A duststorm engulfs Sharjah’s Khalid Lagoon. A new app launched by EAD provides live air quality information, forecasts and alerts for all major cities across the world. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi residents can now plan their outdoor activities based on real time air-quality data available on a smart-device application introduced by the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD).

The free smartphone/tablet application, dubbed Plume Air Report, will offer live air quality data to residents.

The app, developed by Plume Labs, helps residents learn more about the emirate’s air quality in order to better plan for their outdoor activities, said a press release issued by EAD on Monday.

The Plume Air Report can be downloaded free on iOS and Android platforms.

The app provides live air quality information, forecasts, and alerts for all major cities across the world, including Abu Dhabi Emirate.

The app is available in English and Arabic and incorporates data from EAD’s extensive monitoring network as well as historical air quality data sets provided by the EAD.

Ahmed Baharoon, executive director of the Environmental Information, Science and Outreach Management Sector at EAD, said: “Through this app, our goal is to make data more accessible to inform and empower the community to better understand air quality, and better plan outdoor activities based on the quality of air.”

Shaikha Al Hosani, executive director of the Environment Quality Sector at EAD, said the app will give accurate data about unhealthy sand and dust conditions.

“The main challenge with Abu Dhabi’s air quality has always been the desert nature of the emirate and the repeated sand storms that occur during certain seasons of the year. All other pollutants we monitor are within global standards. When these dust storms occur, they can trigger respiratory distress from asthmatic attacks or reactive airway disease, particularly if one is not prepared in advance. This is particularly relevant for populations at risk, including children, the elderly, and those who are ill. While asthma could be chronic, by properly monitoring and managing it, people can enjoy a good quality of life.”

“We have been monitoring and assessing air quality since 2007 through an extensive network of 20 stationary and 2 mobile stations set up across the emirate. This data, collected on a minute-by-minute basis, has helped us to have an accurate and comprehensive understanding of air quality in Abu Dhabi, determine the sources of air pollutants, and develop programmes, plans and strategies to decrease pollution. The Plume Air Report app relies on data from this monitoring network,” Al Hosani said.

Plume Air Report is available for download free on both iOS and Android platforms.

Detailed information on air quality are available through the Air Quality website www.adairquality.ae