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Keeping air quality safer for children: ACOEM installs first Healthy Schools Index in Asia at Bangkok school

Every child should feel safe and healthy at school, no matter where that school is located. In Bangkok, Thailand, where air pollution can be problematic especially during the winter months from December to February, ACOEM has recently installed the first Healthy Schools Index (HSI) in Asia. The system gives parents and caregivers reassurance that their child is protected against potentially harmful environmental conditions.

ACOEM Healthy Schools Index (HSI) relies on the accuracy of an AQMesh™ sensor (pictured above) to relay time-sensitive, vital data regarding air quality and environmental conditions at Saint Gabriel’s College in Bangkok.


ACOEM’s priority has always been to help communities live safer and healthier lives and that is definitely the case when it comes to the air that our children breathe every day. The management and parents of Saint Gabriel’s College, one of the largest and most prestigious day schools in Thailand, had been expressing concern over their students’ exposure to air pollution for several years. On occasions, the school had been forced to close due to excessive pollution.

The value of hyperlocal air quality data

Located in the Dusit district of downtown Bangkok, Saint Gabriel’s College has responsibility for some 5,000 primary and secondary level boys. There are three reference-quality ambient air quality monitoring stations (AQMS) located within two kilometres of the school campus, but relying on the data from those stations was not providing localised air quality data that the school required to make informed decisions about student exposure in real-time.

ACOEM Asia COO, Patrice Pischedda approached the school with the proposition of installing ACOEM Healthy Schools Index (HSI) as the best solution to implement. In addition, he also consulted with Bangkok’s Pollution Control Department, which already utilises ACOEM sensors and analysers in its AQMS because Saint Gabriel’s HSI sensor would be calibrated against their reference-grade AQMS equipment.

Multi-parameter monitoring at your fingertips

HSI gives school administrators, teachers and parents access to precise information about environmental pollution levels in and around their school via any connected device.

A simple-to-use app uses a traffic-light alert system to relay data captured by a hyperlocal and highly accurate AQMesh™ sensor that has been installed on a balcony of the school at the first-floor level.

Example of ACOEM Healthy Schools Index (HSI) mobile phone user-interface. 

ACOEM Healthy Schools Index (HSI) provides crucial data on:

  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) – which can irritate the human respiratory system;
  • Ozone (O3) – which can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath throat irritation and lung damage;
  • Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM5) – which can affect eyes, nose, and lungs, and worsen conditions like asthma and heart disease; and
  • Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) – which can lead to respiratory symptoms, especially coughing and can increase mortality rates.

Protecting communities from pollution

In the case of Saint Gabriel’s College, the HSI allows them to effectively manage their tiered approach to student, staff and visitor safety:

  • Level one – Mandate to wear masks whilst outside or high-risk students to stay indoors;
  • Level two – Cease all outdoor activities like sport; and
  • Level three – Activate indoor air pollution countermeasures.

(L to R) Patrice Pischedda, ACOEM Asia COO; Brother Manit Sakhontawat and Miss Pannapa Laowittayanurak from Saint Gabriel’s College; and Apinan Chaoomsaisiri from AM Acoustics Co, authorised ACOEM 01dB distributor in Thailand.


“Commissioning a Healthy Schools Index at Saint Gabriel’s College is just one way that we at ACOEM can honour our commitment to giving back to the communities we serve,” said Patrice Pischedda.

“Ideally, we would like to roll out HSI networks across Asia, especially in larger cities impacted by environmental pollution. We are looking forward to working closely with the school over the next 12 months to assess the benefits it has brought to their protocols and the overall health of its students and staff,” he added.

For more information about how ACOEM Healthy Schools Index can help protect your children’s schools and community, please visit our website, download a copy of the ACOEM Healthy Schools Index brochure or contact patrice.pischedda@acoem.com.

New offices in Scotland

ACOEM Air Monitors has settled into its new offices in the Morris Park business facility in Glasgow, further cementing its presence in Scotland.  In the words of Morris Park’s owner, Robert Morris, “The place to create work and smile more often that you have ever smiled before joining Morris Park”. 
“With an established team of 5 staff, this move provides the base that we have been looking for to further grow in 2021” says Felicity Sharp, Managing Director of ACOEM Air Monitors.  The Scottish branch is dedicated to serving our customers, not just in Scotland but across the UK and Morris Park is the home to help us achieve that.


