In early summer, a double premiere was celebrated during the installation of a SwisensPoleno measurement system in Manchester (UK). On the one hand, the first nationwide real-time pollen concentrations were measured. On the other hand, with the ongoing crisis and various lockdown scenarios, the first remotely installed SwisensPoleno in operation. Swisens systems are designed to allow installation by the customer with some technical understanding and specific instructions. A wonderful story that shows what is possible for the customer.
Real-time pollen detection - a first in Great Britain
Biological aerosols (including pollen, fungal spores and bacteria) are ubiquitous in the built environment and can often be allergenic. This affects the quality of life of a significant and growing proportion of the population. The United Kingdom has one of the highest rates of diagnosed asthma in the world. Approximately 10% of adult individuals are affected. Of the 5.3 million asthmatics in the UK, one person suffers a potentially fatal asthma attack every 10 seconds, resulting in over 1400 deaths every year.
High costs for treatment
The cost to the NHS of treating allergies is about £1 billion per year. The UK economy loses around £7 billion due to the loss of productivity caused by allergies. By comparison, 150 million people in the EU suffer from chronic allergy-related diseases. As a result, it is estimated that by 2025 more than half the population will be affected, affecting quality of life and productivity. In the EU, the indirect economic impact of allergies is estimated at between €55 billion and €150 billion per year. As cities evolve and are being redesigned towards a net zero world, there is a clear need to understand how biological aerosol emissions affect human health and also how emissions can be influenced by climate change, land use change and policy.
Ongoing plans of the MUO
The Manchester Urban Observatory (MUO) has recently acquired a SwisensPoleno measurement system, which is now being used for routine air quality monitoring at the Fallowfield Manchester Environmental Research Institute site. SwisensPoleno uses holography and biofluorescence measurements to identify species via predictive machine learning pathways. The SwisensPoleno measurement system provides researchers with specified atmospheric concentrations of bioaerosols. Initially, the focus is on pollen and the ability to identify spores will soon follow. This will enable the MUO team to improve their understanding of local bioaerosol emissions and sources and to shed light on their impact on air quality and human health.
The goal of the MUO is to provide the public with the openly accessible data streaming platform manchester-i.com to provide specified pollen and fungal concentrations in real time This will allow the public to make informed decisions about their exposure to allergenic biological aerosols.
Click here for the blog entry of the MUO: