Air Pollution Monitor Installed

A carbon particulate monitor to measure air particulates was installed on the Screaming Frog office building at the bottom of Greys Road on Friday.   The monitor has been installed and hired from top air quality specialists, Ricardo.

David Dickie from Clean Air for Henley has been leading the project to have the monitor installed over the last 18 months and has been working with District Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak.  David has been campaigning for HGVs to be banned for the last 7 years and has been behind other initiatives including ‘No idling’ outside schools.  In 2016, he rented a high spec hand-held air quality monitoring machine, took measurements from around the town and recorded these.  David said, “There is also a monitor outside Spoons in Duke Street but I don’t think this is working properly as we can’t see any data.  This one we will be able to get real time stats.  David from Ricardo who is installing the monitor today went to school in Henley so he cares about the town.  When we walked around the town he showed me some things I didn’t know.  I talked to him about the measurements I took in the winter with their hand-held monitor and he said what about the summer?  He told me it would be much worse in the summer months.”

David Madle from Ricardo explained how the monitor works, “In the centre of the monitor is a sim card, like you have in a mobile phone.  Back in our centre in Harwell we dial into it every hour and download the data from the sensor.  We’ll check the sensor is working OK for the first week.  We’ll then screen scale the data and send it back out to a website so the public can see the data.  Having gone to Gillotts School, it’s great to be installing the monitor here. As I work in air quality, it’s really good that I’m doing it in the town that I grew up in.”

The monitor has been funded jointly by South Oxfordshire District Council from their £100K air quality fund and Henley Town Council and has been hired initially for 1 year.

Stefan said, “Now we will have a live feed with data analysis I will be including this in my District Council report every 6 weeks.  It’s the first air particulate monitor in the South of Oxfordshire so it’s real coup to get it and we believe that measuring particulates is so important.  Really small particulates will get into the blood stream and then reside in the lungs and cause problems for people.   This monitor is to prove that we have a particulate problem.  If we prove we have a problem then SODC have to legally take action.  That would mean reducing the number of vehicles that produce particulates (mainly diesel).  I’d like to thank David Dickie for leading on this and John Filbee the owner of the building along with the Directors of Screaming Frog.  When we approached John he immediately said yes and so did the Directors.  They recognise that their employees are susceptible to particulate pollution in the office and also realised that it was for the good the community.”

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