We are always on the lookout for ‘can-do’ and passionate people to join our team and at the moment, we are hiring for field engineers to expand in both our air quality and acoustics division as well as into our newly formed condition monitoring and alignment team.  We are also searching for the right people to join our commercial team. With big plans for the Scottish branch in 2021, it is an exciting time to be part of our team. 

ACOEM’S LONG STANDING PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE RESEARCH COMMUNITY

ACOEM has always valued the longstanding partnerships developed by its subsidiaries and the
global research community. Built on transparency and respect, these partnerships have helped to
support climate and environmental science.


Ecotech instruments have been used during maritime expeditions to study atmospheric and
environmental conditions on numerous occasions. In 2017, Ecotech was proud to partner with some
of the world’s most respected environmental research institutions to study air quality and climate
change on the 40-day AQABA expedition around the Arabian Peninsula.

Ecotech supplied the expedition with its Aurora ®  3000 Multi Wavelength Integrating Nephelometer,
the  Serinus ®  60 Direct Nitrogen Dioxide Analyser  and its next generation  Congrego ®  Data Logger .
Ecotech monitoring equipment collected data on the chemical composition of the atmosphere and
supported ongoing gas-aerosol interaction research and studies on the atmospheric chemistry of
dust, sea salt and other natural emissions’ interactions with air pollution.


These relationships are equally as strong in the UK as ACOEM Air Monitors supports the UK
Supersites with a variety of gas analysers and the Cooper Xact ambient multi metals monitor. The
Xact 625i is designed for high time resolution multi-metals monitoring of ambient air, with detection
limits that rival those of laboratory analysis.


On the other side of the world, the Ecotech Spectronus TM  – the first multispecies greenhouse and other
trace gases analyser, was onboard the Aurora Australia as it cruised the Southern Ocean from Hobart
to various Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations.

Ecotech’s Spectronus TM  gas analyser is an integral part of an Australian multi-university
research project to study how aerosol gases form in clean atmospheres.


Over four voyages throughout the summer, research equipment housed in a purpose-built “AIRBOX”
will be on the Aurora Australis measuring and providing data on aerosol gases. The Spectronus TM  will
be specifically measuring small variations of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane (CH 4 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O)

and carbon monoxide (CO) during latitudinal changes as the ship sails.
Spectronus TM  has been utilised in a number of other pioneering maritime and ship-based
environmental studies, including:
 providing data on CO 2  levels during a 2014 circumnavigation of Australia;
 another aerosol study of the Daintree River region of Queensland in 2016, and
 a short campaign earlier this year by the Royal Australian Navy to study aerosol
formation around Garden Island, in Western Australia to assist with visibility for
submarines.

“Spectronus’ TM  latest expedition is another example of the close relationship that Ecotech shares with
the academic and research sector,” commented Felicity Sharp, Former Head of Ecotech Europe and
now Managing Director, Air Monitors Ltd. “We recognise the importance of participating in ongoing
research and welcome the opportunity to support Prof. Griffith and his team at the University of
Wollongong,” she added.

Clean Air Day 2020

ACOEM Air Monitors – playing our part to tackle air pollution on Clean Air Day, 8 October


On 8 October, Clean Air Day will see schools, hospitals, workplaces and communities across the UK run activities and take action to inspire people to take simple steps to protect their health, and their families’ health, from air pollution.


Air Monitors is supporting Clean Air Day through pledging to work from home, cycling, leaving the car at home etc. We all have a part to play in keeping our air clean – together let’s make Oct 8 the cleanest Clean Air Day yet. During the COVID-19 lockdown we experienced cleaner air and saw massive shifts to low pollution behaviours. Let’s keep up the momentum and keep our air clean.


Everybody can have a positive impact on air quality and Air Monitors would like to inspire staff/customers to understand what they can do to reduce air pollution and limit its impact on their health and that of others.


Air pollution affects your health from your first breath to your last, as the damage to our health can start when we’re a baby and carry on through into old age.

The good news is that our air pollution crisis is solvable and there are simple steps we can all take to help our family avoid toxic air and cut down on the pollution we emit – it’s good for us and good for the planet too.

8 October is a day of practical action and awareness-raising, so we can all breathe cleaner air. Clean Air Day gives every school, hospital, workplace and housing estate free access to cuttingedge advice on avoiding and tackling urban air pollution, approved by health experts and academics.


