Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 | Last Update : 02:25 PM IST
The Daphne project involves 760 pregnant women, who will wear the pollution monitors as adhesive patches that will be tested.
New Delhi: Even as the capital and some north Indian states battle severe air pollution, a team of researchers have decided to attach tiny sensors to the body in order to find out the amount of pollutant air a Delhiite inhales everyday and its effects.
The multidisciplinary team of researchers, including computer scientists, doctors and exposure scientists from nine institutes in the UK and India, will examine links between long-term exposure to air pollution and health over a four-year period. The team is led by the University of Edinburgh.
“The Delhi Air Pollution: Health and Effects (Daphne) project brings together researchers from India and the UK to address the problem of the health effects of sustained exposure to high levels of pollution,” Professor D.K. Arvind who is leading the study, said.
“We believe this innovative research, funded by the UK research councils over the past 15 years, could help millions of people in Delhi and countless other global cities,” he added. According to University of Edinburgh statement, the air pollution levels in Delhi reached 16 times the safe limit, prompting the local government to declare an emergency.
The Daphne project involves 760 pregnant women, who will wear the air pollution monitors attached as adhesive patches and scientists will record the health of the mothers and their children following birth.
The researchers will focus on 360 youngsterswith asthma to examine the level of exercise they can tolerate amid air pollution. The researchers would use battery-powered respiratory monitors, known as ‘RESpecks’ and the air pollution monitors, called ‘AIRSpecks’, utilise ‘Speckled Computing’, a technology being pioneered by scientists at the University of Edinburgh.
“‘Specks’ are tiny devices that can be placed on everyday objects, and people, in order to sense, compute and communicate data.
In the project, these sensors transmit each person’s data wireless to their mobile phone, enabling the user to monitor their exposure to pollution,” the statement said. The project will provide for larger versions of the same types of monitors, with extra sensors to measure levels of nitrogen dioxide and ozone, it said.