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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-158
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-158
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 May 2019

Research article | 21 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Characterising low-cost sensors in highly portable platforms to quantify personal exposure in diverse environments

Lia Chatzidiakou1, Anika Krause1, Olalekan A. M. Popoola1, Andrea Di Antonio1, Mike Kellaway2, Yiqun Han3,4,5, Freya A. Squires6, Teng Wang4,7, Hanbin Zhang3,5,8, Qi Wang4,7, Yunfei Fan4,7, Shiyi Chen4, Min Hu4,7, Jennifer K. Quint9, Benjamin Barratt3,5,8, Frank J. Kelly3,5,8, Tong Zhu4,7, and Roderic L. Jones1 Lia Chatzidiakou et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, UK
  • 2AtmosphericSensors Ltd, Bedfordshire, SG19 3SH, UK
  • 3MRC-PHE Centre for Environment & Health,Imperial College London and King’s College London, London, W2 1PG, UK
  • 4College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China
  • 5Department of Analytical, Environmental and Forensic Sciences, King’s College London, London, SE1 9NH, UK
  • 6Department of Chemistry, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK
  • 7The Beijing Innovation Center for Engineering Science and Advanced Technology, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China
  • 8NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Health Impact of Environmental Hazards, King’s College London, London, SE1 9NH, UK
  • 9National Heart andLung Institute, Imperial College London, SW3 6LR, UK

Abstract. The inaccurate quantification of personal exposure to air pollution introduces error and bias in health estimations, severely limiting causal inference in epidemiological research worldwide. Rapid advancements in affordable, miniaturised air pollution sensor technologies offer the potential to address this limitation by capturing the high variability of personal exposure during daily life in large-scale studies with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. However, concerns remain regarding the suitability of novel sensing technologies for scientific and policy purposes. In this paper we characterise the performance of a portable personal air quality monitor (PAM) that integrates multiple miniaturised sensors for nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM) measurements along with temperature, relative humidity, acceleration, noise and GPS sensors. Overall, the air pollution sensors showed excellent agreement with standard instrumentation in outdoor, indoor and commuting microenvironments across seasons and different geographical settings. An important outcome of this study is that the error of the PAM is significantly smaller than the error introduced when estimating personal exposure based on sparsely distributed outdoor fixed monitoring stations. Hence, novel sensing technologies as the ones demonstrated here can revolutionise health studies by providing highly resolved reliable exposure metrics at large scale to investigate the underlying mechanisms of the effects of air pollution on health.

Lia Chatzidiakou et al.
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Short summary
This study validates the performance of a personal air quality monitor that integrates miniaturised sensors that measure physical and chemical parameters. Overall, the air pollution sensors showed excellent agreement with standard instrumentation in outdoor, indoor and commuting environments across seasons and different geographical settings. Hence, novel sensing technologies as the ones demonstrated here can revolutionise health studies by providing highly resolved reliable exposure metrics.
This study validates the performance of a personal air quality monitor that integrates...
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