Air pollution has become one of the major problem of many cities, affecting billions of people around the globe. Among all the noxious pollutants in air, fine particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less (Particular Matter(PM) 2.5) are the most harmful for human health because they are small enough to penetrate the lung, leading to premature death from heart and lung disease. PM2.5 particles come from activities that burn fossil fuels, such as traffic, which are abundant in urban areas.
While measuring the amount of particles of diameter 2.5 micrometers or less is very useful for studying the amount of pollution and predicting its impact on human health, at Lego2Nano we want to take a step further by characterising not only their amount, but their size and shape as well. This will give us an indication of their source, and how that varies in different locations at different days and times.
While our microscope can easily take pictures of these particles, their size and shape need to be characterised. This is a very time-consuming activity, and for that reason we have decided to set up a crowdsourcing platform: anyone, from anywhere in the world, will be able to come to our website and contribute to this project by analysing this particles!
Today, we took the first step, and set up a web server that will host the data, together with the platform that will enable anyone to contribute to this exciting project!