800-680-1220 / +1 651-490-2860 (US) All Locations

Understanding Particulate Air Pollution

Download the Whitepapers Here

Get Started with Ambient Air Monitoring

What is Air Quality?

Air quality describes the degree to which the ambient air is polluted. This is assessed by measuring at least one – but often, several – types of pollution.

Why is Air Quality Important?

The quality of ambient air impacts every member of society, and measuring air quality has caught the interest of researchers and citizens alike for decades. As a result, plentiful evidence has been gathered showing the negative impacts of air pollution on public health and the cost those impacts have on society.

What Can We Learn?

As technology has advanced, techniques for measuring particulate pollution have become increasingly sophisticated, providing information that was not available in years past. Data on airborne particles can be used to assess many things, such as:

  • Background pollutant levels for a particular area (i.e., measuring ‘the status quo’)
  • Movement of air pollutants in and out of an area of interest
  • The effectiveness of regulations on things like vehicle traffic or fuel quality in use on waterways, and the contributions of local sources such as power plants, harbors and airports

How is Particulate Air Pollution Measured?

Air pollution affects everyone. It's a multi-faceted problem, and there are many ways to measure it. Three perspectives on particles:

  • Particulate Matter (PM) measurement is the traditional way of assessing particulate pollutants. It is defined as the mass concentration of particles in air.
  • Particle Number (PN) measurements count all of the particles, regardless of how big or small each particle is.
  • Particle Size Distribution (PSD) of particles can act like a ‘fingerprint’ for the source of the particles.


Can we assist you in finding the right solution for your measurement approach? Let us know!