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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.

Active (Semi-Automatic) Sampling

Automatic Real-Time Point Analyser Methods -These produce high-resolution measurements (typically hourly or shorter period averages) for oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (PM10). Gas chromatography (GC) analysers also provide high-resolution data on benzene, and 1,3-butadiene. The sample is analysed on-line and in real-time. In order to ensure that the data produced are accurate and reliable, a high standard of maintenance, calibration, operational and QA/QC procedures is required.