The MSFEA Air Pollution Observatory continuously monitors the airborne particle pollutant levels in Beirut from the AUB campus.
The pollutants being monitored are known as PM 2.5 and PM 10. These represent airborne particles that are smaller than 2.5 and 10 micrometers, respectively, and which are able to penetrate deep into the lungs. These small particles are strongly associated with all causes of early mortality, heart disease, respiratory disease such as asthma and COPD, and neurodevelopmental disorders in children.
Urban areas in Lebanon routinely exceed WHO guidelines on PM. MSFEA and AUB have numerous ongoing projects to document and mitigate the air pollution problem. For more info about air pollution, see this US Environmental Protection Agency link.
Image: Size comparisons for PM particles, Source EPA.gov
The MSFEA Air Pollution Observatory uses two E-BAM PLUS (Portable Environmental Beta-Attenuation Mass Monitor) devices from Met One Instruments
. The specifics about the model we use can be found here
. They use beta attenuation
to measure the concentrations of particulate matter in the air. The devices are mounted on the roof of the Munib & Angela Masri Building
at AUB and have been configured to give one reading every hour.