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A fresh approach to air pollution

Air pollution

Project lead: Professor James Covington

Project dates: 2023 onwards

Funding: This project has received support/funding from the School of Engineering, the Health GRP and the University of Warwick’s Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) award.

A 'Fresh' Approach

Professor James Covington (Engineering) is working with Coventry primary schools to help them monitor air pollution.

Air pollution is an odourless, silent and colourless poison that impacts life at all stages. It leads to an extra 7 million premature deaths each year.

The causes of air pollution include: transport, industry, agriculture, energy and waste management.

Fresh - School of Engineering
The affect of air pollution over time

Key pollutants

  • Particulate Matter (PM2.5)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Nitric Oxide (NO)
  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds

James and his team at the Biomedical Sensors Laboratory at Warwick are developing the FRESH system to help understand the environment around us, with systems being built and placed on schools grounds to collect air quality readings. The team then processes the data and provides a short report to the school that they can use to help monitor air quality and inform behaviour change.

The FRESH System measures main air pollutants and gives information on environmental conditions.

It’s also fully portable, battery powered, easy to install and use and records the data it collects.

Air pollution factors
Fresh unit infographic courtesy of James Covington

Infographics courtesy of James Covington.

James is working with Local Cllr. Mattie Heaven and a number of local primary schools are already engaging with the project.

As part of the University of Warwick’s wider work with local charity Grapevine, two monitors will go out on loan to Grapevine and their Ball Hill Environment Community Group which includes Stoke Primary School. James also advised on personal and indoor air pollution monitors which have been provided to Grapevine on a permanent basis.

If you are interested in learning more about the project and potentially getting involved, please contact James Covington.