Crowd Sense

We have installed a pollution monitor

Pollution Monitor

on a lamp post on the Broadwater Farm Estate:

Pollution monitor on a lamp post on the Broadwater Farm Estate

More photos here. Data collected is available on our data pages

Air pollution can be caused by people and by nature. People are leading contributors to city air pollution. Mainly from combustion – fossil-fuel-powered planes, trains, and automobiles and industry (power stations, refineries, and factories), biomass (burning plant matter or coal for heating, cooking, and energy), and agriculture. Natural sources include smoke, windblown or kicked-up dust, dirt and sand.

Sources can be categorised thus:


Most motor vehicles, trains, planes, and ships emit high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

There is a strong correlation between per capita transport emissions and income. As standards of living and economic activity increase, so too does the demand for transport.


The building and construction of homes and furnishings. Cooking and heating with coal or wood burning.


Pollution from factories, mines, and oil refineries. Coal power plants and boilers for heat and power generation.

Industry produces nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter (PM), contributing to ozone and smog.


Fertilisers used on agricultural land creates fine-particulate air pollution. A study in Geophysical Research Letters showed that farm-originated pollution was greater than all other people-made sources of PM in much of the United States, Europe, Russia, and China.

Use of land for farming is on the rise around the world as the demand for animal products and per capita food increase.

Natural sources

The impact of volcanic activity, wildfires, dust or sandstorms on air quality is dependent on location. We’re lucky we don’t have these issues.

Here is one person’s explanation of why we should all take an interest