Air Pollution Monitoring
To expand coverage of air pollution monitoring around Massachusetts, I engineered the EnviEye gas sensor to raise awareness about everyday pollutants. Seeking to detect concentrations of gasses like H2S, NH3, and VOCs which are otherwise omitted in government-conducted measurement operations, it became clear there was a need for an innovative and cost-effective device. After twelve design iterations and developing a novel MOS-based instrument and API-enhanced program for automatic calibration and sensitivity adjustment, Environa deployed 20 active EnviEye units in Primary Target Areas. With help from the EPA and MassDEP, we conduct regular statistical analyses to ensure the quality and accuracy of our monitoring units. Check out the interactive map below to see live data coming in from locations across the state.
Harmful air pollutants surround our everyday lives. Sources of these chemicals include traffic, industrial units, chemical waste dumps, and even some agricultural practices. High concentrations of pollutants can be detrimental to health with both short and long-term consequences. For example, the Nyanza Waste Chemical Waste Dump still emits carcinogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which significantly correlate to cancer diagnosis. However, no significant data on VOC concentrations in the area have been taken. To address this problem, Environa sought to develop a novel pollutant sensor that is both cost-effective and accurate.
Catalyzed by this initial local issue, we dove deeper into the Air Monitoring Network around Massachusetts and noticed patterns in coverage. Although air quality measurements are often taken in city areas, there are few operations in the suburbs. The lack of data limits air pollution research and EPA action required to improve public health in these areas.
To gather more data on pollution concentration, Environa worked with the Ashland High School Makerspace and enlisted volunteers to build and deploy monitoring units. Partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, we have calibrated each unit and determined Primary Target Areas suspected to have a high pollutant concentration for sensor deployment.
The EnviEye sensor is tasked with collecting PPM measurements of CO2, CO, CH4, NOx, NH3, H2S, and VOCs and relaying the information to ThingSpeak channels programmed to analyze and display the data. Thus, we hope to provide a basis for the American public regarding their day-to-day decision-making concerning their health and the environment.
The collected data will allow Environa to consult the EPA to advocate for greater awareness of the potential health effects of these air pollutants. With your help, we can build more units and gain more expansive coverage for our mission. Visit the EnviEye Build Guide to construct and deploy your own sensor today.