Monitoring air quality

The Global Environment Monitoring System for Air (GEMS/Air) .

Every year, nearly 4 million people die from outdoor air pollution – that’s more than are killed by AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Nearly 90 per cent of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which typically lack the capacity to monitor the quality of their air.

That’s why UN Environment has developed a ground-breaking – and affordable – new device to measure air quality. And it’s why we’re making the blueprints for the technology available to the public. It is our hope that the device, which costs up to 100 times less than mainstream solutions on the market, will revolutionize air quality measurement across the developing world.

The device, which was launched in 2015, can measure the concentration of particulate matter ranging from 1 to 10 microns in diameter (PM 1 - PM 10), including PM 2.5, considered by the World Health Organization to have the greatest effect on human health. It also records the concentration of sulphur and nitrogen oxides and can be extended to measure other gases such as ozone. Fitted out with a GPS tracker, the device can pinpoint the source of the pollution it’s measuring.

For more information, download this leaflet.