PurpleAir Blog

  • Long-term Exposure to Air Pollution: Does it Affect Mortality?

    With global air quality reaching dangerous levels in many parts of the world, scientists and air quality specialists have begun closely studying the link between local air quality and public health. Recent findings suggest there may be a correlation between long-term exposure to air pollution and mortality rates. By looking at some case studies around the world, we can get a better idea of this relationship and whether we need to take caution around our exposure to airborne pollutants, such as Particulate Matter (PM2.5, PM10).
  • China Air Quality Fact Sheet 2021

    The past two decades of industrial expansion in China have resulted in an exponential increase in air pollution, decreasing the nation’s air quality. These recent spikes in pollutants, such as Particulate Matter (PM), have resulted in health concerns that have subsequently decreased the average life expectancy for residents.
  • Tracking Particulate Matter: Federal Reference Method (FRM) or Federal Equivalent Method (FEM)?

    With growing awareness of the potential impacts and effects of air pollution, federal agencies are strapping down and taking more diligent measures to track ambient particle concentrations. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is constantly redefining safe parameters of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). One of the most concerning airborne pollutants tracked is fine particulate matter, particularly Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5).
  • Air Quality Alerts App

    Airwyn is a free app that allows you to monitor your PurpleAir sensor and supports AQI conversion formulas from US EPA, LRAPA, and AQandU. It will also send you alerts whenever the air quality improves or worsens. If you do not own a PurpleAir sensor, don't worry! Airwyn can also track and receive alerts from a close-by PurpleAir or AirNow sensor.
  • How Does Wildfire Smoke Travel?

    The bigger the wildfire, the more likely the smoke will travel farther from the source. Why? The smoke from a wildfire typically gets shot up into the sky vertically, after which it expands outward into a plume. These monstrous clouds of smoke are called pyrocumulonimbus clouds. For this reason, the air quality in the region directly surrounding a wildfire may not be as bad as in the downwind areas. After shooting high up into the atmosphere, sometimes even as far as the stratosphere, the smoke moves outward horizontally, landing on top of cities.
  • US Air Quality Fact Sheet 2021

    While studies show that air quality in the US is significantly better than it was 50 years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) is updating its standards of what acceptable air quality is.

    With the WHO’s new safety guidelines of no more than 5 µg/m³ of particulate pollution, it seems that the vast majority of Americans (~97%) are at risk of unsafe levels of air pollution.

  • Indoor Plants Reduce Indoor Air Pollution, Right?

    A quick search on the internet will reveal many different opinions and studies pointing in opposite directions. While controversial, it is good to be informed and read from trusted sources. Here you will find a summary of some studies and their opinion.
  • Protect Your Family from Wildfire Smoke: Create a Clean Room

    Pollution can enter your home in many ways and for various reasons. Wildfire smoke is one of the most recurrent reasons in areas where wildfires are frequent. To prevent you and your family from breathing polluted air, creating a “clean room” is a common practice.
  • Effects of Air Pollution During Infancy

    The study states that the increased stress on children’s bodies caused by air pollution can contribute to a host of health problems, such as a higher risk of lung function development, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses[2]. One of the main culprits contributing to these risks is the concentration of Particulate Matter (PM) in our ambient environment.
  • Update 2022: Air Quality Life Index (AQLI)

    The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago released an update to the Air Quality Life Index earlier this year (June 2022). It brings us new insights into the air quality around the world. The Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) was developed by the University of Chicago’s Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics Michael Greenstone and his team at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). 
  • What are R2 values in Air Quality?

    Recognizing the benefits and challenges of having low-cost sensors widely available, South Coast AQMD is helping to assess the wide range of performance from these sensors through their AQ-SPEC program. Accurate sensors "significantly augment and improve current ambient air monitoring capabilities that now predominantly rely on more sophisticated and expensive fixed-site federal-reference monitoring devices and methods."
  • Wildfire Update – July 2022

    The NOAA reports that wildfires have burned over 3.9 million acres from January to June 2022, the second-highest amount on record. July continues the trend, from the blaze across Yosemite National Park in California to others hitting the USA. We review some of the headlines from July that have had the most significant impact on the environment and local air quality.