Project: AirVisual

Did you know that, according to WHO, polluted air is responsible for 1/8 of deaths worldwide? And while that may seem like an easy statistic to wave aside if you live in the U.S., Americans certainly aren’t exempt from the ill-effects of poor air—in fact, the EPA estimates the one-third of Americans are at risk of health risks due to small particle air pollution. Poor, stagnant can also account for headaches, anxiety, and fatigue, and over time may increase risk of heart disease and stroke.  Air pollution is certainly a huge global issue, and one that won’t be magically disappearing anytime soon, unless as a nation, and world, we take action.

Enter AirVisual, an online, crowd-sourced social enterprise dedicated to spreading awareness and education about air quality. They offer historical, real-time, and forecast air quality data so citizens can make informed choices about spending time outdoors, exercising, driving, air filtration, etc. On the most basic level, you can visit their home page, enter your location, and get a breakdown of the air quality in your area. Or, download the AirVisual app and get updates on the go! You can also check out the real-time world map that shows an interesting overview of air pollution in different regions, with tools to browse by country, and an index of air pollution worldwide.

AirVisual isn’t just an air-quality indexing site, however, but a powerful educational resource. Their blog contains a number of really interesting posts about different issues related to healthy air. For example, most of us probably already know about PM2.5—the particles in the air due to soot, dust, smoke, etc. That’s what we usually hear about when air quality is discussed. But, did you know that CO2 can pose a health threat too, and it often comes in the form of stagnant air when we are inside, hiding from PM2.5? I didn’t, until I read this post. You’d better believe I have my window cracked as I write this article! This is practical, useful knowledge that we can use to improve our health.

Interested in a more in-depth analysis of the air in your home or workspace? Want to contribute to the cause and spread the word about the risks of unhealthy air? Well, AirVisual is offering you a way to do just that–with their AirVisual Node, the most precise air quality monitor on the market. It’s of medical-grade quality to cater to those with special health risks such as asthma, COPD, and lung cancer. The AirVisual Node gives real-time readings of the indoor air quality, outdoor air quality, CO2 levels, and temperature and humidity of your specific environment. Not only can this help YOU monitor and remedy poor air in your environment, but you provide AirVisual with more data points for their public air quality information. In addition, the crowd-sourcing from this project is allowing them to fund initiatives such as offering Phnom Penh, Cambodia their first-ever outdoor air pollution monitor. Check out their Indiegogo site for more details—and now, go get some fresh air!

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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