Monitoring air pollution in Cornwall

It is a requirement under the LAQM obligation to extensively monitor air quality if it is believed NAQS objectives are not being achieved. Cornwall has an extensive network of NO2, PM10, SO2 and O3 monitors.

Diffusion Tubes

Diffusion tubes are the most widely utilised monitoring tool due to their relative low cost. They are exposed for one month periods throughout the area of concern and passively monitor ambient concentrations of pollutants such as NO2 or VOCs.

Continuous Monitors

Traffic-related NO2 is the most commonly continuously monitored pollutant. When used in conjunction with an Automatic Traffic Counter, continuous monitoring can highlight scenarios that cause elevated pollution concentrations such as the school-run.

Particulate matter is also monitored throughout Cornwall using real-time monitors. This is primarily in relation to traffic and mining related pollution; concentrations of specific pollutants such as arsenic can also be monitored.

Continuous monitors provide accurate, high resolution data which is useful for ascertaining patterns in pollution concentrations and identifying air pollution sources. Ambient air is drawn into the monitor via an inlet head and pollutant concentrations measured using chemiluminescence in the case of NO2 and SO2 or a TEOM or light scattering method in the case of particulates.

For more information on air quality monitoring methodology please contact the CAQF.

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