The local government in the London town of Camden has installed a dense network of air quality sensors to overcome health risks caused by air pollution. The data collected by these agencies will enable stakeholders and residents to make decisions that enhance the overall health of the town.
According to recent British official statistics, air pollution in London alone causes approximately 4,100 premature deaths each year. That's more than the number of road traffic fatalities. Statistics also indicated that low air quality in the city affects educational attainment and overall physical and mental health. It exacerbates lung and heart diseases as well as respiratory diseases, including COVID-19 infection, Air pollution is costing the community, businesses and the NHS more than £15 billion a year.
These worrying statistics have prompted Britain's judicial system to issue a court ruling requiring the government and local authorities to intensify their efforts to monitor air quality. It should work to educate individuals and institutions about the health risks resulting from exposure to pollutants. The government, for its part, has pledged to significantly strengthen and expand the air quality monitoring network in the UK.
In compliance with this judicial ruling, Consistent with the Government's pledge, The Camden Council announced, It is a town within London, In partnership with the Camden Clean Air Initiative, a group working to combat air pollution in the region, announced the launch of a plan to install what was said to be the densest network of air quality sensors in the world. This measure aims to implement their vision to reduce the movement of cars on the roads, Reducing pollution from vehicles, In the hope of restoring the pleasure of walking the streets that became possible during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the absence of traffic, In order to improve the long-term health and well-being of the population.
The Camden Council is at the forefront of driving change in air quality. It was the first city council to adopt air quality standards set by the World Health Organization, Therefore, the Council has concluded a deal with AirLabs, a company specialized in measuring air quality, To implement the installation plan of the sensors in two stages. In the first phase, 200 modern sensors are being installed, Besides building an information platform that feeds on data collected by sensors. In the second phase, the number of devices will be increased to 250. This enhances the accuracy of monitoring pollutants spatially 100 times more, It raises the rate of regular data refresh 60 times more than the rate provided by the network of sensors currently in the town.
Each sensor measures a range of contaminants, including airborne particles and toxic gases such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide, It also measures temperature and humidity, It then sends these measurements to a digital platform every minute, To ensure that any problem that occurs in real time is identified. The devices are distributed on lighting poles, buildings, public facilities and other strategic locations, The aim is to identify and distinguish between the different sources of pollution, The captured data contributes to effective decision-making for all stakeholders interested in improving air quality in the region, Councils, individuals and communities, In addition to schools, offices, hospitals, shops, restaurants and hotels.
Once the implementation of the plan is completed and the new network is operational, The incoming data will be used in many ways. For example, The public will be able to learn about less polluted ways of moving from one point to another within the town, Traffic authorities will also be able to manage traffic and strengthen their local traffic policies. The NHS and schools will provide the necessary information to educate patients and students about air pollution. Thus protecting communities most at risk of contamination.
With regard to project costs, It was done in cooperation with the private sector, mainly Airlabs, which provided Camden with sensors, While other relevant local companies and institutions were encouraged to participate and show support, The Camden Council, in turn, covered all the operating costs of the sensors.
Stakeholders in the town of Camden believe that dense networks of air quality sensors that record their data in real time, Measuring various air pollutants from harmful gases to fine particulate matter is an important step towards overcoming one of the town's biggest health challenges: air pollution. This allows stakeholders to make more informed choices to protect the health and well-being of the people of the region. Camden is betting that this project will provide a role model for similar networks to be installed in other urban areas.