I’ve suspected for a while that my air quality is not of a high standard, primarily due to environmental pollution. Beside the obvious clouds of smoke though, I wanted some scientific measurements to get hard data and compare with other locations. I built a proof of concept laser particle detector capable of logging airborne particles at sizes of PM1 or greater. There is significant recent evidence that shows particles of PM2.5 ‘ish, the very small ones, are particularly harmful. They are small enough to pass through the bodies normal filters (nose, lungs, etc.) and go way down into the lungs, heart and even the brain.
There’s more work to do, but the unit works, the data seems accurate and I will add some other sensors and compare readings at various locations.
The image shows particles per 0.01 cubic feet over 30 second intervals. I ran it for a couple days. There is a 5 minute moving average also. The sensor was located inside my home, downstairs, ~2 meters from an open window. This data is actually concerning as the following is a generally accepted measure of how good or bad the air quality is
25 – 50 Very Good
50 – 100 Good
100 – 350 Fair
350 – 1000 Poor
1000 + Very Poor
Once I have some comparisons and the unit in a final format, I’ll build a few and have them continuously report air quality for various local locations over the internet. This will enable comparisons and let us know if the air quality as a whole is poor, or it may be down to localised pollution.