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Personal Device to Monitor Air Pollution | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A chimney is seen in front of residential buildings during a
polluted day in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China, January 21,
2016. REUTERS One researcher says that air pollution levels in China
may have peaked.

London – To monitor the exposure to the three most harmful pollutants, a French company has unveiled a new device to measure air pollution. The device is characterized with its small size and affordable price, as well as its usability.

The “Flow” device can be used as a handheld sensor or could be attached to pushchairs, purses and bags. It can be bought worldwide for under $200.

The New Scientist website reported Romain Lacombe, CEO of Plume Labs, the Paris-based firm behind the device, who said that the sensor was tested by 100 volunteers this summer in central London.

The crowdsourced results are now being used to map the air quality of more than 2000 kilometers of the city’s pavements.

He added: “We want to help people take ownership of what they breathe.”

A few similar devices are already on sale, but Flow will be the first to be able to detect levels of the big three pollutants: volatile compounds, airborne particulates and nitrogen oxides, according to the website.

Cities depended on a few fixed monitors to track air quality over vast urban areas. But these offered little insight to the average person because pollution varies from block to block due to the effects of trees, traffic patterns and architecture.