How an air pollution monitor helped me manage my COPD

Breathe Easy member, Derek, shares his experience of using CleanSpace’s air pollution monitor.

Air pollution is no longer just a news topic – it’s a public health crisis. It’s clear to me that dirty air makes my COPD worse and I wanted to learn more about it. 

I was lucky enough to trial an air pollution device provided by CleanSpace. It’s a compact, portable sensor that works with an app on my smartphone.

You can take it anywhere and it was easy to see where I encountered high levels of air pollution. In rush-hour traffic the device showed pollution levels spiking. I found that leaving an area earlier allows me to reduce my exposure to toxic air. 

One of the most surprising things was indoor air pollution, which can be as deadly as outdoor pollution for someone with COPD. In the kitchen, the oven is one of the biggest producers of carbon monoxide. The monitor was good at reminding me to open windows to air the house.

With photography being my summer hobby, the monitoring has become essential in planning my schedule and locations. I can look at the pollution readings and avoid polluted areas, preventing the onset of any respiratory symptoms and potentially avoiding a COPD attack. Knowledge is power!


Air pollution contributes to up to 40,000 early deaths each year. Fumes can make it harder for people with a lung condition to breathe. It can also increase all our chances of getting a lung condition and cause lasting damage. Helps us change this. Email your MP, MSP, AM or MLA and tell them that we need a plan to boost the nation’s lung health.

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11 August 2017