Affordable, accurate air quality monitoring for private individuals

It had been the case up until very recently that the only way to monitor the air was using  reference monitoring equipment, normally house in large steel containers. This is still the case. For those organisations who are required to report as part of the AURN(automated urban and rural network) then large reference analysers which are regularly maintained and calibrated is now the case.

However,what if you needed to to have some kind of indication as to how they air changed within your location and that it was reasonably accurate.

This is where the indicative monitoring market become useful.

Indicative Monitors

Indicative monitors tend to use low cell technology as well as low cost laser, Ir and pid technology.

what can they measure. (I will tell you a bit more about these pollutants and where they come from later)

Particulate Matter

PM10, PM 2.5 and PM1

CO- Carbon Monoxide

CO2- Carbon Dioxide

NO-Nitric Oxide

NO2-Nitrogen Dioxide

SO2- Sulphur Dioxide

Airmite mini Dust plus 1 gas
compact remote dust & gas monitor

They are now in an affordable range to the person in the street,

What do we mean by affordable and how good is an affordable unit?

This is where a bit of a minefield opens up. There are many many variants of product on the internet. Having worked with major consultants and the HSE it is now quite apparent which products are useful

Quality vs Quantity

The products we use and test tend to fall within the price range of £3,000 to £6,000. The price will vary from unit to unit depending on how it is configured. A unit that can monitor one gas and particulate matter only would be at the lower end of the price spectrum as compared with a four gas and particulate unit.

My words of cautious are :

1,beware purchasing any  product for a specialist project that isnt sold by a company who is conversant  with monitoring for pollutants

2, Many low cost units do not measure the parameters they state the will measure. For instance we compared a budget £400 product with a £5,000 product and introduce test gases into the budget product and the higher priced unit. The higher priced unit showed good correlation with the test gas. The budget one – did not register

How might you use your date?  when you look at many government sites, it some becomes apparent that the data for different species are averaged according to different requirements. So it is important to understand how your going to average it.

Finally and very importantly – why are you doing this work? if it is important, we would recommend that you work with your regulating authority and establish with them a firm objective of what you are trying to do . This is difficult. they may have another political agenda.


What other features may be important:

A Data Dashboard – This often requires a yearly subscription to the company that hosts your data.

The data dashboard should show time based trends including peaks and averages. it should allow you to down load data into a spreadsheet.

Status: Information of the unit will be provided by the supporting company, whether the unit is online or if it has a fault

Particulate Matter : Two types of sampling are currently available : Analysers with heated head inlets and those without. The ones without require a very specific algorithm in                                    order to ensure that moisture droplets are not counted as particulate. In order for this to occur the temperature and humidity of the sample also needs to be measures                                            separately

GPS                         To enable the location of the unit to be shown on Google maps or similar


Wifi                         To acquire data that you can see on the data dashboard , the instrument has to communicate via wifi. You will need to ensure that you know what company supplies the best                                   wifi coverage in your area for 4G. You will need to supply a SIMcard for this, we normally install this on your behalf

Power                     The units can typically be powered from a 7-24vdc source, 110v ac or 240V. It is always recommend that a circuit breaker be used. There is also a solar kit, which requires a                                        large lead acid battery to be used with it. This is good for sunny climates

Installation            Most of our units are supplied with a post/wall mounting kit. It typically takes 30mins to get up and running


Servicing & Cell Replacment

This typically occurs every 2 years sometimes longer depending on the environment the monitors have been in and the status of the cells/laser


Examples of Monitoring Diesel Vehicals

Roadside Monitoring or vehicle emissions. The most basic form of monitoring would be the requirement to monitor particulate, However not just the total Inhalable particulate. We also are required to monitor the fine particulate, the smaller sized 2.5 micron (pm2.5) and less. This is respirable dust and very harmful

As well particulate other gases which are associated with diesel engined vehicles are NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide) and NO(Nitric Oxide)

we are currently in the process of finalising the development of a two gas and dust sampler for this specific application


Where Next : Once you have  acquired data, you might wish to compare to national standard or european standards. Please note these are indicative levels not reference levels, but they are good to be used as to highlight an area of concern

Further Reading





I hope this brief guide has helped

please contact








Air Testing & Air Monitoring – services and devices

c;lean air monitring

Environmental Monitoring is a UK leader in the supply of equipment, training and advice in the following areas:

  • Workplace exposure monitoring – with reference to air and noise monitoring. We offer a unique service of hire with technical support.

This enables you to obtain a full workplace exposure monitoring report, complying with the HSE monitoring requirements, whilst gaining greater in-depth knowledge of the monitoring system. It is also a more cost saving approach to monitoring


Kendal’s Mint Cake Fresh Air

c;lean air monitring

We have three things in abundance in Kendal in Cumbria:


Kendal Mint Cake

Clean Fresh Air

Environmental Monitoring can provide an app driven air monitor, so you too can have mint cake fresh air

My name is Adrian Thiedeman, I live in Kendal in Cumbria. I have a background in applied chemistry, air & water pollution control and have spent the majority of my life providing monitoring solutions to consultants, universities, Government agencies and large manufacturers.

