Research

Objectives

1. To build a system, in which citizens can easily contribute in lowering carbon emissions by participating in environmental monitoring events; and
2. To investigate the true effect of air pollution on health of individuals and provide a new understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effect.

STUDY I: “Mobile Environmental Monitoring System for Achieving Low-Carbon Society”

We aim to build a system, in which citizens (individuals or communities) can easily contribute in lowering carbon emissions by participating in environmental monitoring events. Using portable low-weight environmental sensors connected to mobile phones though Bluetooth, citizens of cities like Tsukuba (Japan) can observe data on CO2 footprints in the areas of interest and become aware of environmental issues in their neighborhoods and the city. The data can be recorded on their portable mobile device or can be sent to a central computer server in real time, where the processed and analyzed results will appear in a form of constantly updated and internet-accessible city carbon emission maps. The system will enable personalized air pollution impact reports, which allow citizens to track actions that might affect both their exposure and their contribution to environmental problems. We hope that the system will help citizens to find new opportunities to raise their awareness about environmental issues of their city and help them to balance their personal carbon emissions.

STUDY II: “Personal Air Quality and Health Monitoring System for Japanese Citizen”

We are most concerned about the health effects of air pollution at the individual level.  For example, in cities like Tokyo the air quality is not constant across the area, it varies spatially and in time. Depending on a traffic or a weather condition the air pollution level and therefore its effect on the human health will be different. Participatory mobile-based monitoring of environmental and physiological parameters enables collection and dissemination of data by ordinary citizens or community groups in the areas where they usually go. With portable non-invasive and soon widely available sensors connected to mobile phones, citizens can measure environmental (COx, NOx, Noise) and physiological (heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, etc.) indicators, which can be used to evaluate the true effect of air pollution on health of individuals and provide a new understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effect. The individual environmental and physiological data collected during the field studies can be a very important contribution to the existing epidemiological studies.

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