Organisation: Gazeta de Sud (Romania)

Publication Date: 04/17/2016


Air pollution kills 7 million people each year. It is the largest, most important environmental health risk in the world, according to Nature journal. Year by year, 5 million Romanians are diagnosed with various forms of lung disease. Furthermore, Dolj is the leading county nationwide in tuberculosis infections, and researchers have recently discovered a correlation between air quality and tuberculosis. However, the link between air pollution and lung disease has not been investigated by Romanian journalists. HowYouBreathe is a website that allows journalists and citizens to visually explore air quality and lung disease data, to create stories and draw conclusions about how air pollution affects the health of Romanians. Our project aims to create a distributed air quality measurement network by using data from both public and private-owned sensors. Public sensors measure air quality on a large scale, with few stations nationwide. However, air pollution is very uneven in cities and variations go unmeasured. Using low-cost air quality sensors, HowYouBreathe fills this knowledge gap about our immediate environment. TARGET AUDIENCE On a local level, the target are journalists and concerned citizens in Dolj County who want to learn more about their the environment and how it affects their health. They will be able to freely use the data we provide and integrate it as widgets in their own news stories and social media posts. On the national scale, journalists, concerned citizens, public authorities and environmental nonprofits can use HowYouBreathe to explore air quality and its impact on health. They will be able to integrate our data as a widget into their websites and use our API to create their own stories and projects about air pollution. They can also purchase the HowYouBreathe air quality sensor in order to expand our distributed network in their region. THE WEBSITE 1. Real time air quality map. It includes overlays of lung disease occurences and number of smokers. The map can be embedded as a widget. 2. Air quality evolution timeline for specific regions/sensors/periods of time. The timeline can be embedded as a widget. 3. Alerts. Visitors can sign up to receive alerts when air quality drops below a certain level in their region. Alerts will be sent by email, SMS, Facebook and Twitter. 4. The device. Anyone will be able to order a HowYouBreathe air quality sensor for a price of around $100 and install it in their home. The device will automatically add data to our distributed air quality network. 5. API - free, open access to all our data The website is updated in real time with air quality data and it will be updated yearly with county data on lung disease and smoking habits. ROADMAP April, 17th - prototype May, 15th - launch of first version which integrates national open data (functional map, timeline, widgets & alerts) September, 1st - launch of 10 local HowYouBreathe air quality sensors in Dolj County

Technologies used for this project:

WEBSITE - Front-end & back-end - Bootstrap / Python - Database - MongoDB - Map - Google Maps (Map overlay already implemented in prototype) - Charts - Chartist.JS - Alerts - Mailchimp, Frontline SMS, Facebook & Twitter APIs - Open data scraper - we are using our custom built data scraper and parser written in Python DEVICE The HowYouBreathe air quality sensor will be based on the DustDuino prototype, which includes an Arduino Uno board and the Shenyei PPD42NS optical sensor that measures both PM10 and PM2.5 dust particles. DATA SOURCES Air quality - Lung disease - Smoking incidence - National readership study


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