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Air pollution shortens the lives of 6 million people globally every year. In low and middle income countries 98% of urban areas with over 100,000 residences do not meet UN air quality standards (UN 2019).
Low-cost, highly accurate technology developed by University of Hertfordshire researchers to study air quality (AQ) around Heathrow Airport has since been commercially developed and is helping to tackle air quality issues in more than 70 countries worldwide.
The new ‘OPC-N2’ AQ sensors, produced by Alphasense Ltd to UH designs, allow low-cost, long-term deployment in polluted environments where they measure airborne particles with accuracy comparable to that achieved by conventional instruments costing up to 40 times as much. This led in 2015 to the UNEP adopting the sensors for deployment in developing African cities and in 2018 as part of the UNEP-IAAF air pollution awareness initiative to deploy AQ sensors at 1,000 major athletics tracks worldwide.
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