AIIMS to give sensors to school kids to monitor their air pollution exposure

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The AIIMS will provide wearable sensors to school-going asthmatic children in the national capital which will consistently monitor their exposure to air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, to facilitate a study in the matter. Assistant professor in the pulmonology department, AIIMS, Dr Karan Madan said these pollution sensors are lightweight, easy to strap around the waist and will generate a comprehensive data on their air pollution exposure throughout the day.

As a part of the study, being conducted in collaboration with IIT-Delhi, University of Edinburgh, Imperial College of London, and Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai, these wearable sensors will be given to the children for a week.

“These high-quality sensors will give us data on how much a child is exposed to air pollution while they are in school, travelling, or are at home. This will help us assess its impact on their health,” Dr Madan said.

He said, “These belts will provide us with a real-time pollution exposure information and will get uploaded on the central information server which is recording the pollution levels.”

According to AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, these sensors will given to a child for a week and if feasible will be given for longer periods.

“It will help us study how the changing levels of pollution impact and affect the health of a child and also establish a connection between the indoor and outdoor pollution,” he said.

The study is funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Medical Research Centre, the United Kingdom.

Dr Madan said screening and enrolment of children for the study has began.

“It will be a two-way process — we are identifying the children from among those who come our clinic seeking treatment for asthma, and also are identifying schools where we can go and conduct the study, likely to be completed within two years.”

In addition to the wearable sensors, a sensor will also be placed at the home of a child and one at the school.

Delhi’s air quality fell in the ‘poor’ category Thursday as light showers brought down the pollution level slightly in the national capital, authorities said.

The overall air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 237 which falls in the ‘poor’ category, according to data by the Central Pollution Control Board.

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