Cyclists to become mobile pollution sensors

Cough, hack, cough, splutter! A team of - cough - researchers from Imperial College London - wheeze, cough - is carrying out a programme which will see - hack, cough, cough - pedestrians and cyclists equipped with sensor units to monitor urban air pollution. Cough.

Motor vehicles contribute a large percentage of the air pollution found in urban environments.
Copyright-free image from Wikipedia.

Excuse me one moment, just finding my inhaler, wheeze. Scientists, environmentalists and those with respiratory complaints - cough, cough - have become highly concerned about PM10 particles (sooty specks smaller than 10μm found in traffic exhaust fumes) which have been linked to cases of asthma, heart disease and a number of other ailments. Though not as well known - hack, cough, pant - as carbon monoxide and other compounds associated with internal combustion engines, PM10s are a very real worry. Wheeze.

New EU law dictates that the UK must cut down on nitrous dioxide pollution, a compound also found in exhaust fumes, cough."There is a lot that we do not know about air quality in our cities and towns because the current generation of large stationary sensors don't provide enough information," says Professor John Polak, the head of the scheme which is to be carried out in London, Cambridge, Gateshead and Leicester. The new sensors, which can measure - wheeze, hack, splutter - five different types of pollution, will enable scientists to more closely study localised air pollution - pant, cough, wheeze - in urban areas as well as to produce 3D "pollution cloud" models which will then allow experts to advise change if street planning - ie; the location of traffic signals - is causing a build-up of fumes in that area.

As a cyclist who - cough, wheeze - regularly rides in urban areas, Acid Rabbi would be pleased to offer his services to the team and would like to point out that, should they choose to take him up on the offer, they will be able to save money -cough, pant, hack - on the sensors and simply listen to his lungs right after he'd ridden any more than 100 metres. Wheeze.

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