Air Pollution

Air pollution is the leading avoidable cause of death worldwide, causing at least 8 million premature deaths a year.

With smoking on the decline, air pollution now causes more deaths annually than tobacco.

The BREATHE|Smart monitor measures particulate matter in the air, specifically PM2.5, the deadliest form of air pollution due to their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood stream.

Exposure to PM2.5 has multiple health impacts. Short term include irritation in the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath. A prolonged exposure to PM2.5 can cause permanent respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and cancer.

While PM2.5 impacts everyone, people with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly are most sensitive to it.


Air pollution - the facts

  • According to a 2014 World Health Organisation report, air pollution in 2012 caused the premature deaths of around 8 million people worldwide.

  • Children are particularly at risk due to the immaturity of their respiratory organ systems.

  • A 2014 WHO worldwide survey on maternal health found a statistically significant association between low birth weights and increased levels of exposure to PM2.5.

  • PM2.5 includes pollutants such as sulphates, nitrates and black carbon, which penetrate deep into the lungs and in the cardiovascular system, posing the greatest risks to human health.

  • Approximately 90% of the population living in cities in 2014 was exposed to particulate matter in concentrations exceeding the WHO air quality guidelines.

Indoor air

Its not just outside air pollution that is the problem as increasingly energy-efficient airtight buildings make our indoor air a deadly threat. 

We spend, on average, 90% of our time indoors and for children this can be near 100%.  Children breathe faster than adults and their lungs are still developing, magnifying the impacts of ingesting harmful particulates.

Sources of indoor air pollution include smoking, faulty boilers, gas cookers and heaters, as well as irritant chemicals from new furniture, air fresheners and household cleaning products. 

The BREATHE|Smart monitor will let you know when you need to increase ventilation to reduce the harmful effects of poor air quality.


What can you do to protect your health when particle pollution is high?

  • Avoid exercising or working outdoors for long periods of time

  • Choose less strenuous outdoor activities

  • Avoid exercising near busy roads

  • Postpone outdoor recreational activities

  • Avoid indoor sources of particles such as wood burning stoves, fireplaces and candles.


Learn how how air pollution slips unnoticed past our body's defences causing deaths from heart attack, strokes, lung disease and cancer.