Why do we want cleaner air?
Air pollution leads to 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year. Globally that figure turns into 9 million. One of the worst air pollutants is particulate matter, measured in PM 10 µg/m³ and PM 2.5 µg/m³ (micrograms per cubic meter of air). This is responsible for 29,000 deaths per year in UK a and 4.2 million world wide.*
*Information from the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health 2017 (from GBD 2015)
How can we get cleaner air in Saffron Walden?
The simplest way seems to be reducing the number of cars and traffic on our roads.
How do we do this?
Create awareness around the issue and encourage people to drive less.
Our next 'Walk to School' days are on 20th June and 18th July. Previous Walk to School days have received fantastic comments about empty streets and full scooter parks at schools! Our car surveys have measured an average 5% drop in traffic on Walk to School days which is great considering the amount of non school traffic coming through town.
SWACC's 'Changing Conversations' evening on air pollution took place on 22nd April. Dr James Smith gave 2 x 10 minute talks on air pollution, it's health effects and whether electric cars are the answer. Find the videos on our Youtube channel.
Our fourth pollution sensor is LIVE!
We now have 5 sensors up and running including a sensor at RA Butler school in Saffron Walden. The school sensor is part of the Year 6 children's Eco project. The sensors are very simple and are being used across the world. They measure tiny pollution particles (particulate matter PM) in the air, which can be damaging to our health when levels get too high.
The Graph on the left measures PM10 and the graph on the right measures PM2.5
These simple sensors measure the amount and size of 'Particulate matter" in the air in 2 sizes; PM 10 µg/m³ and PM 2.5 µg/m³ (micrograms per cubic meter of air).
* PM 10 µg/m³ is the measurement of particles 10 micrometers or less.
* PM 2.5 µg/m³ is the measurement of fine particles and consists of particles with diameters that are less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in size. These are more dangerous than PM 10 µg/m³. By way of comparison, a human hair is about 100 micrometers in diameter, so roughly 40 fine particles could be placed on its width.
* The sensors also measure temperature and humidity as this can be a factor when understanding the data from the graphs
To view the real time graphs click the buttons below:
We are hoping to attach lots more sensors around Saffron Walden to measure particulate matter in real time and share that information with you. Our data is being sent to a fantastic project in Germany and we are now part of a global network measuring air pollution around the world. You can download the app to see the map and local pollution levels on your phone - Android and Iphone.
View Saffron Walden on the global map
Build your own pollution sensor workshops!
Next dates TBC
After the success of our first pollution sensor workshop, SWACC are working on dates for the next one. please watch this space for more info...
To register your interest please email us.
Tickets cost £30 which is the cost of the sensor parts.