In the UK were are aiming to meet the WHO ( World Health Organisations) recommendations on fine particulate. Only today (21st of Feb 2020) The Government announced a ban on burning coal and certain logs on open fires and log burners.

We are constantly talking about traffic congestion and the pollution created by diesel vehicles, which includes fine particulate(pm10, pm2.5 and pm1) as well as Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

So what are we offering? Some organisation require very accurate professional monitoring equipment and testing services. Environmental Monitoring provide workplace exposure monitoring testing.

The type of organisations and people who want to know about their air quality ( pm10/pm2.5 and NO2) include Schools and colleges, nurseries, local authorities, fires services, public buildings, offices , architects, building engineers, facility managers

However many locations require a small unobtrusive device to run in the background and to provide a 24/7 outline into how good the air quality is, all on a neat easy to read app.

Environmental Monitoring provide a simple traffic light guide system or for an additional fee monthly reports. 01539 727878



Air You Sitting Comfortably ?

Please excuse the pun. Yes it is intended

Almost everyday we read about air pollution, we see pictures of buses and lorries pushing out large volumes of smoke and gas. We are then told about the need for electric car and the need to change our behaviour to slow down and stop climate change.

But what about in the home? Whilst we have constituents of outdoor road side pollution within our buildings we also have other items

  • Products of combustion from gas cookers ( gas and fine particulate)
  • Dust and gas from open fires and log burners
  • VOC’s from furniture, carpets and curtains

A recent report from the WHO suggested that certain potential hazards in the home required stricter guidelines, by monitoring indoor pollutants we can build a better picture of what we are surrounded by. This gives us the opportunity to regulate the flow of fresh air into our homes and to control the devices that contribute to poorer air quality

The 21st Century is here! and with it the amazing technology that allows us to talk to devise and control other systems. So as well as having you fridge talk to your phone to let you know how your tomatoes doing, or having your phone switch your lights on , you might want to use it to look around your house and get feel of the true quality of your environment.

Environmental Monitoring sell and hire a range of different indoor air quality monitoring systems and outdoor air quality systems. We can provide monthly reports and expert assistance. Please scroll down to view some data. This is the detailed professional version. We provide a simpler version which use a traffic light analogy i.e green, amber or red ( good, fair or poor air quality)

My name is Adrian Thiedeman. I have a background in applied chemistry, air and water pollution monitoring and have worked for a number of large consultants and test houses. Amongst our clients have been GSK, Rolls- Royce, Pepsi- Cola

please contact, 07799626406

Workplace Exposure Monitoring Training

by Environmental Monitoring

Environmental Monitoring are approached by dozens of companies every week who yearn to learn a bit more of what appears to them as the “black art” of monitoring.

In most cases this is for “workplace exposure monitoring”Often what happens is that the client is under pressure to obtain something, some device that will provide results but all done at the lowest possible price.

In many cases an internet search will reveal a plethora of devices that can offer a myriad of results aligned to dust, gas and a whole host of parameters all for less the £100. It appears to good to be true, sadly it often is.

Currently, the current recognised method of monitoring is using a filter paper and pump. It would follow the following regime

  • What are we monitoring? dust, aerosol, gas
  • What is the method of monitoring?

Once we have the correct method of monitoring we can define

  • The type of equipment to use i.e pump and filter head,
  • The flow rate and settings
  • The calibration method
  • The method of sampling
  • Working with a laboratory and obtaining results
  • The calculations
  • Report Writing

The additional part of the jigsaw that is required to complete the above, is training. In order that you apply your work place exposure monitoring methods correctly you will require training. Environmental Monitoring provides training to cover training for workplace dust exposure monitoring

Indicative monitoring. Real time methods provide a useful indication of dust concentration within the workplace. However it is important to note the following :

  • There is no current indoor air quality monitoring standard
  • There is no current real time indoor air quality monitoring standard
  • There is no real time work place exposore monitoring for dust

However that said, real time monitoring provide invaluable information especially where aerosols are concerned

The very latest systems can provide real time measurement of dust and a number of gases. Handheld variants provide accurate measurement of pm2.5, pm10 and a single gas

The most important thing to follow are monitoring standards for real time monitoring

Real Time Workplace Dust & Gas Monitoring

Environmental Monitoring( supply a range of unique real time monitors designed for both workplace monitoring and indoor air quality.

