Frequently Asked Questions
What does BREATHE|Smart measure?
The monitor measures particulate matter in the air, specifically PM2.5 (particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter). Particulates are the deadliest form of air pollution due to their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood stream.
Sources of particulates include vehicle emissions, factories, construction sites and burning of fossil fuels. It is also formed by grilling food on charcoal or gas grills, burning leaves, smoking cigarettes, and burning wood in fireplaces or stoves.
What is PM2.5 and why is it harmful?
Fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 millionths of a metre, known as PM2.5, was the fifth-leading cause of death in the world in 2015, factoring in about 4.1 million global deaths annually. Current evidence suggests that PM2.5 alone causes more deaths and illnesses than all other environmental exposures combined. With smoking on the decline, air pollution now causes more deaths annually than tobacco. While PM2.5 impacts everyone, people with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly are most sensitive to it.
Exposure to PM2.5 has been shown to cause heart attack, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or difficulty breathing, cancer and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.
What is the Air Quality Index (AQI)?
The AQI is an index for reporting air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.
Think of the AQI as a scale that runs from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. For example, an AQI value of 50 represents good air quality with little potential to affect public health, while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality.
For more information on AQI, click https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqibasics.aqi
What can BREATHE|Smart do for me?
Most of the time we cannot see air pollution, so people don’t realise how bad it is, but over 90% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline limits. BREATHE|Smart makes the invisible, visible, and alerts you when pollution levels are harmful to the health of you and your family.
How does BREATHE|Smart measure air pollution?
BREATHE|Smart is built around a highly accurate laser sensor. Air is drawn into the device through the side vents onto the sensor which uses laser scattering technology to calculate the number and size of microscopic air pollutants. Measurements are taken every second and displayed on the screen so you can easily see whats in the air around you.
Do I need a smartphone to make BREATHE|SMART work?
No, BREATHE|Smart is a stand-alone device, so you don’t need a smartphone, app or subscription to make it work. Simply switch it on and the air quality will be displayed on the screen.
If the air is bad, what can I do about it?
BREATHE|Smart is designed to help you make lifestyle choices so you can breathe cleaner air. Studies have shown that you can reduce your exposure by as much as 50% simply by taking alternative routes. With BREATHE|Smart, you can find safer streets, whether you are walking or cycling to work, exercising, or playing in the park.
At home, BREATHE|Smart will sound alarms when the air quality deteriorates and let you know when you need to ventilate, especially useful in the kitchen or nursery.
Where can I use it?
Everywhere! BREATHE|Smart has been designed to be genuinely portable, so it works at home and on the go when you need it most. Clip it to your bike, pram or stroller with the included strap, or use it at home in the kitchen, bedroom or nursery.