Ambient air quality monitoring is the measurement of pollutant concentrations in the environment. Industries may sometimes choose to, or be required to, carry out such monitoring of air quality in the environment beyond their site boundaries to confirm or benchmark existing concentrations of certain pollutants that are discharged from the site.
Ambient air quality monitoring sites are often accompanied by meteorological monitoring for later correlation of wind trends and pollutant concentration trends.
This monitoring can also be used to distinguish relative contributions to an overall air quality concentration from different sources of the same pollutant either within the same site or nearby sites.
Ambient air quality monitoring is usually carried out using instruments which are left installed for months or years at a secure site.
Factors that can be included in instrumental monitoring programmes include total suspended particulate, fine particle fractions, deposited particulate (dust gauges), primary pollutant monitoring (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides/dioxide, carbon monoxide), reduced sulphides, or trace contaminant monitoring (such as volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, xylene, polyaromatic hydrocarbons).
Air Quality Professionals works with specialist instrument supply contractors to assist clients with ambient air quality monitoring, providing the following assistance as required:
- evaluation of site climate data to recommend location for, and type of monitors
- development of appropriate sampling programmes - what, where, when,
how long, how many, cost
- preparation of briefs for contractors, and analysis of tenders
- raw data ratification (data quality control, error checking)
- data analysis, interpretation, summary and reporting