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Has the covid-19 situation aided in improving air quality across the UK & beyond?

Everything feels new, unexpected and overwhelming. To some, the apocalyptic films we have seen are becoming reality. Every day is bringing new developments – Imagine the reaction we would have seen in February if we were told all schools, pubs and restaurants would be closed. 

Image: NASA

The coronavirus crisis is leading to lower emissions across Europe and around the world which is mainly down to factories and industrial countries implementing lockdowns. 

The above picture shows the levels of NO2 density in china just a month apart. This is leading people to believe that our effect on climate change could be minimised due to the current Covid-19 outbreak. The European Space Agency observed a decrease of around 20-30 percent in fine particulate matter in China.

The current clear skies are a positive although many climate change scientists have warned that low air pollution doesn’t correlate to slowing down climate change.

In Europe we have seen similar images with the European Environmental Agency showing a decrease of 56% week on week for nitrogen dioxide levels in Madrid.

In the UK, with the lockdown in place, the increases were less than normal. The air quality index peaked at three out of ten over most of England and Wales. A few places in south-east England, Yorkshire and north Wales reached four, the level where health advisory messages are issued. After three days, a welcome change of wind direction at the weekend pushed the polluted air southwards.

Desperate times call for digital measures

Despite improvements in air quality initiatives in the past, more still needs to be done with the government stressing urgent need to rehabilitate the countries air quality.  Thankfully, things are starting to look up, as Governments are turning to digital measures like IoT air quality sensors to proactively monitor the aforementioned ill effects on the environment.

How can Pinacl help with Air Quality?

 Pinacl’s IoT AQ sensors measure and report on temperature, humidity and pressure and primary air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. The AQ sensors allow environmental teams to collate measurements more easily and frequently than traditional manual processes. The readings are available in real-time, with all historical trend data accessible from an online portal. Collating this data through a portal enables integration of different AQ sensors to gather and analyse readings more widely for greater insight and measure.

The sensors can be deployed in a variety of areas: At construction sites the AQ sensors can help to protect employees, monitoring toxic and polluting gases, particularly monitoring PM10 and PM2.5 which are significant pollutants from construction sites. And in factories where employees are recognised as being potentially at risk of exposure to occupational illnesses, the sensors ensure ideal working conditions are maintained, helping to reduce health risks through effective monitoring and reporting on air quality, humidity and temperature in real-time and allowing immediate action to be taken when standards of safety are breached.

Why Pinacl?

Pinacl has installed an open access IoT networks in Newport and York as part of our Smart City offering. These networks are available for everyone across public sector, private sector, academia and health to access. There is a combined desire to drive innovation and encourage entrepreneurs within these local areas, leveraging the city wide IoT network, Public WiFi and Dark Fibre networks already in place across parts of the cities. Working in partnership with Pinacl, these are fast emerging as some of the leading UK Smart Cities.

 

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