I cycle 14 miles each day in London (7 miles each way). I’m getting increasingly worried that I’m breathing in lots of bad stuff. I love my cycle ride into work: It’s the best way to get my brain working in the morning. So I’m not planning to stop cycling. But I would like to figure out which route into work is least polluted.

So I want a portable air quality monitor. It needs to record data at regular intervals (every few seconds) so I can sync it up to my phone’s GPS recording later and see which roads are most polluted (or perhaps the air quality monitor would send data to my phone to be recorded on the phone along with the GPS track).

The short answer is that I can’t find what I want for sale. So I might hack together my own device. But below are some notes with links to the sensors that I did find:

  • Plume Labs provide a “plume air report” - an “urban weather forecast”. Apparently they attached air quality sensors to pigeons (hat tip to @edeverett on Twitter)! They don’t appear to have any hardware for sale.
  • Air Quality Egg “A community-led air quality sensing network that gives people a way to participate in the conversation about air quality.”. Not very portable, as far as I can tell.
  • “Researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have developed a smartphone-connected tool that can sense dust levels, which can be an important metric for some public health issues.” (from MobiHealthNews.com) Measure PM using phone’s camera, I think.
  • Foobot. PM2.5; tVOC; CO2; CO. Might be portable. Might be for sale?
  • ChemiSensse - not portable?
  • aeroqual - make sensors I think
  • Speck - not portable?
  • Atmotube - only CO and VOC?
  • Cheap NO2 sensor in development
  • CleanSpace Tag Portable. BLE. Freevolt. But only measures CO.