How to Build an Air Quality Network With PurpleAir Like Canada

Throughout the history of air quality monitoring, it has been far too expensive and inaccessible for small governments with limited funding.

For one, implementing an air quality network is costly since commercial air quality monitors can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. Beyond that, many air quality monitors also require specialists to install, operate, and maintain. Thankfully, there are some solutions on the horizon.

We’re always interacting with our PurpleAir Community to see what kinds of projects are going on. Together, we’re cultivating a community and empowering members with the data they need to tackle air pollution all over the world.

Because at PurpleAir, we believe in making air quality knowledge accessible to everyone.

And we’re not alone in that mission.

Today, we’re excited to share a recent air quality project in Canada that is bringing community members together and share how you can get involved.

N.W.T.’s Government Air Quality Program

Currently, there aren’t many air quality monitoring stations in Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) because of the high cost of equipment. However, thanks to recent developments in air quality technology, more affordable air quality monitors are becoming available.

PurpleAir’s air quality monitors, for example, range from $199 to $299 in price. Hundreds of dollars less than commercial air quality monitors. And crucially, ours are highly precise. When it comes to our products, we ensure every single one is reading accurately before it’s sent out.

Because of our own internal testing and third-party certification like the AQ-SPEC program, PurpleAir data has earned its reputation. Our data is even used by the EPA as part of the Fire and Smoke map and by Google as part of their newest air quality map view.

Having heard about our air quality monitors, the N.W.T government decided to start building up its own air quality monitoring program with community help. In 2022, the N.W.T. government announced it would give away free air quality monitors to local residents who were interested.

All they had to do was email the organizers and install the monitor on their property.

In one interview with CBC, Imran Maqsood, a N.W.T. air quality program manager, explains the goal is to, "fill the gap we have in the territory, to help communities make decisions about when the air quality is bad.”

We’re thrilled to see how well the program is being received, and we hope this inspires more local government agencies to expand their own air quality monitoring programs.

At the end of the day, it’s going to take the collaboration of everyone from policymakers to community scientists if we want to move the conversation on air pollution forward.

Get Involved Yourself

At PurpleAir, there are tons of community projects going on around the world. We’re thrilled to see these kinds of collaborative efforts, and we look forward to seeing plenty more in the future.

Are you working on a community project with PurpleAir’s air quality monitors?

We would love to hear about it. Share a post in the Community Project forum, then we can highlight your work. Together, we can make air quality accessible for everyone.