Now you can check the air pollution levels around you by just a click on your phone.
An application launched for smartphones on Wednesday can calculate the air quality index (AQI) in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
Blueair, a Swedish technology company in collaboration with the United States Consulate General, has developed the app. The general features of the app include real-time results of short-term pollution trends and how to avoid pollution-related illness.
Vijay Kannan, head of Blueair India, said, “This is an initiative focusing on metropolitan cities, to let people know the quality of air they are breathing. It will help resolve the issues with regard to bad air, and its quality in cities can be compared.”
The app ranks the pollution under the index between 0-500, identifying categories ranging from good to hazardous, and measuring the risk of pollution to human health.
The app automatically gathers information from the US Consulate’s air monitoring station setup in Bandra, which measures air quality in a radius of 5km and provides the same on mobile phones.
“The new app is a simple tool to inform metro city residents about the quality of air in their area. Schools, the elderly and those travelling or exercising outdoors are especially advised to maintain high awareness of current AQI values. It will be even better if push notifications are sent whenever the air quality reaches hazardous levels,” said Philip Earis, scientist and resident of Bandra.
The air quality updates provided by the app comprise a detailed index of the levels of pollutant particles such as carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxide (NOx).
“Applications like these help create awareness. However, if they could measure different pollutants around us in real-time rather than copy paste from the monitoring stations, it would really be useful,” said Rakesh Kumar, chief scientist, NEERI said.
The Blueair app is currently available for iPhones, iPads and iPods. “The app will be available on android mobile devices within a week,” said Kannan.