Measurement of air pollutants

William Bloss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The measurement of atmospheric pollutants allows to determine their impacts on human and animal health, vegetation, materials, and the wider environment to be determined. It also provides the data to monitor compliance with regulatory controls, and to advise the general public of current air quality levels and pollution warnings as appropriate. This article describes the framework within which air pollutants are monitored and the units used for their quantification, and then introduces the commonly monitored atmospheric pollutants, focusing on boundary layer air quality: ozone, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter. The principal techniques used to detect each species, with an emphasis on the physicochemical principles employed, and an indication of the measurement performance achieved and potential shortcomings of each method are described. Finally, the article summarizes the approach to monitoring long-lived pollutants such as greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting agents.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Environmental Health
PublisherElsevier Masson
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780444639523
ISBN (Print)9780444639516
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Aerosol
  • Atmospheric pollutants
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Concentrations
  • Instruments
  • Measurement techniques
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • NO
  • Ozone
  • Particulate matter
  • Sulfur dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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