Indoor air quality monitoring and few related sensors

Part 1: Why do we need to perform indoor air quality monitoring?
Air pollution is the major cause of climate change and other diseases; in this article, we will discuss what indoor air quality is, the factors involved, and its consequences and how it can be monitored. This is an important issue for everyone to be informed about. We often concentrate on outside air but ignore the quality of indoor air. Firstly, we would like to elaborate on the subject of indoor air quality.

Intro to Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term which alludes to the air quality inside the buildings, particularly as it identifies with the health and comfort of the buildings’ residents. IAQ can be influenced by gasses (counting carbon monoxide, radon, unstable natural compounds), particulates, microbial contaminants (shape, microscopic organisms), or any mass or vitality stressor that can initiate conditions unfriendly to health. The quality of indoor air in residential buildings can be easily improved by cleaning floors and mats. Verification of indoor air quality includes the gathering of air tests, observing human exposure to poisonous gasses and accumulation of tests on building surfaces.
IAQ is a piece of indoor environmental quality (IEQ), which incorporates IAQ and also other physical and mental parts of life inside (e.g., lighting, visual quality, acoustics, and warmth).
Indoor air contamination in developing countries is a noteworthy health hazard. A significant source of indoor air contamination in developing nations is the burning of biomass (e.g. wood, charcoal, waste, or yield deposit) for warming and cooking. The subsequent introduction to elevated amounts of particulate matter resulted in about between 1.5 million and 2 million deaths in 2000.

Why does Indoor Air Quality Matter?
Poor IAQ adds to both short- and long-term wellbeing issues which can cause decreased creativity and productivity, absenteeism, and conceivable litigation. Common side effects connected with the poor indoor air quality incorporate eye, nose, and throat disturbance, cerebral pain, sickness, discombobulating, and weakness. Sometimes exposure to indoor air contamination can prompt serious and permanent respiratory ailments including asthma, lung malignancy, pneumonia, systemic hypertension, perpetual obstructive aspiratory malady (COPD), Legionnaires’ infection, and humidifier fever. See the table beneath for a list of significant sources of indoor air contamination and their potential impacts.
In some countries, indoor air quality can be more harmful than open air quality, particularly when we consider the amount of time individuals spend inside versus outside.

Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Breathing quality indoor air is fundamental for good health. Most Americans spend a lot of time inside – either in the office, home, or any other sort of interior buildings – where gas, substance, and different poisons can bring about cerebral pains, hypersensitivities, eye bothering, and weariness. Serious contaminations can bring about specific sorts of malignancies and other long-term health inconveniences.
Clean air can avert numerous natural health risks, for instance, asthma. It is indicated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and influences 25 million individuals, incorporating 7 million children in a given year. Asthma represents about 17 million doctor office and clinic visits per year.
Indoor air quality is a basic general wellbeing issue that keeps on being tended to at the neighborhood, state, and government levels. Assessing the significance of air quality, states, for example, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have comprehensively implemented measures to address wellbeing concerns.
In Wisconsin, a statewide indoor smoking boycott has officially enhanced air quality in eateries and bars by more than 90 percent, as indicated by discoveries from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Under the strict enforcement of the law, air quality in 21 percent of every single assessed foundation was appraised perilous, the most unsafe level as indicated by principles set by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. After the law was developed, more than 97 percent of eateries and bars had great or attractive air quality appraisals. Indoor air quality remains a basic worry that requires prompt attention from governments and property holders alike.

Components contributing to poor Indoor Air Quality
Gas and other particulates ubiquituous present are the essential sources that add to poor IAQ. Sources can incorporate insufficient ventilation, inadequately kept up HVAC frameworks, wood and coal stoves, non-vented gas warmers, ecological tobacco smoke, vehicle fumes, building materials, covering, furniture, maintenance items, solvents, cleaning supplies and so on. The real catalysts of these contaminations can also be increased by other outside factors including poor ventilation, mugginess, and temperature.

