Pollutant measurement backpacks to be carried by students in Melbourne’s inner west

Pupils at Ardeer, Deer Park North, Kingsville, Newport Lakes, Spotswood and Wembley Primary Schools will be fitted with Dyson air quality backpacks at a time of their choosing for four days Monday to Thursday over the coming months.

The backpacks serve as a portable air sensor, measuring particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide from car exhaust, cigarette smoke, sulfur dioxide from heavy industry, organic compounds and carbon dioxide.

The results will be analyzed by Deakin researchers, who will eventually explain to the students how the quality of the air they breathe could be improved.

The project aims to empower children to be air quality scientists, said lead researcher Kate Lycett.

“As our future leaders, they will face many complex issues, including air pollution and its effects,” she said.


“We hope the project will spark children’s scientific curiosity, improve our understanding of air pollution and ultimately lead to behavioral changes and government policy changes to reduce exposure to air pollution in Melbourne’s inner west.”

The study will complement the Environmental Protection Agency’s existing air quality monitoring to drive evidence, health advice and decision-making, said senior environmental scientist Mark Patrick Taylor.

The backpacks were originally developed by Dyson for a similar project in the UK, which led to more than 30 per cent of a group of children deciding to change the way they commute to reduce their exposure to air pollution.

The results of the Breathe Melbourne study are expected to be published later this year.

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https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/kids-in-asthma-hotspot-to-wear-pollution-sensing-backpacks-to-school-20230307-p5cpz8.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national Pollutant measurement backpacks to be carried by students in Melbourne’s inner west

Justin Scacco

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