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Air Sensor Toolbox

Community Air Monitoring Where You Live in EPA Region 8

Community air monitoring projects that are using air sensor technology to monitor air quality in states in EPA’s Region 8 are providing the public with more information on the quality of the air they breathe.

EPA’s Region 8 serves Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and 27 Tribal Nations.

Community Air Sensor Network (CAIRSENSE) Project in Denver, Colorado

In 2015-2016, EPA collaborated with the state of Colorado on the CAIRSENSE Project to conduct testing of low-cost sensors at a regulatory air quality monitoring site in Denver. Operating the sensors in close proximity to regulatory monitors has enabled researchers to examine the performance characteristics of sensors that citizen scientists and other interested stakeholders might wish to use in their own studies. 

What is being done?

The CAIRSENSE project testing has been completed and the data is being analyzed. EPA tested commercially available air pollutant sensors that measure carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, ozone and particulate matter. The project is designed to improve understanding of long-term use and performance of these sensors. EPA plans to provide summary information on the findings by the end of 2016.

What are the benefits? 

The Denver site provided a chance to test the sensors in a different environment compared to other places sensors have been tested around the country. This helped to understand how robust the sensors are and their reliability.  Sensors at the site had to perform in higher altitude, winter weather conditions and large temperature fluctuations.