Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Portable Pollution Monitors Offer Real-Time Results


Portable pollution monitors developed by researchers at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering could help people better manage how much pollution they breathe.

The monitors are about about the size of four iPhones stacked on top of each other. The devices can measure the most common pollutants coming out of car tailpipes. That pollution can be measured in real time thanks to a smart phone app.

San Diego County has permanent air monitoring stations that check air quality, but there are only 10 of them. That limits what can be measured.


"They can see general trends in the region. And make adjustments to head off any problems," said Bill Griswold, the principle researcher for the project. "What we're getting from our data is a much finer resolution data, so that individuals can mitigate or communities can."

Griswold says his team is hoping to work with San Ysidro officials who are concerned about pollution from cars waiting to cross the border. The community is home to the busiest border crossing in the world with about 17 million cars crossing there every year.