Perth residents can now access real-time data about the air they breathe, with early analysis from the RAC Air Health Monitor revealing nowhere in Perth is immune from unhealthy air.
Western Australians can now monitor and track the air quality anywhere in Perth, using the RAC Air Health Monitor which officially launched today.
Between March and October 2022, more than 1.6 million readings have been taken from the network of sensors, with results showing Perth regularly experiences air pollution higher than levels recommended by the World Health Organisation.
RAC Group Executive Patrick Walker said there was no safe level of air pollution.
“Since monitoring began, all locations have at some point exceeded the healthy standards for air pollution,” Mr Walker said.
“While Australia’s air quality is certainly not the worst in the world, air pollution contributed to more than 3,200 Australian deaths in 2018 – a 26 per cent increase from 2015.”
“Despite these concerning numbers there has been a lack of quality data telling us what, where and when emissions strike in our community.”
“This is the information gap we are addressing through the RAC Air Health Monitor, to help drive down vehicle emissions in WA.”
Perth joins major cities including Paris, London and Los Angeles in the use of this world-leading technology, with sensors provided by Californian technology company Clarity Movement Co, and a platform designed by engineering firm Ramboll.
“We’re proud to see the RAC Air Health Monitor become publicly available,” Clarity Chief Operating Officer, Dr Meiling Gao said.
“This the most comprehensive air sensor monitoring network in Australia, and we’re eager to see what impact it has, in the months and years to come.”
The RAC Air Health Monitor is already the largest air sensor network in the country, with more than 200 sensors planned for installation.
RAC is partnering with a range of schools and local governments, who are hosting air quality sensors –helping create a footprint of nearly 10,000 square kilometres across Perth.
“Insights from the RAC Air Health Monitor will enable and hopefully encourage governments to prioritise transport and planning policies and investments that reduce overall vehicle emissions and create cleaner and healthier air for everyone,” Mr Walker said.
“We also hope to inform and encourage individual behavioural change. We want more people to choose cleaner travel options – to drive less and choose to catch public transport, walk and cycle instead.”
To learn more about the RAC Air Health Monitor visit rac.com.au/airhealth.
Media contact: Laura Gardiner, 0401 703 719 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RAC’s vision is for a safer, more sustainable, and better-connected future for all Western Australians. A more sustainable WA means reducing harmful vehicle emissions for cleaner, healthier air.
Clarity Movement Co. is transforming how communities, businesses and governments understand and respond to air pollution. Clarity provides the most complete, scalable air monitoring solution, with unmatched hardware, software and expert services.
Ramboll is a global engineering and consulting firm that works across markets including transport, planning and urban design, environment and health. Ramboll has more than 80 offices across the globe, and provides air quality management services, including monitoring networks, across a wide range of industries.
What pollutants are measured by the RAC Air Health Monitor?
The RAC Air Health Monitor uses an interactive model which blends air quality data from the sensor network with other sources, including satellites and traffic monitoring services.
The RAC Air Health Monitor measures Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
PM is a measurement of microscopic particles. PM10 refers to particulate matter 10 micrometres or less in diameter, while PM2.5 is 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter. PM can be a mixture of many sources, including vehicle emissions, building and industry emissions, and dust. PM can be inhaled into the lungs and sometimes enter the bloodstream, impacting cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Transport is a major source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in built-up areas. NO2 impacts the respiratory system and can cause bronchitis in children with asthma and reduce lung function.