Smog Free Tower

Designer Daan Roosegaarde has installed the “largest smog vacuum cleaner in the world” in Rotterdam to help improve the city’s air quality. The seven-meter-tall structure is designed to create a pocket of clean air in its vicinity, offering a respite from hazardous levels of pollution.

According to the designer, it processes 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour – removing ultra-fine smog particles and pumping out clean air using no more electricity than a water boiler. “The Smog Free Tower produces smog-free bubbles of public space, allowing people to breathe and experience clean air for free,” said a statement from Roosegaarde.

Roosegaarde‘s Smog Free Tower was unveiled on 4 September 2015 at Vierhavensstraat 52, following a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project.

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AirCasting is an open-source, end-to-end solution for collecting, displaying, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. The platform consists of wearable sensors that detect changes in your environment and physiology, including a palm-sized air quality monitor called the AirBeam, the AirCasting Android app, the AirCasting website, and wearable LED accessories. By documenting and leveraging health and environmental data to inform personal decision-making and public policy, the AirCasting platform empowers citizen scientists and changemakers.

(Visit AirCasting for more info!)

Habitat Map

HabitatMap is a non-profit environmental health justice organization whose goal is to raise awareness about the impact the environment has on human health. Their online mapping and social networking platform is designed to maximize the impact of community voices on city planning and strengthen ties between organizations and activists working to build greener, greater cities. Participants are encouraged to utilizing their shared advocacy platform to:

  • Alert the public to environmental health hazards
  • Hold polluters accountable for their environmental impacts
  • Highlight urban infrastructures that promote healthy living
  • Identify future opportunities for sustainable urban development
  • Promote policies that enhance equitable access to urban resources

By polluting the environment we end up polluting ourselves in turn. Now, we can measure it and have the ability to share the information globally.

Purple Air: Real-time Air Quality Map

Air quality is a growing concern in the US. Outdoor pollution from cars and machinery can easily enter the home and cause many health problems when inhaled. According to the WHO, an estimated 4.2 million deaths per year is attributed to health conditions where poor air quality can be a major factor.

Air pollution is often worse in urban cities, where there are fewer trees and plants to decrease harmful pollutants in the air. However, there are several rural areas that can be affected by poor air quality as well. This can be due to being downwind from an urban city.

To help people monitor the air quality where they live. PurpleAir has begun the task of mapping a network of air quality sensors to see where pollution is at its highest and lowest across the country.

purpleair_airqualitymap(Above) A look at the PurpleAir Map broadcast of air quality in different city regions of the US.

According to their website, PurpleAir states that they are creating “an air quality monitoring network built on a new generation of Laser particle counters. PurpleAir Sensors use WiFi to report local air quality in real time to the PurpleAir Map.”


As you can see above, the readings range from green (good) to deep purple (hazardous). Keep in mind that these readings of the AQI (Air Quality Index) are real-time and often can vary between Good and Moderate or Warning and Unhealthy for example.

They also provide charts to show the change over hours and days among other information you can check out on their website.

As you might have guessed, air quality below yellow (moderate) can be harmful to your health. In times like these, it may be a good idea to call an hvac repair in Denver or anywhere near your house. Many conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and even lung cancer are associated with bad air quality due to pollutants entering your lungs.

If you notice the air quality in your area is not always in the green you may want to invest in an air purifier or air conditioning unit ( as these can decrease the number of pollutants that you breathe in your home. There are also several houseplants that you can introduce to your home that can absorb pollutants for you.

The picture right now is incomplete as they are still adding sensors to their network. With each sensor they add, they often see readings are often in the yellow (moderate) zone, though when they are in a major city they often see red (unhealthy) and beyond.

PurpleAir has the ability for you to purchase and register your own PA-II Dual Laser Air Quality Sensor to contribute to the data that is being reported in real-time through the network of sensors.