- Title: Pollution monitoring backpacks record return to pre-lockdown levels
- Date: 2nd July 2020
- Summary: BADGE ON THE BACKPACK SAYING (English): "I'M AN AIR QUALITY SCIENTIST" (SOUNDBITE) (English) JESSICA ROWLEY, DYSON SENIOR DESIGN ENGINEER, SAYING: "As part of the project we've not only been looking at the data from the backpacks but we want to get a bit of a broader picture of not just the backpack data but the other sources out there and so while we don't have the data back from all the backpacks we have been able to have a look at the data from OpenAQ and it does show that a lot of the cities are actually showing lower levels of NO2 compared to what it would normally be like at this time of year and some of those that are starting to lift their strict lockdown rules, we're starting to see that trend go back to what we might normally expect for the time of year." VARIOUS OF ROWLEY DESCRIBING THE BACKPACK TECHNOLOGY (SOUNDBITE) (English) JESSICA ROWLEY, DYSON SENIOR DESIGN ENGINEER, SAYING: "You can do some things yourself. You can think about the way you travel, the transport methods, the routes you take, the way you cook, all those sorts of things. There's some really tangible actions or behaviour change that you can have an impact on. So it's raising the awareness so that people can have that action for themselves." LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JUNE 30, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DOCTOR ALEX GEORGE WALKING ALONG THE ROAD WEARING AN AIR MONITORING BACKPACK (SOUNDBITE) (English) DOCTOR ALEX GEORGE, AIR MONITORING VOLUNTEER, SAYING: "As someone who works on the frontline in A&E (Accident and Emergency) during this whole lockdown period I've really seen that there has been a benefit of exercise and people getting outside for their own mental health and their own wellbeing. When I've spoken to patients they feel much better when they're outdoors, they're enjoying fresh clean air, doing some exercise and that's so important for their body and for their minds and ultimately what we need to do is protect that, make sure we have an environment that's clean, that's safe, that's healthy for people to enjoy and get outdoors."
- Embargoed: 16th July 2020 13:11
- Keywords: Air quality monitoring backpacks Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic Dyson lockdown pollution
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Pollution,Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA003CL493YZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Dr Alex George walks to work in southeast London with a pack of sensors strapped to his back, one of an army of volunteers gathering data that experts say suggest pollution levels may be bouncing back as coronavirus lockdowns ease.
The accident and emergency medic at Lewisham Hospital carries technology in a customised rucksack that measures levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and other chemical compounds floating around in the inner city streets.
In 13 other cities, from New York and Delhi to Milan, volunteers including fitness trainers and journalists have been out with the same gear, taking permitted walks during lockdowns
to see if there are any noticeable changes.
Many recorded falls in pollution after curbs came into force, according to Jessica Rowley, an engineer at vacuum cleaner company Dyson which says it developed the packs for a research study with Kings College London and the Greater London Authority.
"A lot of the cities are actually showing lower levels of NO2 compared to what it would normally be like at this time of year," Rowley told Reuters.
"Some of those that are starting to lift their strict lockdown rules, we're starting to see that trend go back to what we might normally expect for the time of year," she added.
The plan is to keep measuring pollution levels as lockdowns lift to check those initial indications.
Dr George said many of his patients had reported feeling the benefits of getting exercise and walking outdoors.
"Ultimately what we need to do is protect that, make sure we have an environment that's clean, that's safe, that's healthy for people to enjoy and get outdoors," he said.
(Production: Stuart McDill)
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