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Air quality measurement

Quantifying the impact of pollution

Supporting cleaner air for healthier lives

Addressing climate and environmental change through ambitious and fair international action is key to improving the health of people across the world. Quantifying environmental degradation from pollution or the destruction of nature can help to build an understanding of the long-term societal impacts of human activity on the environment, and how, in turn, human health is impacted.

NPL’s experts are working to identify the measurement needs and challenges associated with understanding the impacts of environmental degradation and pollution through:

  • undertaking accurate, cost-effective, long-term climate and emissions measurement systems at local and regional levels
  • producing robust climate frameworks and standards applicable to both developed and developing societies
  • developing cost-effective pollution monitoring technologies to support diverse management and compliance requirements.

If you have a research project where our expertise can help, please contact the team and discuss your needs.

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Understanding the impacts of pollution

Our scientists are addressing measurement challenges associated with air quality through:

  • undertaking accurate, representative measurements of a diverse range of environmental pollutants
  • developing sensor networks which combine in-situ, in-atmosphere and remote observation with low-cost reference sensors to provide real-time air quality measurement
  • producing methods, standards, specific measurements and modelling, to correctly assess the impact of pollution and environmental degradation on life and the environment
  • identifying source attribution of pollutants to support regulatory enforcement.


The UK Government has set ambitious targets for transforming the UK’s energy system, outlined in the 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the Energy White Paper and the Clean Growth Strategy, which each provide a robust framework for how the UK can deliver on climate action and meet these targets.

NPL is working to deliver on these strategies. We support world-leading innovation, and our research is helping to drive cost reductions and ensure deployment of low-carbon technologies. NPL’s research is also increasing our understanding of emissions and pollution, and we are working to improve how we measure key climate variables both on the ground and from space.

NPL applies the latest advances in measurement science to make every stage of energy generation, transport and usage more efficient, safe and affordable, and to improve the quality of data available on the state of our climate and natural environment.

Case study

Improving understanding of low-cost air quality sensors


Working with NPL

Our researchers are at the forefront of new innovations that promise to deliver new solutions ford environmental challenges. We play a vital role in providing the standards and assurance to accelerate new products to market and providing reliable data. Learn more about our research areas and working with our experts.  

If you have a research collaboration where our expertise can help, please can contact the team and discuss your challenge.

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Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070