PUT ON A GAS MASK OR RIDE THROUGH THE CITY? KNOW THE LEVEL OF AIR POLLUTION IN YOUR CITY WITH THESE APPS & GADGETSby Rajshree Faria December 2, 2016
Our metropolitan cities have always wanted to be on the same footing as Beijing…and one of ours even surpassed it on one aspect- the level of air pollution. Declared as the most polluted city in the world by the World Health Organisation in September of this year, the alarming levels of toxic air in New Delhi was a rude wake-up call for millions residing in not only the capital but also other metros.
While the government worked on reducing the air pollution, ordinary citizens sought ways in which they could understand and know the levels of toxicity in the air of the city they called home. It is here that we found apps that inform you of the levels of air pollution in your city with the help of government data or their own sensors. Here are six of the most comprehensive apps and gadgets to know the quality of air in your city:
Plume Air Report
With data on over 300 cities, Plume is one of the most popular apps when you want to know whether the air pollution in your city is ‘moderate’ or plain ‘airpocalypse’. It is updated continuously through the day, even suggesting the best times to go cycling, walk through the city, etc. Available for free for Android and iOS as well as its website, Plume Air Report provides a breakup of the various toxic elements in the air- Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone, and PM2.5/PM10.
Available for users in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Pune for now, SAFAR is the Indian government’s initiative to help the citizens know the quality of air in their city and make their plans accordingly. The app works to spread awareness about air pollution along with its primary function of providing air pollution details for up to three days in advance. Stating health advisories based on the air quality is another feature of this app. Colour-coded with a simple interface, the app is easy to use. Standing for ‘System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research’, SAFAR is available for download on both Android and iOS. The app will soon cover more metros like Kolkata and Chennai.
Air Quality India
Developed by OIZOM, this app gives the user the latest levels of CO, NO2, CO2, NOx, SOx, and SO2 in the air in your city, along with the particulate matter 2.5 and 10. Like the other apps, it provides activity suggestions based on the air pollution levels. However, the app goes one step further and works as a knowledge centre wherein you can learn anything and everything about air pollution. The app also allows you to compare the air pollution levels among different cities so that you can plan your vacation (and moving plans!) accordingly. Download it for free on your Android or iOS device for a healthier lifestyle.
Spreading awareness, keeping you healthy, and promoting its brand at the same time, the Blueair Friend app works well for everybody. Even if you don’t use any Blueair products you can use the data gathered by the over 2700 gauging stations in about 150 countries to get accurate and reliable air pollution readings. The app is compatible with Android and iOS devices.
Airveda is essentially a portable air quality monitor that ensures that you never have to step into a place that could be detrimental to your physical well-being. Sync the device to your Android or iOS device’s Airveda app and monitor the indoor as well as outdoor air pollution levels accurately.
Understand how burning incense, smoking indoors, etc. has an impact on the air quality in your home or office and take concrete steps towards a healthier environment based on it.
Air Quality: Real-time AQI
Active in over 60 countries, this app uses data from highly reliable sources like the air quality monitoring station at the U.S Consulate in Mumbai for knowing the air pollution levels in the same city. Available on Android and its own website, Air Quality: Real-time AQI updates the pollution level every hour and categorises it into any one of six categories, ranging from ‘Good’ to ‘Hazardous’.
This year, promise yourself a better health and become an active agent of change by spreading awareness about the harmful effects of polluted air.