All the information on how to get involved in Clean Air Day is available from the Clean Air Day
website www.cleanairday.org.uk

About Clean Air Day, 8 October 2020
Air pollution affects us from our first breath to our last and harms the health of millions. But there
are lots of simple things we can do to improve air quality and look after our own and other
people’s health.
Clean Air Day is the UK’s biggest air pollution campaign. It’s a chance to find out more about air
pollution, share information, and make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.
Find out more at cleanairday.org.uk


Air pollution causes illnesses such as heart and lung diseases, is linked to low birth weight, can
affect children’s lung development and may even contribute to mental health issues. As well as
damaging our health when we are out and about, there is also air pollution in our homes that
can be harmful too.


Clean Air Day is coordinated by environmental change charity Global Action Plan and supported
by over 200 health institutions, councils and universities, including the Royal College of Physicians,
the British Lung Foundation and various NHS Trusts.
Collaboration with Environmental Protection Scotland/Scottish Government and the Welsh Government is bringing the campaign to life in Scotland and Wales.


About Global Action Plan
Global Action Plan is a charity that helps people live more sustainable lives by connecting what is
good for us and good for the planet. We deliver national and global programmes through a
network of local delivery teams in over 24 countries, from The United States and UK, to Hungary.


Global Action Plan works with many kinds of organisations, from leading FTSE100 multinational
companies and the NHS, to local schools and community bodies.


We see people as part of the solution, not part of the problem, when it comes to creating an
environmentally sustainable world.

To get involved in Clean Air Day and learn more about how air pollution could be affecting you and
your family’s health, visit cleanairday.org.uk or search #CleanAirDay. Due to Covid-19, please
ensure that any activities you undertake meet with your government’s guidelines.
Clean Air Day is coordinated by © Global Action Plan on behalf of over 250 Support

Manchester’s Air Quality Supersite

In 2019, NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) funded a large project involving 3 sites which measured the local air quality. The 3 sites are based at the University of Birmingham, the University of Manchester and Kings College in London and are all named air quality ‘supersites.’  Air Quality Supersites can be found all over the world, including USA, China and Taiwan. They are used by scientists and governments to test new and upcoming air quality equipment as well as enhancing the standard air quality systems found throughout each country.

In addition, the supersites allow researchers to gather long term and intensive, higher-quality data on harmful urban air pollution. The data can help determine the source of the pollution as well as its evolution in the atmosphere.  The supersites will include a range of advanced instruments to measure the size and physical properties of particles, and identify volatile organic chemicals, nitrogen and sulfur oxides and greenhouse gases. In addition, detailed meteorological information will be collected along with new measurements of vehicle emissions under real-world conditions. All the data generated will be open-access and, for most measurements, will be available to the public via a website in real-time.

NERC – the Natural Environment Research Council – is the driving force of investment in environmental science in the UK. NERC advances the frontier of environmental science by commissioning new research, infrastructure and training that delivers valuable scientific breakthroughs. 

In the UK, the Manchester supersite is located in Fallowfield on the University campus. It houses a large number of different analysers all measuring either gases or particulate matter (pm).  Air Monitors has helped to support these sites over the years by providing instruments in all 3 UK sites, The Cooper XACT, The Magee AE33 and the Palas Fidas. These are all aerosol monitoring instruments which look at either heavy metals, black carbon or ambient PM levels.  

Dr Nicholas Marsden who is the Experimental Officer at the University of Manchester said 

‘We have been pleased with the instrument performance and have obtained particularly interesting results for traffic emissions (and others) over the lock-down period.’

‘The monitors were also able to provide interesting data on the Moorland fire which happened in April, several miles away.’  This fire affected 5 kms of moorland and required 8 fire trucks to battle the blaze generating lots of smoke and pollution dispersing across the region.

About Manchester Supersite

Funding was announced at the launch of two Manchester-based research projects to help tackle air pollution; one being the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) air quality supersite. 

The NERC supersite – one of three being established in the UK – will make continuous measurements of air quality at a higher level of detail than is provided by existing monitoring stations. Dr James Allan, a researcher at The University of Manchester said: “The measurements will help us to better understand air pollution in UK cities, in terms of the sources of pollution and the processes by which it evolves in the atmosphere.”

About Air Monitors 

As part of the ACOEM group, Air Monitors represent many of the world’s leading environmental technology manufacturers. Our aim is to provide monitoring solutions which encompass the very best products, technology and services designed specifically for British & European Environmental compliance.

About the Cooper XACT 625i

Cooper Environmental’s Xact® 625i is designed for high time resolution multi-metals monitoring of ambient air, with detection limits that rival those of laboratory analysis. The Xact® 625i comes standard with a solid-state meteorological sensor and Cooper Environmental’s proprietary ADAPT analysis package, making the instrument one of the most powerful air pollution source detection offerings in the industry.

