Air pollution instrumentation

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  • From a health perspective, reducing exposure to indoor air pollution (IAP) is and should be the primary objective of household energy interventions. Measuring IAP levels is particularly important given the difficulty in assessing health outcomes directly. Thus reductions in pollution levels can be assessed as a proxy for likely reductions in health outcomes. The Indoor Air Pollution Monitoring module consists of three presentations as well as extensive hands-on training to launch, place and collect the instruments and to download and process the resulting data.

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  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a family of chemical compounds which do not exist in nature but which are manmade. Commercial mixtures are clear, pale yellow liquids manufactured by the replacement of hydrogen atoms on the biphenyl molecule by chlorine. The reaction is controlled according to the percentage replacement of hydrogen and results in a product which contain chlorobiphenyls with one or, more usually, several chlorine atoms attached to each molecule.

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  • In the editors’ preface to the fourth edition it was noted that there was good news and there was bad news. It is the same for this, the fifth edition. One suspects that this will always be the case. The 2004 Nobel Prize for Peace has been awarded to Professor Dr. Wangari Maathai. Dr. Maathai’s award was based on her efforts on behalf of conservation and women’s rights. These efforts were made at great personal risk. In addition, the Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by the requisite number of countries.

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  • Targeting households and firms: influencing location choices. The demand side of balanced urban development involves measures to influence where households and firms choose to locate in an urban area. Although they are not yet well established, particularly in the developing countries, policies to influence location choices have led to some interesting experiments, including a “reverse” zoning scheme in the Netherlands (the “ABC” policy) and a mortgage instrument based on “location efficiency” in the United States.

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  • CO measurement options include bag collection and lab analysis, colour-change diffusion tubes and electro-chemical monitors. PM measurement options include gravimetric monitors (pump and filter method) and light-scattering devices. The advantages and disadvantages of each of these methods are discussed, including cost, ease-of-use, accuracy, size detection and time-keeping. The choice of method depends on the context, i.e. the purpose of the project or programme, the capacity of staff and available financial and human resources.

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  • After the two introductory presentations, participants receive hands-on training in how to operate (launch on a computer, troubleshoot, etc.) the UCB particle monitor, the HOBO CO logger and CO diffusion tubes. During a field trip to a nearby biomass-using home they place the instruments in the kitchen, record important sampling information on a sampling data form and collect basic information about the kitchen and household. A post- monitoring questionnaire characterizes important factors that can affect IAP levels.

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