1000 Solutions - April 16, 2019

Ambee, the smart mobile sensors for better air

air pollution in india

Written by Laetitia Waku

Ambee helps citizens monitor pollution and take actions to avoid the most toxic areas

What’s the issue?

Invented in India to face an ever-increasing air pollution challenge, Ambee is a small, smart, mobile box which is able to measure particulate matter and high data density to better analyze and predict immediate timely emergency warnings. As per the World Economic Forum, India is the most polluted country in the world in regards to particulate matter. With an Air Quality Index (AQI) hitting at 500 in parts of the city of New Delhi on certain days, it is of concern when at an index of 100 it is already considered “Unhealthy for sensitive groups”, it is time to react!

According to the report by the World Health Organization, the major source of air pollution in the world comes from inefficient modes of transport, household fuel, waste burning, coal-fired power plants and industrial activities. As a result of a large density of population and emerging economies, countries with these two factors are more likely to be directly impacted with serious health effects.

Nearly 90% of air-pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, with nearly 2 out of 3 occurring in WHO’s South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions. However, megalopolises in America or Europe should also be concerned on this worldwide crisis, as an example 1 in 2 Americans are living in dangerously polluted air. According to the WHO, 4.2 million people die every year as a consequence of exposure to ambient outdoor air pollution, 3.8 million from household air pollution and 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits.

With better predictions, significant actions could be implemented and monitored in the most impacted areas in order to potentially reduce the effects of the air pollution on the population’s health.

Air pollution continues to take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations – women, children and the older adults. 
Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General at WHO

By considering an individual is breathing over 20,000 times a day, which represents 3000 gallons or 1100 liters of air, how could we reduce the risk of air pollution on our health? How can we know if the air is clean or not?

The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label

This solution uses data to tell you when the air is bad in order to inform you in real time when your health might be in danger due to high level of particles in the air. With this data, individuals, organisations and governments are able to tackle the effects of pollution directly and take precautions to avoid or reduce health risks.

Ambee is a system of small inexpensive pollution sensors tied into a data analytics system. Measuring particulate matter, VOCs, CO2, NOx and H2S, this solution can cross data from up to 1000 sensors and get a high data density in real-time with better analytics, including predictions, immediate and timely emergency warnings. Being mobile, these sensors can be installed on vehicles, carried in a bag, or hung on walls. Its high range allows mapping big areas like Hyderabad and Bangalore in India, which were hard to map by previous sensors.

Not expensive, with a cost comparable to 0.1% of the reference sensor, on a unit basis, this ingenious portable system can record and measure particulate matter in any location across the globe. Monitoring air pollution levels has become very important to detect pollution peaks, better control air pollution and eventually improve air quality.

"For people to be healthy, they must breathe clean air from their first breath to their last."
Dr Bustreo

Ambee is a real asset to urban infrastructure innovation, providing sensor and other air quality measurement solutions. Developing and expanding this solution in other countries could improve significantly the life of billions of people across the world.

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