4 Benefits of Air Quality Monitoring

Person looking at air quality map

When it comes to the benefits of air quality monitoring, there are plenty of reasons to start tracking what’s going on in the air around you.

After all, you’re breathing millions (yes millions) of particles a day. And the harmful particles can cause several health problems in humans. It is becoming increasingly difficult to breathe comfortably in some of the world's most polluted regions, so staying informed is key.

Particulate Matter (PM), for example, is one of the most common pollutants in the United States. While there are different types, the finer variety of PM is undetectable through the naked eye. Therefore, to protect yourself, it’s important to constantly measure the concentration of pollutants in the air.

So, what are the benefits of monitoring air quality levels? Let’s find out.

Is Air Monitoring Necessary?

Ambient air quality monitoring is a procedure that samples and tests the surrounding air for concentrations and types of pollutants. It is necessary to analyze the trends and patterns of air pollutants – their types, behaviors, and whether their levels increase or decrease.

The data we obtain from air quality monitors helps us develop a strategy to cope with the pollution levels and take immediate actions to help citizens avoid the hazards of air pollution.

4 Benefits of Air Quality Monitoring

By monitoring air quality levels, we are better able to make the invisible dangers of poor air quality visible. This is also important today more than ever, as we see high pollution levels all over the world.

Here are 4 key benefits of air quality monitoring.

#1 - Determine Air Quality in Different Cities

When we track the air quality in each city, we can ensure that it meets national standards. Each country has a different index for air quality measurement, and often, it has a color-coded scale to denote the levels of pollutants.

Once you monitor the air quality in your area, you can confer it to your government’s AQI scale. Usually, there is also government-issued advice for each level of air quality.

#2 - Locate Pollution Hot-Zones

Air pollution varies immensely by region because of altitudes, weather, and other factors. For example, you might see worse air pollution levels if an air pocket develops in an area due to temperature inversion. When we have real-time data for air quality, we can identify the trends in the regions.

Air quality monitoring helps obtain geographically relevant data for air pollution levels. Once we have that data, we can compile that data into tools like the PurpleAir Map, which shows areas with the highest concentrations.

Conversely, we can also identify areas with few pollutant sources but still show poor air quality. One cause for that can be low air exchange rates, which simply refer to the number of times the air changes per hour.

Stagnant air, after all, can be just as harmful.

#3 - Gauge Effectiveness of Air Pollution Control Programs

Air quality monitoring also helps officials assess if their air pollution control programs are working well. Do they appear to be working correctly or are they having the opposite effect? What are the most impactful steps? Which activities help improve air quality more efficiently?

The answer to these questions helps devise a new strategy for future programs and obtain realistic and practical data to improvise.

#4 - Predict Health Issues Due to Air Pollution

Finally, monitoring air quality helps policymakers and government officials understand the mortality rates in a region. Air quality monitoring also helps predict the prevalence of health disorders due to short-term or long-term exposure to poor air quality.

With that kind of data, they can then make decisions about allocating resources to solve these kinds of problems.

So, what are you doing about your air quality?

You can start by monitoring the Particulate Matter levels around the world with our free, real-time PurpleAir Map or join PurpleAir's mission to make air quality data accessible to everyone by investing in an air quality monitor for your home. 

Together, we can be informed and make changes in our daily habits and the community to improve air quality.