How we measure air quality

G’day I’m Eamonn, I’m an breeze excellence technician with the Environment ProtectionAuthority, Victoria or EPA. Ambient air is the air aroundus that we breathe all the time. Industry and everydayactivities like driving a gondola can impact on the quality of our aura. Today I’m going to show you how EPA observers ambient air quality in Victoria using an aura monitoring depot such as this one. I’m going to tell you aboutsome of the instruments is located within an checking depot a little about what they measure and how they use. On the roof of an breath monitoringstation you can see a number of vents. These vents are connected toinstruments inside the station. This glass inlet is connectedto a number of instruments which quantify gases suchas ozone, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. This inlet gleans in breath to measureparticulate matter 2.5 or PM2. 5 The concentration of PM2. 5 is one of themore important indicators of healthy air. PM2. 5 molecules are extremelysmall molecules present in smoke and in some penalty dirts. They weigh 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter.To give you an idea of howsmall it is a strand of hair is about 75 micrometers in diameter. So these molecules are over 30 timessmaller than that. I’m going to give you into the station now.It can be a bit noisy because equipment has to run 24 hours a day. This is connected to the glassinlet we read on the roof. An breeze sample travels down and isdistributed to the various analysers. Each one of these measures a particular gas.Sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. The instrument here is a Beta Attenuation Monitor. It evaluates those tinyparticles I mentioned earlier.Inside this instrument is a roll of strip. The corpuscles which come down theinlet are situated on the videotape. As you can see when thesetiny specks land on here the strip can sometimes change colour. All the breath quality data collectedby the different types of instruments inside the air monitoringstation is sent to this computer, 24 hours per day, 365 days of its first year. From here the data is sent to our computerand then goes up on the EPA’s website. EPA’s scientists too use this data to preparedaily air quality foreshadows and summaries. EPA has been checking ambientair character in Victoria since 1979. Technology has come a long waysince then and so have we. EPA is always exploring the use of newtechnologies and better ways to monitor our aura and ply up-to-date air qualitydata to the Victorian community. This is just one of the ways EPA isstriving for a healthful environment for all Victorians ..

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