The unique features: real time remote monitoring of dust and gas to any computer in the world. Alarm on critical levels via phone or visual indicator . The beauty of the product is that is so simple to set up and use : typically 20 mins

The number one question presented to Environmental Monitoring is can I monitor dust and gas, specifically NO2 in my work environment continuously and get some kind of visual warning when the quality of the air becomes poor. Well yes you can. There are now two options of monitoring device. The first, the airmite, continually monitors dust as fine particulate such as PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 together with a choice of 4 gas from NO2, NO, O3, SO2, CO2, CO as well as VOC’s by photo ionisation detector (pid). Data logging is real time and user definable from 1 second upwards

  • What makes it outstanding: The box is particularly well designed, not only will it with stand radio frequency interference (rfi) it will also with stand temp and relative humidity fluctuations in the harshest environments. The results it gives are both accurate and reliable

For cost effective, reliable monitoring for dust in you work place, office , building school, university ,hospital. Contact Environmental Monitoring. We can not only sell this product we also hire it. Hire Rates start from £450/week , Environmental Monitoring provide advice on sensor choice and locating the device. we provide a set up and reporting service

New Device Launch. From February a new handheld single gas and dust monitoring device is available. Contact for info

Pid Hire & Sales

Environmental Monitoring are a specialist supplier of pid’s ( photo ionisation detectors) for hire and sale. What makes us different? When you hire from us, immediately your getting an expert advising you. We will go through your monitoring application and determine whether if the instrument if suitable for your application. Not all vapours can be monitored and measured using a pid. it may require an fid, or infra red monitor, it may even by ftir or gc monitoring that is required. For speciation the simplest method is using absorption tubes followed by analysis.

For hire prices contact our hire rates start at £75 for a personal worn pid, Hand helds start at £100

Recently a pharmaceutical client needed to measure a specific solvent in a vent stream. However we were able to determine that two factors made it not useable. 1st the the ionisation potential was such that it would not be visible and secondly there was moisture in the stream. This would cause the lamp not to work

In order for a gas to be “visible” the ionisation potential(ip) of the gas being monitored must be less than that of the lamp. A standard lamp has a IP of 10.6 eV so that a solvent such as IPA with an IP of 10.1 will be “visible” and can therefore by monitored. Whereas a substance such as carbon tetrachloride has an ip of 11.47. it will not be “visible” to a 10.6 eV lamp but can been “visible” to a 11.7 eV lamp

For further information and help with you monitoring contact Environmental Monitoring

Air Quality Nuisance Monitoring

by Environmental Monitoring

Ref BS 5228 1-2009 The control of noise and vibration of construction sites and open sites came into practice on the 21st Feb 2014 and 3rd June 2014 respectively

Under section 71 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, the Secretary of State may give guidance on appropriate methods for minimising noise by approving codes of practice. The Secretary of State is required to approve a code for the carrying out of works to which section 60 of the Act applies. Section 60 applies to construction works, which include building and road works, demolition, dredging and other works of engineering construction.

Section 60 and 61 Notices. These are used by the authority to impose specific conditions on the construction or demolition site. They may imposes certain conditions on the site such as : Working hours, Noise limits and Working practices

How can monitoring be undertaken reasonably and reliably. A real time monitoring device is usually placed at the boundary that requires monitoring or close to a point where nuisance may occur. The monitors monitor noise, vibration and dust on a real time basis. They have the ability to sent text alerts should a breach occur and can configured to provide a fully functioning report

Em-monitors is able to provide boundary monitoring equipment to your site either for hire or for sale. We can provide it direct to your site, provide connection help and supply training on how to configure your report. We can even provide monthly reports direct to you.

The most important part about any form of monitoring are:

Why we are monitoring? -Legislation

How we are monitoring: Method of monitoring ( protocol and guidance method)

What we are monitoring and accuracy. Equipment and validation of equipment

Air Quality/IAQ Monitoring

By Adrian Thiedeman of Environmental Monitoring.

There is an increasing requirement to monitor the air for dust and gas in the streets where we live, work and play. There is also now an increasing movement to be able to monitor dust and gas within the workplace and home.

Environmental Monitoring has teamed up with an organisation that has spent many many years designing a reliable and stable monitor.

The monitor is able to detect fine respirable particulate & ambient gas levels to ppb concentrations.Together with GPS & remote datalogging the unit is able to detect and record the following :

PM1, PM2.5 and Pm10 simultaneously on real time basis by remote data logging. whilst addition to this it can monitor any 4 gases from a selection of (NO,NO2, O3, SO2,CO and H2S).There is also an option for CO2 monitoring and the unit can be configured to monitor VOC’s at the expense of one of the gases. The rate at which this is logged is used definable

The monitor offers a number of solutions to the user. It provides real time data that is remotely accessible,via a 4G or ethernet connection. It also has on board logging facility. Power: The unit is directly configurable f0r 90 to 230v AC or 7-24DC with an option to be solar powered

Stable : both electronically and environmentally. This means the “electronic noise” that could affect the low level operation of the unit has been reduced to a minimum. The case has been designed to ensure it allows perfect 4G/ethernet communications and a robust capability to withstand harsh environments. The unit is lightweight and can be pole or wall mounted

Set up time: typically 20mins

What is required?

Too often time is spent with expensive certification systems. Whilst this offers a certain course of validation, It is often costly, prevents innovation and competition but moreover it can nurture poor science. It is therefore important that monitoring is method related, not just instrument specific

So what we are seeking to develop is a good set of working practices. A standard method of ambient air monitoring for low cost multiparameter real time monitors

For Further information please contact 01539 727878