UNEP Device Could Make Air Monitoring Cheaper For Developing Countries

By on September 16, 2015

UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, and Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Judi Wakhungu, launch the pilot air quality monitoring system. (Credit: UNEP)

The United Nations Environment Programme is looking to make it cheaper and easier for developing nations to launch air quality monitoring networks. To that end, the Programme has aided in the development of a new, low-cost system that can track air pollution, according to a release.

UNEP officials say that the new system they launched at the end of August will cost only $1,500 per unit, which is much cheaper than similar devices on the market. Because of the inexpensiveness, officials believe that developing nations can leverage the units to launch air monitoring networks for much less than it typically costs today.

Most of the deaths related to outdoor pollution worldwide occur in low- and middle-income countries, according to data from the World Health Organization. UNEP officials are hoping their system can help bring those numbers down.

One low-income country, Kenya, is hosting a pilot project using the new air monitoring equipment. It is ongoing in Nairobi and is aiming to map the city’s air pollution hotspots. Preliminary data are already showing that Nairobi may have several areas with unsafe levels of air pollution.

Top image: UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Judi Wakhungu, launch the pilot air quality monitoring system. (Credit: UNEP)

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