The Bergin group is in the process of evaluating and designing a variety of low-cost air quality sensors for applications in both the US and internationally. Conventional air quality monitoring equipment costs $10,000's and can be bulky and hard to operate. Sensors provide a more portable way to collect real time data. Previously these sensors have been evaluated in Atlanta GA, Hyderabad India, and La Paz Bolivia. Efforts continue in Durham, NC to evaluate and improve their performance under the low ambient concentrations experienced in the US. Currently the group is also preparing for a health study focusing on the impacts of air filtration on children’s health to take place in China in coming months. Challenges arise due to the diverse air quality conditions experienced globally.
These low-cost sensors are changing the field of air quality providing more temporal and spatial data than has been available in the past. We have used them to help quantifying exposures, calculating emissions factors of on-road vehicles and other sources, and monitoring ambient air quality around the world. This project brings together sensor manufacturers, public health representatives, and a variety of researchers concerned with air quality. These air quality sensors are tools to help us change the world.