Typical applications for IAQ monitoring:

  • HVAC framework execution checking
  • Air quality designing examination
  • IAQ compliance examination and investigation
  • Health and comfort appraisal
  • Airport lounges, shopping centers, workplaces
  • Mould examination and remediation
  • Schools and kindergartens
  • Hospitals and elderly care offices

Major Indoor Air Pollutants

Sensor Pollutant Major Sources Potential Health Effects
CO2 Carbon Dioxide Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), Excessive Building Occupancy and Inadequate Ventilation exhaustion; Nose, Eye and Throat Irritation; Respiratory Tract Symptoms Headaches; Chest Discomfort;
COPM Environmental
Tobacco Smoke
Cigarettes, Cigars and Pipes Respiratory Irritation, Bronchitis and Pneumonia in Children; Lung Cancer and Heart Disease, Emphysema,
CO Carbon Monoxide Non-vented or Malfunctioning
Gas Appliances, Vehicle Exhaust and Tobacco Smoke Emissions; Wood and Coal Stoves,
Headache, Angina, Nausea, Fatal at High Concentrations ,Impaired Vision and Mental Functioning
VOC Organic Chemicals Aerosol Sprays, Solvents, Glues,
Cleaning Agents, Pesticides, Paints, Moth Repellents, Air Fresheners, Dry cleaned Clothing and Treated Water
Damage to Liver, Kidney and Brain; Eye, Nose and Throat Irritation;
Headaches; Loss of Coordination; Various Types of Cancer
NO2 Nitrogen Oxides Non-vented or Malfunctioning
Gas Appliances and Vehicle Exhaust Emissions
Eye, Nose and Throat Irritation; Increased Respiratory Infections in Children
PM TSP (total suspended particulates) PM10(thoracic fraction Cigarettes, Wood and Coal Stoves, Fireplaces, Aerosol Sprays and House Dust Eye, Nose and Throat Irritation; Lung Cancer,
Increased Susceptibility to Respiratory Infections and Bronchitis;
O3 Ozone Ground Level Ozone Entering Indoors; Malfunctioning Air Treatment Systems; and Office Photocopiers and Printers Shortness of Breath, Eye, Nose and Throat Irritation; Coughing; Chest Discomfort; Reduced Lung Function;
CHCO Formaldehyde Pressed Wood Products e.g. plywood and MDF; Furnishings; Wallpaper; Durable Press Fabrics Eye, Nose and Throat Irritation; Allergic Reactions; Cancer; Headache;

 

Indoor Air Quality Standard
As a side-effect of expanded familiarity with the health dangers of poor air inside, governments are enacting new measures and holding building proprietors responsible for ensuring their properties are compliant with guidelines. The guidelines first address public spaces and office structures. Later on, it is a matter of practicality that measures could apply to recently built residential structures.
The pattern towards more strict rules is especially clear in Asia where people invest a lot of energy inside in air conditioned and cooled situations. Lately, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have taken steps to the furthest extent possible to better ensure indoor health conditions.

Techniques for assessing Indoor Air Quality
There are two principle strategies for evaluating the quality of indoor air:

