Dubai: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has launched an ambient air quality monitoring station at its headquarters in Dubai as part of wider efforts to keep air pollution in check.
The new station is the latest addition to 41 air quality monitoring stations operational across the UAE that conform with specifications approved by the European Union and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Dr Thani Bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, inaugurated the station, which has been developed in partnership with BDH Middle East.
The station is equipped with gas sensors for nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, carbon monoxide, and ground ozone. Apart from the gas sensors, the device comprises dust particle sensors for detecting PM10 and PM2.5 sized suspended particulate matter in air, as well as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction sensors for accurate measurement and analysis of pollution parameters.
Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “Ambient air monitoring is an integral part of effective air quality management. In the UAE, air quality is a priority given the direct and indirect implications it can have on health, the economy and the environment. The National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021 outlines as one of its objectives the improvement of the air quality by 90 per cent over current levels by 2021.”
He added: “Air monitoring stations keep air pollution in check, mainly around urban areas that see far higher concentration levels of pollutants. The readings they provide play a vital role in making informed decisions to help the nation achieve its targets. We are confident we will see enhanced projects and initiatives that aim to cut down the levels of pollutants emitted into the air we breathe.”
In September, the ministry launched the UAE Air Quality Index (UAE AQI) on its smart app. The index displays real-time readings of the satellite-monitored AQI across the UAE. Using specific algorithms, it forecasts the AQI status for up to three days in advance, in addition to predicting the concentration of dust and PM2.5 sized suspended particulate matter.