Mysterious white box is an air quality analyser

Motorists familiar with the A27 Upper Brighton Road at Grove Lodge will have noticed a large white box has appeared at the side of the road. The box contains a new air quality analyser, installed by Worthing Borough Council’s environmental protection team to continuously monitor levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, predominantly from traffic emissions.

Nadeem Shad, senior environmental health officer, said: “The new monitor replaces a 15-year-old analyser which was situated in a residential front garden and was paid for using a £15,000 grant from Defra. “The purpose of the analyser is to keep track of the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide in the vicinity, which is an air quality management area.

“The data collected is essential to ensure that we can work towards improving air quality as it allows us to target the areas of most concern and identify the principal cause or source of that pollution.”

Nitrogen Dioxide can cause irritation to people who suffer respiratory conditions such as asthma or emphysema. King’s College in London dials into the monitor twice each day and uploads the results onto the Sussex air website – Air Quality is also monitored in High Street, Shoreham, using a similar device and air quality is monitored at 43 sites across the borough using small diffusion tubes.

These are left for one-month periods before being sent away for analysis. In order to improve the air quality, the council works with the Sussex Air Quality Partnership which is joint between air quality specialists and officers from Sussex county and unitary authorities, the Environment Agency, plus members from Brighton and Sussex Universities and Environmental Protection UK.

The partnership provides information, services and assistance on air quality in Sussex and provides an airAlert service for the authorities. Anyone can sign up to receive air Alerts which can be sent by text, voicemail or email for people with respiratory conditions.