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Oxford Particulates Monitoring Project

Oxford Friends of the Earth is a thriving and effective local group that has been active for over 40 years. Our purpose is to work together to promote a healthy and sustainable environment

Oxford Friends of the Earth have distributed small PurpleAir particulate monitors across the city and are using them to identify particular hot spots.

The monitors capture data continuously so are able, for instance, to detect evening peaks on cold, still days. They will help us to get idea of where and when particulate pollution is worst in Oxford.

We have now done a preliminary analysis of the data from these monitors. Here are the key findings:

  • Particulates emissions from the official City Council monitor at St. Ebbe’s School show that cold spells are strongly associated with high particulate levels. This is evidence for domestic combustion as the main source of high levels of particulates pollution.
  • When it matters most, that is, when pollution levels are high (e.g. in cold weather), there is a close correlation between the readings from the PurpleAir monitors and the official monitor.
  • By comparing PurpleAir readings across Oxford, we can see that there are often large differences between different monitors. The readings at St. Ebbes—where the official monitor is also located—are lower than those recorded elsewhere in the city.

Follow the links below for more information:

Why did we choose PurpleAir monitors?

What does the PurpleAir map show?

How bad can particulate levels in Oxford get?

How do official particulate levels vary with air temperature?

What’s the relationship between official particulate measures and measures from PurpleAir monitors?

How do particulate pollution levels vary across Oxford?

You can find more information on air quality here, and recent news stories about it here.

Realtime data from the PurpleAir monitors is displayed on an online map–see here: