Around a thousand asthma sufferers and other vulnerable individuals in Croydon should soon receive text message warnings to their mobile phones before elevated air pollution days, with additional patients in other London boroughs receiving the service later on. The YourAir service predicts levels of the pollutants nitrogen dioxide, ozone and airborne particles exposure to which can harm people with asthma, lung and heart problems, and in the very highest concentrations can harm otherwise healthy people.
The forecasts include predictions of overall effects on health on an index from one to ten. Unlike previous systems, YourAir resolves air pollution down to the scale of individual streets highest levels are often found along routes with heavy traffic or other pollution sources, so information on street-by-street changes in pollution help vulnerable people make informed choices about their travel routes.
The prototype service covers Central London and Croydon in South London. Croydon is one of the largest boroughs by area and the largest by population, with 330 000 residents.
YourAir is being developed by Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC) as a demonstration service of ESA's PROMOTE project, intended to deliver atmospheric information to support informed decision making in this field and improve quality of life.
PROMOTE is itself part of Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), a joint initiative between ESA and the European Union to integrate all available space- and ground-based information sources to develop an independent European environmental monitoring capacity from planetary to local scales.
"The YourAir service works by combining data from the various sources available," said Iarla Kilbane-Dawe of CERC. "It combines regional air
Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
European Space Agency