Vaisala Measures Air Quality in the First City-Wide System in the World

May 16, 2017
Press Releases

Vaisala Press Release May 16, 2017 at 8.00 a.m.

Vaisala Measures Air Quality in the First City-Wide System in the World

Vaisala instruments will measure the air quality in the Helsinki region in a new measurement network to be built by the Smart & Clean project parties -Vaisala, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY, University of Helsinki, Pegasor, and Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation - during 2017 and 2018. The network will be the first air quality monitoring system of such accuracy in the world to cover the whole city.

The new monitoring network will help compile much more comprehensive information about the air quality in different parts of the Helsinki metropolitan region. The Smart & Clean project aims at improving air quality in the Helsinki region as well as creating new, innovative applications, and piloting solutions suitable for export.

Reference measurement stations utilizing traditional methods are very expensive, so their number and regional coverage is highly limited. The measurement instruments launched by Vaisala in the fall of 2016 are based on new technology and can be used to significantly improve local coverage of the measurements at a very reasonable cost.

"Actions taken to improve air quality can only be successful when based on measured data which again gives rise to insights. Air quality varies significantly even in very small areas due to e.g. weather, emissions, and traffic flows, so we need local information to improve people's quality of life and to achieve a deep understanding of metropolitan air quality," says Jarkko Sairanen, Vaisala EVP for the Weather Business Area.

Air quality is a growing health problem around the world. More than 80% of people living in urban areas are exposed to air pollution levels that exceed WHO limits. According to WHO estimates, approximately 7 million people died prematurely because of air pollution in 2012. While all regions of the world are affected, populations in low-income and densely populated cities are the most impacted. Major cities in Europe, such as Paris or London, also suffer from this problem.

In Finland, air quality is generally good, but even here 40% of city dwellers get symptoms from street dust, and air pollution is estimated to cause about 1,600 premature deaths per year.

The increase in health problems and premature deaths have a direct impact on the economy through higher medical expenses and loss of productivity.

The new air quality monitoring system uses Vaisala's innovative AQT400 series transmitters. They are a low-cost solution to measuring reliably the most important air pollutants: particles, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide.

The instruments are easy to install and deploy as well as to maintain. They can also be connected to Vaisala's weather measurement equipment as well as different air quality modeling systems. The combination can significantly improve the reliability of real-time air quality measurements in diverse terrain and city environments.

The project uses the latest technology and cutting-edge air quality knowhow from Finland.

Further information:

Jarkko Sairanen
Vaisala EVP for the Weather Business Area
Tel. +358 50 552 7336
[email protected]

Marina Stenfors
Communications Manager
Tel. +358 50 364 4909
[email protected]

Vaisala is a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. Building on 80 years of experience, Vaisala contributes to a better quality of life by providing a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services for chosen weather-related and industrial markets. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs approximately 1,600 professionals worldwide and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange.

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