As I was walking around in the backyard today, I noticed how at a certain spot there was a strong fragrance of ferns and flowers that seemed very pleasing and invigorating.
I then looked at the woods that stood between myself and a nearby expressway. I thought about how the trees and brush were filtering out the polutants. I considered how, when I walked down to the creek, the air was even more woodsy and refreshing.
Then it struck me.
Wouldn't it be nice to have some sort of monitoring device, the size of a Blackberry or smart phone, that would tell you the content of the air you were breathing?
A device that would measure the oxygen level, as well as the amounts of allergens and toxic chemicals, in the air around you. This seemed like a terrific idea. People with allergies or breathing problems could then pinpoint the exact spot on their property, or in a nearby park, where the air was freshest, more pure, or most highly oxygenated.
A place that you might assume to have clean air might not be so great after all, for example.
I did some internet searches for air toxin indicators and purity monitors, but could not find an instrument designed for use by individuals. The guages I found were all for large-scale operations by industry or the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
If you know of any personal air quality detection device (that monitors indoor and outdoor air) which the average person can obtain and use, let me know.
READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC
EPA Air Toxics Web Site
Assessing Air Quality Near Schools: Monitored Pollutants
Air Now: Air Quality Maps