can injure and kill people. Worldwide, it is estimated that poor air quality caused premature deaths of more than 4.42 million people.

Air pollution has also been linked to higher rates of stroke, cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses like asthma.

While these disastrous effects are from long term exposure, short-term health problems such as coughing, headaches, dizziness, and eye irritation.

Air pollutants can also cause indirect health issues thanks to their impact on the climate. Food supply interference, heat waves, extreme weather, bushfires, and other effects related to climate change take a great toll on overall human health.

Ontoto’s air quality sensors deliver ultra high resolution and pinpoint accuracy out of the box

Monitor and record dust and particulate matter indoors and outdoors with Ontoto’s air quality sensor.

It has never been easier to measure air pollution and air quality. All recordings are transmitted via 4G/LTE networks, or via satellite where no reception is available. 

Data logger setup is simple and fast, all logger configuration is sent via Bluetooth Low energy via our simple to use, cross platform app: Ontoto Connect. Available now on both iOS and Android devices.

View, validate and monitor your data via our simple yet powerful data logger suite, & export your data to anywhere, including third-party software.

Introducing Ontoto’s Environmental Monitoring System, the most advanced weather station system & air quality sensor

ontoto environmental monitoring system and air quality sensor

A weather station & air quality sensor so advanced, yet so simple to setup and use. The Environmental Monitoring System can be easily set to record data at any interval. From as little as fifteen minutes, up to one year. Don’t sacrifice the integrity of your data with manual logging, our data is sent autonomously via 4G straight to your web portal. Get high resolution radings for PM 0.5 all the way up to PM 10. You can also check your results in real-time via the Ontoto web portal, or on the free Ontoto Connect mobile Application for iOS and Android. Learn More about the Environmental Monitoring System here.