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Monitoring Air Pollution

Air monitoring methodologies can be divided into five main types, covering a wide range of costs and performance levels. The methods and their relative merits are shown in the table below and discussed in the following section. The use of a particular type of monitoring equipment may need to be justified in review and assessment reports and therefore should be chosen appropriately.

It is also important to choose the most appropriate monitoring location for investigating a specific air pollution source or problem.

Photochemical and Optical Sensor Systems

Sampler Methods These methods collect pollutant samples either by physical or chemical means for subsequent analysis in a laboratory. Typically, a known volume of air is pumped through a collector such as a filter or chemical solution for a known period of time, for subsequent laboratory analysis. These include bubbler samplers for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide and gravimetric filter samplers for PM10 and lead. Sequential instruments with automatic sample changers are available.