Low-Cost Sensors for Healthier Indoor Air Quality in Impacted Communities
Principal Investigator/Author(s): Cesunica E. Ivey
Contractor: University of California, Berkeley
Contract Number: 22RD020
Relevant CARB Programs: Indoor Air, Community Air Protection Program, Community Health, Exposure
Topic Areas: Indoor Air Quality & Exposure
Indoor air quality (IAQ) has been found to be influential in the health and comfort of building occupants. As indoor environments tend to vary due to factors determined by socioeconomic status and residential proximity to outdoor sources of pollution, IAQ becomes crucial for sustaining healthy communities. In addition, with increasing high outdoor pollution events such as wildfires, impacted communities that are low-income or racial-ethnic minorities are more vulnerable and limited in their ability to mitigate exposure to indoor pollution due to resource limitations regarding IAQ monitoring. Low-cost sensors (LCS) address these problems with accessibility, ease of use, and cost-effective benefits. These devices are therefore effective tools for monitoring indoor pollution in impacted communities, which is invaluable for managing and mitigating exposure. As a result, the objectives of this project are to i) conduct a market survey of LCS used for IAQ monitoring and critically analyze how sensors compare; ii) provide an overview of previous research efforts characterizing IAQ using LCS including those performed in impacted communities; iii) administer interviews to stakeholders with experience working with LCS, as well as individuals in impacted communities with experience or interest in adopting these technologies for IAQ monitoring; and iv) develop a guidance for impacted communities to facilitate the use of LCS for monitoring IAQ and reducing exposures. The overarching goal of this project is to produce a white paper that critically summarizes LCS technologies for indoor applications, comprehensively reviews past efforts that evaluate the utility of these devices for assessing IAQ, and establishes actionable guidance for impacted communities to reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants. This white paper will also include insights elicited from stakeholder experiences and serve as a “one- stop-shop” for adoption recommendations on LCS technologies and strategies for the mitigation of exposures of indoor air pollution in impacted communities.