Air pollution comes from many sources — power plants, industrial
production and fires, to name a few. In Pittsburgh, the most polluted
city east of California, according the American Lung Association,
avoiding dirty air while outdoors can be difficult, if not impossible.
But a new device, available through the public library system, helps
people identify and reduce bad air quality inside their homes.
Horchner, one of those people, has been eagerly waiting to check out a
Speck air quality monitor from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library for a few
weeks. The small, WiFi-connected device detects and calculates the level
of fine particulate matter, particles that are invisible to the naked
eye and just a tiny fraction of the width of a human hair. The lower the
count, the better the air — and the fewer risks to health.
high presence of particulate matter can exacerbate problems like asthma,
lung disease and allergies. But the loanable air monitor is helping
residents find and fix the source of the problem.
The Speck air quality monitor costs $200, but is available to all through Pittsburgh’s public library system.Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab