Pollution patrol

Dan Weaver
Assistant Professor Dan Weaver is an atmospheric physicist in the department of physical & environmental sciences. He's using the Pandora Spectrometer System to measure local and regional air quality (Photo by Don Campbell)

Perched on top of the Arts and Administration Building is a specialized instrument that researchers are using to measure air quality.

The Pandora Spectrometer System uses UV and visible light to measure levels of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde in the atmosphere. These hazardous pollutants contribute to poor air quality and can lead to adverse health effects, particularly respiratory illnesses.

Each month, the lens of the instrument is cleaned of dust and moisture to ensure it provides accurate readings. Researchers at U of T Scarborough and Environment Canada are using the device for local and regional air quality studies as well as to collect data for the Pandonia Global Network – an international project gathering air quality measurements from more than 140 locations around the world.

This story originally appeared in U of T Magazine