Push Bikes Joins Air Quality Citizen Science Project

OK Lab Stuttgart Logo

Push Bikes has joined the environmental monitoring citizen science project set up by OK Lab Stuttgart, adding the second measurement node in Birmingham (the first is in Ladywood). Our air quality monitor is in the garden of a residential property on the A4040 between Stirchley and Kings Heath. There are other measurement nodes across the Midlands, and you can add your own.

The device measures particulates (such as the smoke you you can see from the exhaust of a badly driven/faulty diesel vehicle), but not, unfortunately, NOx (and we already know that EU NOx limits have been broken at the nearby Selly Oak Triangle junction).

You can learn more here, including how you can contribute (financially and/or by adding a measurement node).

PM₁₀ Particulates PM₂.₅ Particulates
PM10 Particulates PM2.5 Particulates

If you are unfamiliar with how particulates are defined and measured, this Wikipedia article explains the terminology. The EU limits on PM₁₀ and PM₂.₅ are 40 μgm⁻³ and 25 μgm⁻³ respectively, averaged over a year, and these set the current legal limits in the UK. At the time of writing (in the post-brexit transition period), the government claims it will improve upon these, but given that pre-brexit the government was losing in the law courts because the UK was failing to meet EU standards, don't hold your breath. The government claims it wants to set the UK legal limit to that recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), ie annual means of 20 μgm⁻³ and 10 μgm⁻³ respectively for PM₁₀ and PM₂.₅, and 24 hour means of 50 μgm⁻³ and 25 μgm⁻³.

It will be interesting to see how Birmingham compares with the EU limits, and if there is any hope of achieving the WHO limits. But to do that, we really will need people adding air quality monitors to the network.