About the Magee AE33

The Aethalometer® is an instrument that uses optical analysis to determine the mass concentration of Black Carbon particles collected from an air stream passing through a filter. These particles are directly emitted to the air during all combustion, but are primarily associated with coal or diesel smoke. They adversely affect public health; contribute to local and global climate change; and reduce visibility. Aethalometers are used by air-quality monitoring programs; public-health protection agencies; research laboratories; and community groups. 

About The Palas Fidas

FIDAS stands for Fine Dust Analysis System and FIDAS stands up above the rest as the most advanced optical particle spectrometer for ambient PM monitoring.  The Model 100 is the entry level system without certification and designed for use in research and industrial projects where compliance with EU and UK legislation is not required. The model 100 can be supplied with our without the IADS sampling system which is used for ensure that moisture does not affect the measurements of the PM concentration.  Data is available for TSP(total suspended particulates), PM10, PM4.0, PM2.5,  PM1 and Pn (particle number) as well as size distribution data over the range of 0.18  to 18 microns. Options to extend to 100 microns are available.

ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre researches the use of ozone in eliminating listeria in food sources

Cardiff Metropolitan University’s ZERO2FIVE is a centre providing technical, operational and commercial support to food businesses across the UK.   As well as employing food and drink technologists, ZERO2FIVE also works with senior lecturers and professors from the university. Microbiology lecturer, Dr James Blaxland is part of this initiative and has built an ozone testing chamber to research the use of ozone to eliminate listeria in food sources.  To do this, he has recently purchased a 2BTech 106 ozone monitor from UK company Air Monitors.

Dr Blaxland’s role at the ZERO2FIVE food industry centre focuses on the decontamination of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes from both food and food preparation areas. Listeria is the causative agent of listeriosis, a rare, but potentially life-threatening condition which typically affects certain groups of people, which includes; those who are immunosuppressed, pregnant or elderly.

Listeria is a huge problem in the food and drink industry and with the help of the 2BTech’s 106 ozone monitor, James and his team have been looking at how effective ozone is on different surfaces.

They also have a sensory analysis suite where they can see if ozone has an effect on taste, colour and smell of certain foods. Can the public tell the difference? That is a key question for the food manufacturers to ensure that the public don’t notice any discernible difference.

James says, “The 2BTech Ozone monitor has been producing great results since we started the research a few months ago and so far, growth of different strains of listeria have been found on different surfaces and the aim is to minimise, if not remove this going forward. As well as listeria being present on food sources, it can also contaminate medical devices and hopefully ozone can be used for the removal of these bugs.”

Caroline Bennett, Air Monitor’s Technical Sales Executive added, “we have enjoyed seeing how the Cardiff Metropolitan University’s ZERO2FIVE centre has used the 2BTech Ozone monitor and have been really happy to have helped this project along.”

The University are looking to set standards with this ongoing testing and will be working alongside ‘Ozone Industries Limited’ who are a major provider of ozone generator applications for the control of odours and micro-organisms in both air and water for a wide range of commercial, industrial, and domestic markets.

About 2BTech

2BTech, based in Colorado produces a wide range of instruments for the air monitoring industry including ozone disinfection which combats viruses and therefore protects human health. 

About Air Monitors Ltd

As part of the ACOEM group, Air Monitors represent many of the world’s leading environmental technology manufacturers. Our aim is to provide monitoring solutions which encompass the very best products, technology and services designed specifically for British & European Environmental compliance.

About Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff Met has a strong purpose – to deliver high quality and high impact practice-focused and professionally recognised education, research and innovation in partnership with our students and industry. Comprised of 5 schools, as well as the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, Cardiff Met has over 20,000 students from 143 countries.  The University is the first in Wales to be awarded both the prestigious Small Business Charter and the Social Enterprise mark in recognition of its work with business, and its commitment to supporting students in enterprise and entrepreneurship activities.

About ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre

The ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University brings together a unique collaboration between industry-experienced technical, commercial and operations managers and respected academics.

With the support of the Welsh Government, ZERO2FIVE is able to work with c150 Welsh food and drink companies every year. ZERO2FIVE engages with companies and organisations of all sizes and stages of growth to provide support with factory design, start-up advice, new product development, third party accreditation and global food standards compliance (including BRCGS and SALSA), food safety and security, food and labelling legislation, nutrition, market analysis and marketing. In addition, ZERO2FIVE provides strategic technical direction for inward investment and export initiatives.