A free smartphone app helps you beat air pollution
Air pollution is now the world's leading environmental health hazard, killing 7 million people every year according to the World Health Organization. Pollution engenders massive healthcare costs (1 in 12 adults in the U.S. suffer from asthma, at a cost of $56 billion per year according to the CDC), reduces business productivity, and impacts the health and well-being of consumers in urban areas worldwide.
Because air pollution levels can vary widely over the course of even a few hours, consumers could significantly decrease their environmental health risk by avoiding excessive exposure at peak times.
Urban weather forecast
The Plume Air Report is a free mobile application that provides its users with timely, accurate, and actionable information on live and predictive air pollution levels in their city, to help them:
Know what they breathe and understand the impact of major air pollutants — nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) — on their health and well-being;
Protect themselves and their family thanks to personalized alerts and recommendations;
Stay ahead of pollution thanks to hour-by-hour forecasts: knowing what to expect in advance gives users actionable information to adapt their activities (timing their run, biking, or activities with children) and avoid pollution peaks to take back control of their environment.
A pilot release of the Plume Air Report in Paris ahead of the 2015 UN Climate Change Summit received tens of thousands of downloads since its launch in May.
In the words of its first users, the Air Report is a "must-have app": "simple," "intuitive," "useful"; "it helps me plan my runs according to pollution levels"; "I absolutely love it."
Data platform for air pollution
To power the Air Report, Plume Labs developed the Plume Air Cloud, an environmental data platform that collects, aggregates, normalizes, and predicts air pollution levels in major urban areas worldwide.
The Air Cloud collects more than half a million data points every day from 11,000+ Iive air pollutant monitoring stations around the world, to track pollution levels in 150 metropolitan areas in 20 countries ofNorth America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
In select cities in the US (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Boston,Austin, etc.) and the EU (London, Paris, Lyon, Marseille, etc.), Plume developed AI and machine-learning algorithms that forecast the hourly evolution of air pollution levels over 24 hours. Since the start of its pilot phase in Paris, Plume's predictive technologies have reached more than double the accuracy of traditional forecasting methods.
Making our air more transparent
In March 2015, Plume Labs brought international attention to an extreme air pollution peak in Paris (New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, NPR), showing the city briefly becoming more polluted than Beijing and Shanghai and leading the French government to halve the number of cars on the road for a day.
According to Romain Lacombe, Founder and CEO of Plume Labs: "Plume strives to make the air we breathe more transparent. Air pollution is an invisible enemy, but we can fight back: actionable information helps limit our exposure, improve our health and well-being, and make our cities breathable."
Read more about indoor air quality.