What does Airmonitor Plus measure?

Modified on Mon, 29 Jan 2024 at 08:24 PM

Airmonitor Plus measures 8 key environmental factors; PM1, PM2.5, PM10, TVOC, CO2, HCHO, Temperature, and Humidity, giving you a complete understanding of your indoor air quality. 


PM1 particles, referring to particulate matter with a diameter of 1.0 micrometers or less, represent a subset of airborne particles that are incredibly fine and often go unnoticed. Despite their small size, PM1 particles can have significant health implications as they can penetrate deep into the respiratory system, reaching the lungs and potentially entering the bloodstream.

Health impacts associated with PM1 exposure include respiratory issues such as aggravated asthma, bronchitis, and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Due to their minuscule size, PM1 particles have an increased potential to carry toxic substances and pose a more considerable threat to human health compared to larger particles.

Common sources of PM1 particles include vehicular emissions, industrial activities, combustion processes, and even indoor sources like cooking or burning candles. These particles can also be formed through the transformation of precursor gases in the atmosphere. Due to their fine nature, PM1 particles can remain suspended in the air for extended periods, making it essential to monitor and manage their levels to safeguard public health. 


Particulate matter (PM) is a term used to describe the mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air which can be human-made or naturally occurring.  PM2.5 are particles with a diameter less than 2.5 micron and is also known as fine particulate matter (2.5 microns is one 400th of a millimetre).

Inhalation of particulate pollution can have adverse health impacts and there is no safe level.

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. Exposure during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight, pre-term birth and small gestational age births.

People who are sensitive to air pollution might experience symptoms when PM2.5 levels are high. This includes people with heart or lung conditions. Short term symptoms can include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. Current evidence suggests that PM2.5 alone causes more deaths and illnesses than all other environmental exposures combined.

Common sources of PM2.5 particles include smoke from fires, smoke from wood heaters, vehicle emissions and industry.


PM10 particles, with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less, constitute a diverse range of inhalable particles found in the air. These particles, though larger than PM1 and PM2.5, still pose significant health risks as they can penetrate deep into the respiratory system when inhaled. Common health impacts associated with exposure to PM10 particles include respiratory and cardiovascular issues, particularly in individuals with pre-existing conditions such as asthma or heart disease.

The sources of PM10 particles are diverse and encompass both natural and anthropogenic activities. Natural sources include windblown dust, wildfires, and volcanic eruptions. Anthropogenic sources involve industrial processes, construction activities, vehicular emissions, and the combustion of fossil fuels. These particles can also originate from agricultural practices and the resuspension of dust from paved and unpaved roads.

Due to their larger size compared to finer particles, PM10 particles tend to settle more quickly but can still travel significant distances. Monitoring and managing PM10 levels are crucial for air quality control, especially in urban areas and regions with high industrial or vehicular activities. I


Typical outdoor levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) are around 400 parts per million (ppm), and indoor levels below 600ppm are considered good.  Above this, it can affect cognitive ability and comfort with symptoms including drowsiness, headaches, loss of concentration, increased heart rate and nausea.

CO2 is exhaled by humans with other aerosols containing SARS-CoV-2 by those infected with Covid-19 and can be used as a proxy of SARS-CoV-2 concentrations indoors. So by monitoring CO2 levels, we have a measure of indoor aerosol transmission risk for COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. 


Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids and can be both human-made and naturally occurring.  VOCs are not necessarily acutely toxic but have compounding long-term effects can be dangerous to human health.

Common sources of VOCs include paints, solvents, preservatives, aerosols, cleaning products, air fresheners, pesticides, building materials, furnishings, office equipment, glues, and adhesives.
As with other pollutants, the extent of health effects will depend on levels an exposure and length of time exposed. Immediate symptoms include eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, and visual impairment, while longer terms effects include damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, loss of coordination and nausea and some organics are known to cause cancer in humans.

Since many people spend much of their time indoors, long-term exposure to VOCs in the indoor environment can contribute to sick building syndrome, symptoms of which include headaches, mucous membrane irritation, asthma-like symptoms, skin irritation and dryness.

Reducing Exposure;
•Increase ventilation when using products containing VOCs.
•Do not store open containers of unused paints and similar materials.
•Use household products according to manufacturer’s instructions.
•Never mix household care products unless directed on the label.

HCHO (Formaldehyde)

Formaldehyde (HCHO) is a colorless, strong-smelling gas commonly found in the air, and its presence can have notable health implications. This organic compound is used in various industrial processes and can also be emitted from certain household products, leading to indoor and outdoor exposure.

Health impacts associated with formaldehyde exposure include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as respiratory symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. Prolonged or high-level exposure may contribute to more severe health effects, including an increased risk of certain respiratory conditions and potential carcinogenicity.

Common sources of formaldehyde include building materials like pressed wood products, glues, and insulation. Household items such as furniture, carpets, and certain cleaning products can also emit formaldehyde. Additionally, combustion processes, tobacco smoke, and vehicle emissions contribute to outdoor formaldehyde levels.

Monitoring and controlling formaldehyde levels are crucial for maintaining indoor air quality and mitigating associated health risks. Proper ventilation, use of formaldehyde-free products, and minimizing indoor sources can help reduce exposure.


We measure temperature as it contributes to indoor comfort and productivity.  Higher temperatures can contribute to the formation of VOCs and other pollutants and lead to dehydration and exacerbate health conditions. Both low and high temperatures are associated with increases in cardiovascular disease mortality.   

Relative Humidity

Relative humidity (RH) refers to the percentage of water vapour in the air at a given temperature, compared with water vapour that the air is capable of holding at that temperature. When the air at a certain temperature has all the water vapour it can hold at that temperature, the relative humidity is said to be 100%. When the relative humidity of a place is too high or too low, it can cause health problems, discomfort and generally less hygienic atmosphere.

For example, at higher levels of indoor relative humidity (above 60%), mould and mildew begin to form, whereas RH of less than 30% can cause irritation of the skin and dry eyes. The mucous membranes can also start drying, which may reduce the person’s resistance towards upper respiratory illness.

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