On the use of small and cheaper sensors and devices for indicative citizen-based monitoring of respirable particulate matter

Environ Pollut. 2015 Nov;206:696-704. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2015.08.035. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


Respirable particulate matter present in outdoor and indoor environments is a health hazard. The particle concentrations can quickly change, with steep gradients on short temporal and spatial scales, and their chemical composition and physical properties vary considerably. Existing networks of aerosol particle measurements consist of limited number of monitoring stations, and mostly aim at assessment of compliance with air quality legislation regulating mass of particles of varying sizes. These networks can now be supplemented using small portable devices with low-cost sensors for assessment of particle mass that may provide higher temporal and spatial resolution if we understand the capabilities and characteristics of the data they provide. This paper overviews typical currently available devices and their characteristics. In addition it is presented original results of measurement and modelling in the aim of one low-cost PM monitor validation.

Keywords: Low-cost monitors; Low-cost sensors; Particulate matter; Real time monitoring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / economics
  • Environmental Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Inhalation Exposure / analysis*
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter / analysis*
  • Urbanization*


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter