Why Indoor Air Quality monitoring is important
The World Health Organization (WHO) now states that substandard air quality is ‘the biggest environmental risk to health’ and that poor air quality standards ‘are responsible for the premature deaths of about 6.5 million people and about 600 000 in the WHO European region.’ (1)
With poor air quality linked to a number of diseases, including strokes, heart disease, and a variety of lung conditions, finding ways to combat poor air quality has never been more important. Many governments and international organizations are now working towards the creation of legislation to improve air quality standards in both low- and high-income countries.
Central to achieving these aims in preventing deaths from poor air quality is air quality monitoring, with the WHO recognizing that ‘the monitoring of air quality and collection of data on both ambient and indoor air quality is very important’. (1)
Time to take action
The WHO is now encouraging the uptake of air sensors in buildings and trying to support data management and collection strategies to create a more informed picture of the indoor air quality landscape.
Many workplaces are now integrating air quality measurements into their buildings and office spaces.
This kind of monitoring is one way of checking if heating and ventilation systems are working correctly and ensuring that employees have the best environment during their working day.
Recent news states that ‘a growing body of research has shown that indoor and outdoor air pollution diminishes cognitive function’. (2) Even before severe health effects are considered, poor air quality is hampering workplace productivity.
What is monitored?
There are a number of parameters that contribute to the overall air quality:
- carbon dioxide concentration
- total particulate matter
- total volatile organic compounds
- air temperature
- relative humidity
This means that an air quality monitor must be capable of measuring several parameters to make a comprehensive evaluation. Carbon dioxide is more often than not the only proxy used for air quality, but this neglects the concentrations of health-hazardous species like fine particulate matter.
The WHO notes that ‘both PM₂.₅ and PM₁₀ are capable of penetrating deep into the lungs but PM₂.₅ can even enter the bloodstream, primarily resulting in cardiovascular and respiratory impacts, and also affecting other organs.’ (3)
Poor air quality is also one route for spreading infectious diseases and causing issues for allergy sufferers.
Workplaces are often common sites for transmission of infections such as the common cold due to the numbers of people mixing, but higher air recirculation rates and maintaining better air quality can help reduce this.
One example of a highly efficient design to monitor and optimize air quality is Terabee’s Air Quality SB5.
The Air Quality SB5 is a single device capable of measuring five air quality metrics in a highly compact device that measures just 40 x 60 mm, weighing in at just 140 g.
Terabee’s Air Quality SB5 is designed to be easy to use and install, coming complete with concrete and plaster wall screws for mounting at any point in the room. An aluminum wall mount is already attached, so the sensor is ready to be used straight out of the box.
Needing just a power cable and USB connection, the Air Quality SB5 can be directly integrated into existing smart buildings using the integrated Wi-Fi connection, and thus does not require a fee-based subscription to a 3rd party IoT platform.
The device comes with a handy integrated LED light which changes from red to orange to green to indicate the local air quality. This makes it possible not just to receive the full data streams over your local network but immediately have a visual guide if there is a problem in a local area.
Data communication protocol options include HTTP and HTTPS, and the device can be assigned a unique Device ID for creating more sophisticated sensing networks for full smart building coverage.
Air Quality SB5 product benefits
The Swiss-made state-of-the-art Sensirion sensors allow for customizable data sampling rates that can be optimized by the user. Using high-quality, reliable sensors means that you will always have access to high-quality data to help you understand how to monitor air quality management in your building.
The Air Quality SB5 is designed with the user experience in mind, and it is quick and easy to deploy sensor networks in any building type.
Terabee will also provide continuing user support in the form of remote firmware upgrades and is always available to support and advise with its extensive experience in remote sensing on how to best create your sensor networking for air quality monitoring.
The Air Quality SB5 is a uniquely compact, efficient and easy-to-use device designed to make air quality measurement and control more accessible to all so businesses and employees alike can benefit from fresh, high-quality air at the workplace.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about Terabee indoor air quality monitoring.
References and further reading
- WHO (2022) Air Pollution, Fact Sheet 10-Better air for better health https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/341137/Fact-Sheet-10-Better-air-for-better-health.pdf, accessed January 2023
- Harvard (2022) https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/office-air-quality-may-affect-employees-cognition-productivity/, accessed January 2023
- WHO (2021) New WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines, https://www.who.int/news/item/22-09-2021-new-who-global-air-quality-guidelines-aim-to-save-millions-of-lives-from-air-pollution, accessed January 2023