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Sensing the City


Poor air and water quality adversely affects human health and environmental monitoring is now carried out in cities across the world in order to improve the health of populations and to meet regulatory requirements. However, our current knowledge of the air and water quality where we live, work and play, is limited due to the fact that existing monitoring technologies are often large and expensive to operate or highly labour-intensive. New methods such as lab-on-a-chip technologies, wireless sensor networks and robotics offer the potential to generate real-time and extremely local, even personal, environmental exposure date. In the future, these technologies could become the platform which will drive our understanding of environmental quality and its impact on health. In this presentation on January 26, 2016, Alistair Boxall provided an overview of work being done at York to develop novel approaches to detect and monitor pollutants in city environments. He described the YorkSense project which is instrumenting the city of York with a variety of new technologies in order to generate an unprecedented dataset on environmental quality in the city from 2015-2016.

About our Speaker: Alistair Boxall, University of York, UK

Alistair Boxall is Professor in Environmental Science in the Environment Department at the University of York. Alistair’s research focuses on understanding emerging and future ecological and health risks posed by chemical contaminants in the natural environment. Alistair was previously a member of the Defra Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances and Chair of the Pharmaceutical Advisory Group of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He is co-ordinator of the 3.5 M Euro CAPACITIE project on pollution monitoring in cities and is academic co-ordinator of the 10.3 M Euro iPiE project on intelligent assessment of pharmaceuticals in the environment. He regularly advises national and international organisations on issues relating to chemical impacts on the environment and has published extensively on the topic of emerging contaminants in the environment.

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