Particulate matter in a lockdown home: evaluation, calibration, results and health risk from an IoT enabled low-cost sensor network for residential air quality monitoring

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Abstract

Exposure to atmospheric particulate matter is associated with a wide array of health impacts. Whilst ambient air pollution exposure is widely discussed both within the scientific literature and media, indoor exposure to pollutants has received less attention. However, humans spend a large amount of time in indoor environments, which increased significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic. This paper tests the application of a low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) enabled indoor sensor network to provide a relative assessment of variations in PM in a lockdown home. The paper validates the low cost, IoT approach via sensor corrections and testing before assessing particulate concentrations for a ~7 week period within a typical suburban home in the UK. With the caveat that data from low-cost sensors are at best indicative, it was found that particulate matter concentrations in multiple rooms exceeded both 2021 and 2005 WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines, when extrapolated to annual exposure levels, despite relatively low ambient concentrations. Concentrations peaked at 488 µgm-3 (PM2.5) when cooking was occurring within the home.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science: Atmospheres
Early online date22 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2022

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