Have you ever heard about Air quality monitoring? Well, you must have and in case you haven’t, it is time for you to know about it. Air quality monitoring is an aspect which allows the entire world to keep track of the levels of air pollution around them. Since, it is important to keep track and record before actually finding a solution to any problem. 

Air quality monitoring allows numerical data collection regarding various pollutants in the atmosphere, the amount by which the standard allowable level is crossed and finally, which pollutants need to be controlled immediately.  Basically, considering the rising levels of air pollution and its impact on human health and efficiency, an air quality monitor set-up is important for industries, governments and public places.

Need of the hour

However, under Air Quality monitoring, a dust monitor is of most vital importance. Yes, considering how dust is a standard pollutant from most industries, automobiles and other activities, without monitoring it, the impact of dust pollution on the environment cannot be estimated and hence, resolved. As mentioned, ambient air quality is severely damaged by dust particles which need to qualitatively measured on a real-time basis for control action and any remedial measures.

What is a dust monitor exactly?

A dust monitor shows the dust particles in the air, monitoring data within a range of specific microns, which depends on the type of dust monitoring equipment you use, For example: Oizom Dustroid covers a healthy range of 1 micron to 100 microns. A dust monitor covers various types of particles as well, where it can conduct dust surveys in each geographical area for each type of dust particle. 

A look into dust monitoring 

Mostly, there are two types of dust monitoring. First, we have PM10 where all dust particulate matter which are less than 10 micrometers in diameters are measured and accounted for. The importance of this measure is that it is such dust particles which can have easy access to our lungs and cause damage to the human respiratory tract, leading to diseases like asthma. PM10 dust monitor is mostly found in areas of industrial work, building contracts and trafficated cities. You get various real-time PM10 monitors which are capable of separating various particulate dust matter, record information on their quantity and keep a track daily for further analysis.

Another method is called Gravimetric method, where various filter based samplers are used to monitor dust levels. Here, there is an overall sampling period and on the basis of the weight, an average level of dust is calculated over the sampling period.  Here, the only problem is the assurity of the collection of a good amount to have faith in the whole process, since it goes by directly weighing the filter on a real-time basis. This is however, not as real-time as a PM10 personal monitoring as it is conducted over a sample period of time and any high amounts of weather variability or atmospheric pressure change can drastically impact the dust monitor average that is calculated.

The modern twist in the tale 

Nowadays, there are many new dust monitors that have come up with technological advancements. There is an online cloud system, where all data collected can be stored and vastly shared. Other offerings are a wifi connection for high speed integration into third part softwares, online work rather than actual visits to the dust collection location and a set-up to reduce external impact of pressure, humidity and weather on the data monitor information. All of this ensures convenience and efficiency in the entire process of dust monitoring.

Who should use a dust monitor?

1) Industrialists 

Industries, especially which have their own manufacturing factories or work with heavy machinery, should have dust monitors in around their units to keep a check on the pollution. This is important for them so as to meet their corporate social responsibility of not harming the environment and abiding by pollution standards set in the region that they operate in. 

2) Research workers 

Many environmentalists and researchers look into data collected by monitors to come with preventive techniques and resources. It is vital for them to be able to study trends in a region over a period of time to make estimates and statistical predictions.

3) Government authorities 

Each nation or region has separate bodies responsible for the safety and protection of the environment. These regulatory bodies need dust monitors as a part of the whole air quality monitoring protocol to collect required data and take any action as deemed fit against violators or critical situations. 

4) General public 

Considering how a major chunk of the population faces respiratory diseases, they need to be aware of the levels of dust existing in the region they live or visit. Medicines could be prescribed accordingly. Travel could be scheduled as per the levels and this way, further damage to the lungs could be prevented.

Any requirements of dust monitoring?

1) Easy, compact and quick 

The faster, the simpler and the better. This is the go-to tagline for a dust monitor. Considering how miniscule a dust particle is, a dust monitor should be competent enough to easily sample it, give out data and then if needed, be compact enough to be used personally and carried around in a region.

2) Durable 

A dust monitor has to exist in the open air, facing the weather. It should be able to survive harsh weather conditions, be able to separate data regarding standard and extreme weather situations and not mislead anyone regarding the dust pollution in any particular location at any point of time.

A dust monitor is an integral part of our ecosystem now, not just to fight pollution but also to increase awareness about the same and how people need to start being cautious about their own environment. Considering how dust is one major pollutant that is mostly not directly visible to the normal eye, a dust monitor makes sure to resolve that problem for the common man.