PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- It looked like a normal beautiful day at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
But, according to a tiny snowball-shaped device, the air quality left room for improvement.
Simply put, the measurement was 25. To put that number in perspective, the federal standard is 12 and anything over 55 can cause anyone to experience health effects after 24 hours.
The technology is one of many mobile air quality monitors developed by the Clean Air Council in Philadelphia. They are planted in fixed locations and send their readings to a global resource.
Not only can the monitors detect irregularities in air quality, but they can also be effective at measuring the detriment around natural gas infrastructure and fracking sites. Anyone with a monitor would easily be able to report polluted air from demolition sites, construction dust, and illegal burning to name a few.
Anyone interested in learning more about the air quality monitors or other initiatives of the Clean Air Council can attend Greenfest Philly this weekend. On Sunday, September 8, the area's largest environmental festival will host related workshops from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bainbridge Street between 3rd and 5th street.
There are currently several monitors installed in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, thanks to a partnership with the Aetna Foundation. A total of 50 monitors will be installed in Delaware, made possible by a donation from the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance. Additionally, because of Temple University's Community-Driven Research Day, three more monitors will be installed in north-central Philadelphia.
To see the live results of each monitor around the world, users can navigate to PurpleAir.com. The site displays a map of the air quality index at the location of each monitor. In order to compare measurements shown in our video, micrograms of particles per meter squared, you must navigate to the key in the bottom-left corner of the map and select "Raw PM2.5 in ug/m3" from the menu.
To learn more about the work of the Clean Air Council in Philadelphia, visit their site.
Air monitoring devices coming to Philadelphia and beyond