Launching citizen air quality monitors in Chile

Fundación Horizonte Ciudadano and the Climate Action Center of the PUC of Valparaíso launch the Citizen Air Quality Monitoring Network for children in Chile

The "Nuevos Aires para la Infancia" initiative will monitor air quality with a focus on children from birth to four years old in 11 municipalities in Chile, with expansion to five additional cities in Latin America.

La Mirada, CALIF., (June 19, 2020) -- IQAir is pleased to announce its partnership with the Horizonte Ciudadano Foundation (founded by former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet) and the Climate Action Center of the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, on the launch of the Citizen Air Quality Network for Children.

This first stage of the project will be led by the Network of Leaders Convergence for Action, which will deploy IQAir’s AirVisual Pro air quality monitors in the Chilean communes of Osorno, Coronel, Renca, Melipilla, Quintero, Quillota, Placilla, Concón, Renca, La Pintana and Lo Barnechea This project will eventually expand to an additional five cities in Latin America.

The goal of this partnership is to ultimately increase the amount of air quality monitoring, and thus transparency, in underserved areas throughout Chile. Air quality data from these communities network will be freely available, via the AirVisual app, as well as on the official pages of the participating municipalities. Through this extensive program, air quality data will automatically transmit PM2.5 (particulate matter with a diameter size of 2.5 microns or smaller) and carbon dioxide (CO2)measurements every hour.

Neighborhoods impacted by industries (Huasco, Quintero, Concon and Coronel), will carry out first measurements in urban areas impacted by transport, firewood, and industry (Renca, La Pintana, Quillota, Placilla, Lo Barnechea), and analyze firewood air quality interventions in Osorno.

The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5million deaths a year are the result of exposure to ambient air pollution. However, there are gaps in the measurement of air quality. For example, the United States, Canada, and Germany have two to four air quality monitoring stations for every million inhabitants, while the Latin Americanaverage is around 0.03 stations for every million inhabitants. Chile has about half of the region's air quality monitors.

Prior to this launch, air monitoring stations only represented locations far from sources of air pollution, far from streets where trucks and buses pass and far from domestic chimneys that contribute to pollution by burning wood.

In this context, children being one of the populations most vulnerable to air pollution, are disproportionately exposed to these situations, and it is possible to make interventions that reduce exposure.

In recent years, air pollution reduction plans were carried out between Santiago and Coyhaique, achieving reductions in annual air pollution concentrations of between 25 and 50 percent between 2013 and 2019.

As a result, the air pollution reduction plans reduced 600,000 annual emergency visits for respiratory diseases (a reduction of 17 percent). This reduction was largely due to a 31 percent reduction in emergency visits for children younger than four years old, showing that air pollution reduction plans benefitted young children. The launch of Chile’s first air quality monitoring program to help children hopes to build on this success.

About Fundación Horizonte Ciudadano

Horizonte Ciudadano is a non-profit, non-partisan foundation created in 2018 by former President Michelle Bachelet Jeria, inspired by the values and work of its founder. The organization focuses on emerging challenges relevant to Chile's future: climate resilience and adaptation, guarantees for children, decentralization, urban equity, local economy, and migrations, among others.

About Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

The Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso (PUCV) is an educational institution with nine schools that cover a wide variety of areas of study, ranging from arts and humanities to engineering, sciences, education, and theological studies.

For more information, please contact:

Tiffany Allegretti, Public Relations Manager, IQAir: +1 562-903-7600 ext. 1129

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