  • Real-time continuous assessments: Ongoing monitoring can be utilized for location of toxin sources and give data on the variety of contamination levels for the duration of the day.
  • Integrated examination with ensuing lab investigation: Incorporated samples, typically collected during the 8 working-hours for workplaces, can give data on the aggregate presence level of a specific toxin. Regardless of the decision of the strategy, it is essential to guarantee appropriate working of the equiptment and treatment of the samples involved in monitoring of air quality, and in addition strict quality testing techniques should be employed including hardware adjustments and operation as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Impact of plants indoors
It is very important to be informed of the measures that can be taken to increase indoor air quality, and placement of plants indoors is the best option to this end. Please have a look at the following explanation regarding the use of indoor plants and the associated benefits so that you can analyze the effect of indoor plants on air quality.
Houseplants together with the way in which they are placed can decrease segments of indoor air contamination, especially unpredictable natural mixes (Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), for example benzene, toluene, and xylene). Plants remove CO2 and discharge oxygen and water, despite the fact that the quantitative effect for house plants is little. The impact of house plants on VOC levels was explored in one study, done in a static chamber, by NASA for possible use in space colonies. The outcomes demonstrated that the removal of the test chemicals was generally equal to that afforded by the ventilation, an air conversion scale of around 1/10 every hour. In this manner, air spillage in many homes and in non-private structures also, will, for the most part, evacuate the chemicals quicker than the analysts reported for the plants tried by NASA. The best plant families reportedly include aloe vera, English ivy, and Boston greenery for removal of chemicals and natural combinations.
Plants likewise seem to reduce levels of airborne microorganisms, forms, and increment humidity. However, the increased humidity can itself prompt increased level of VOCs and molds.
At the point when CO2 concentrations are elevated inside in comparison to open air, it is just a guideline that ventilation is lacking in regards to removal metabolic items connected with human inhabitance. Plants need CO2 to grow, and they discharge oxygen when they consume CO2. A study distributed in the diary Environmental Science and Technology considered take-up rates of ketones and aldehydes by the peace lily (Spathiphyllum clevelandii) and golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum). Akira Tani and C. Nicholas Hewitt discovered “Longer-term fumigation shows that the aggregate take-up sums were 30−100 times as much as the sums disintegrated in the leaf, suggesting that unstable natural carbons are metabolized in the leaf and/or translocated through the petiole.” It is of note that the scientists fixed the plants in Teflon sacks. “No adverse VOC levels were recorded above normal when the plants were missing. Be that as it may, when the plants were taken care of, the levels of aldehydes and ketones both diminished gradually yet persistently, demonstrating VOC removal by the plants”. Studies done in controlled environments such as the sacks in the experiment don’t reliably replicate the conditions of indoor situations that we are currently discussing.
Since high dampness is connected with expanded shape development, hypersensitive reactions, and respiratory reactions, the presence of extra moisture and humidity from houseplants may not be desirable in all indoor settings.

Building ecology
Building ecology is also an important aspect of having the better standard of indoor air quality. It is normally assumed that structures are basically lifeless physical elements, moderately stable after some time. This infers there is little cooperation between the building, what is in it (inhabitants and objects), and what is around it (the wider environment).
Structures continually develop as a consequence of the adjustments in the earth around them and the inhabitants, materials, and actvities that take place inside them. The different surfaces and the air inside a building are continually interacting, and this communication brings about changes in each. For instance, we may see a window as changing somewhat after some time as it gets to be messy, then is cleaned, amasses soil once more is cleaned once more, thus on through its life. Truth be told, the “earth” we see might develop as a consequence of the interaction between the dampness, chemicals, and organic materials found there.
Structures are planned to react effectively to some of these progressions. We clean, disinfect, and maintain surfaces to improve their appearance, execution, or life span. We may think that it’s helpful to consolidate the apparatuses of the physical sciences with those of the organic sciences and, particularly, a portion of the methodologies utilized by researchers concentrating on biological communities, to gain an enhanced comprehension of how to improve the conditions under which we invest the larger part of our energy.
We hope that after reading this article, you would be up to date on the details of indoor air quality and are aware of why we need to perform indoor air quality monitoring. If we do not perform indoor air quality monitoring, we would not know whether or not it it needs any improvement. If we do not monitor indoor air quality the result could be very damaging regarding our health. It will affect our productivity and will result in depression and anxiety.

Part 2: Review of sensor products used to perform indoor air quality monitoring
It is very essential to know the importance of indoor air quality monitoring; everyone should try to increase the quality of their indoor air as it can have very positive effect on your daily life. Better indoor air quality will improve your health, and it will also increase your productivity and creativity. Low indoor air quality can become a major cause of various diseases.
One should know about the importance of indoor air quality and why should we monitor it; in this article, we will give reviews on some of the commercially available sensor products that are used to monitor indoor air quality. Every sensor has its own advantages and disadvantages; it is important to know what the basic purpose of each sensor is and why it should be used. Please have a look ar the following reviews of some sensor products:

Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm
Nest recognizes smoke particles and carbon monoxide and alerts occupants of the high CO level with a female voice (before the alert really goes off). One of the main features of the sensor is a major Hush catch which can be utilized to stop the alert in event of false alarm. The Nest Protect interfaces with the Nest Thermostat and other Nest Protect gadgets through your home’s remote system. It has a focal ring that discharges a green light as lights are switched off in the room to show that all frameworks are running well. At the point when the battery level is low, the light turns golden and the female voice gives a battery substitution update when someone walks near the device, rather than the constant alert that traditional smoke identifiers emanate. This low battery level update is likewise sent via push-notification to connected cell phones and tablets. It is the advanced form of a traditional smoke alarm.
It additionally works with Dropcam to record and store video when the alert goes off — a fantastically convenient element, particularly in instances of fire. It is WiFi- connected, and functions as a security camera for individuals.

Birdi
The Birdi takes the Nest Protect idea and enhances it. It includes additional features like multi-language setup, open information Air Pollution Index (API) readings, Birdi group alerts amid crises, in addition to the capacity to remotely reset the alert through the cell phone or tablet in instances of false alarms. While monitoring IAQ this sensor tracks contamination, dust, stickiness, and temperature and carbon dioxide levels.

Netatmo Weather Station
This climate station comes as a pack of two units: one for indoor and one for open-air. The shorter, open-air station tracks relative stickiness, temperature, air weight, and outside air quality. All information, in addition to those from other outside stations, is recorded with information from nearby and national offices. A more exact climate picture is made accessible by means of versatile applications, significant to that specific area. The installation of this sensor allows you to easily plan your outdoor activities. The IAQ screen acts as the home base station. Taller than the open air station, it tracks indoor temperature, relative dampness, and carbon dioxide levels to give a more extensive indoor air quality picture. Netatmo Weather Station likewise tracks sound or commotion levels inside.

CubeSensor
CubeSensors track practically everything in a home that would influence wellbeing and productivity. It screens indoor temperature, barometric weight, encompassing light and sound levels, and in addition indoor air quality and relative dampness.
Get a sensor and shake it. On the off chance that the colour of the light changes to red, discover what the alarm is about and its suggested solution by accessing the portable application from a connected cell phone. The number of 3D squares required depends on upon the quantity of rooms or spaces at home.

Alima
Alima is a committed indoor air quality sensor. The product functionality offered includes VOC detecting – recognizing more than thirty unique kinds of VOCs. It can likewise screen carbon monoxide and dioxide levels, moistness, airborne particles up to PM2.5, and obviously, temperature.
One unit is evidently adequate for a home. It is to be put on level surfaces in the kitchen, dining and living areas for ideal air quality observation. Monitoring different spaces like different rooms is enabled by flipping the Alima over and back to begin another following record at that specific room — and yes, it incorporates an accelerometer.
Quick visual prompts to indicate identifications and fluctuations are shown by shading changes. Detected results and suggestions are sent to the cell phone or tablet application.

Withings Home
This security-cum-solid living gadget was announced early September 2014. It has a 135-degree point HD camcorder with “clear” night vision that will keenly track activities and movement of individuals. It also features great two-way sound detection and notification. The Withings Home also serves as a child screen that will even play children’s songs, or can be utilized as a security camera. The unit records video, which is kept on the cloud server as a video journal. A useful base part of the product enables positioning of the gadget on any surface.
Concerning healthy living, this sensor monitors mugginess levels, temperature, and VOCs. The gadget will illuminate red after detecting conditions that are past ordinary levels. Alarms are sent to connected cell phones.

Foobot
Foobot is a brilliant air quality sensor which can be linked with any iOS or Android gadget to investigate the indoor air quality in your home and help you find any pollutants. It has sensors for particulate matter, gas poisons, temperature, and moisture levels.

So those are only few of the fascinating savvy indoor air quality sensors. Any of them ought to be an extraordinary addition to your home. Which features do you think savvy air quality checking gadgets should offer in the future? Why not a cell phone that links IAQ sensors? What’s your opinion on this? It would be great if you could let us know. We hope that these reviews will help you to choose the air quality sensor that best suits your needs.

 

Original Source: SensorCafe.




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