Most outdoor air pollution in urban areas is the result of the combustion of fossil fuels used for heating, electricity generation, industrial processes, and motor vehicles. Air pollution is estimated to cause approximately 2 million premature deaths mostly in developing countries. Almost half of these deaths are due to pneumonia in children under 5 years of age. Urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year. Those living in middle-income countries disproportionately experience this burden. Exposure to air pollutants is largely beyond the control of individuals and requires action by public authorities at the national, regional, and even international levels (Source: WHO Fact sheet No. 313).
Guardian headline of 20 September 2011 cited a paper published by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine that identified pollutant particles and nitrogen dioxide as major sources of heart attacks. “The study, in the British Medical Journal, found that high levels of pollution can increase the risk of suffering a heart attack. It identifies exposure to pollutant particles and nitrogen dioxide expelled by cars, which are both markers of contaminated urban atmospheres, as the main culprits.”
AirBase, for the first time, will make online indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring available for everyone. Cheap sensors linked to plug-and-play system, and mobile applications will provide readily available information about the levels of pollution in and around home. Our purpose in this project proposal is to deploy a 250 sensors network in Berlin.