New Particle Matter – Dust Sensor (PM1 / PM2.5 / PM10)

What is particle pollution?

Particle pollution (also known as “particulate matter”) in the air includes a mixture of solids and liquid droplets. Some particles are emitted directly; others are formed in the atmosphere when other pollutants react. Particles come in a wide range of sizes. Those less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) are so small that they can get into the lungs, potentially causing serious health problems. Ten micrometers is smaller than the width of a single human hair.

Skyline of Jena, Germany, in dusty morning

Skyline of Jena, Germany, in dusty morning

The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can affect the lungs and heart. Larger particles are of less concern, although they can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat.

  • Fine particles (PM2.5). Particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter are called “fine” particles. Sources of fine particles include all types of combustion, also motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, and some industrial processes. PM2.5 contains more toxic heavy metals and hazardous organic pollutants and can go directly to the lungs. It is more easily attached to bacteria and viruses in the environment, so the particles have greater impact on ecology and human health.
  • Coarse dust particles. Particles between 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter are referred to as “coarse.” Sources of coarse particles include crushing or grinding operations, and dust stirred up by vehicles traveling on roads.

How can particles affect your health?

Long-term exposure, is associated with problems such as reduced lung function and the development of chronic bronchitis and even premature death.

Short-term exposure to particles (hours or days) can aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and may also increase susceptibility to respiratory infections. In people with heart disease, short-term exposure is linked to heart attacks and arrhythmias. Healthy children and adults may experience temporary minor irritation when particle levels are elevated.

About the Libelium Particle Matter Sensor:

The new particle matter sensor uses light scattering theory and particle counting technology and can accurately detect the number of particles in its surroundings to provide useful reference data for environmental improvement. With the new dust sensor we can obtain information about particle size and density ranging from 1um to 10um (PM1 / PM2.5 / PM10).

  • Sampling interval: 200ms
  • Flow rate: 1L/min
  • Particle count rate: 20,000 particles/second

Plug & Sense! Smart Environment PRO with new particle matter - dust sensor (PM1 / PM2.5 / PM10)

Plug & Sense! Smart Environment PRO with new particle matter – dust sensor (PM1 / PM2.5 / PM10)

What about pollen particles?

Libelium is currently integrating a new particle sensor focused on the detection of pollen particles. These particles are in the range of 10um to 100um and need complementary technology tfor proper measurement. The pollen sensor detects the particle thorough the light scattering method, using one light emitter and two light receptors, and discriminates pollen from other particles with two factors: “scattered light intensity” and “degree of polarization”.

With this capability, the node will be able to detect airborne particles and discriminate cedar pollen from road dust by checking scattered light intensity and polarization degree.

Plug & Sense! Smart Environment PRO with new particle matter - dust sensor (PM1 / PM2.5 / PM10)

Plug & Sense! Smart Environment PRO with new particle matter – dust sensor (PM1 / PM2.5 / PM10)

The Particle Matter – Dust Sensor have been included in the new Gases PRO Sensor Board (this board has a wider range of gas sensors available and highly increased accuracy), and is one of the key features of Libelium’s new Smart Cities sensing solution, Smart Environment PRO.

For more Technical information go to Waspmote and Plug & Sense! website, and to the Gases PRO Technical Guide .

For more information about the new Particle Matter – Dust Sensor contact the Libelium Commercial Department.