If you reside in an area with high levels of outdoor air pollution, you will probably be breathing more indoor pollutants, which is not good for your health. Of course, that depends on your home’s ventilation system and potential pollution sources. Indoor pollutants range from smoke and carbon monoxide to fumes from carpets, industrial cleaners, and non-stick cooking pans. These pollutants can result in headaches and irritations to long-term respiratory problems and cancer. The good thing is that there are a number of devices that can detect these pollutants, and help us take appropriate actions. Pimoroni has launched a $57 “Enviro+” pHAT for the Raspberry Pi, that can detect indoor air quality, temperature, pressure, humidity, light, and noise. Available also is an optional “PMS5003 Particulate Matter Sensor” you can hook up for detecting outdoor pollution.
Pimoroni had launched a $20 Enviro pHAT board back in 2016 for the Raspberry Pi. However, its environmental sensors were limited to a temperature/pressure sensor, light sensor, and whatever could be hooked up via the 4-channel analog to digital converter (ADC). The $57 Enviro+ pHAT ditches the accelerometer/magnetometer present in the $20 Enviro pHAT board, and adds humidity and analog gas sensors, with a MEMS microphone for detecting noise levels, and a 1-inch color LCD screen. The Enviro+ has a connector for hooking up the Plantower’s 25-Pound ($32) PMS5003 Particulate Matter Sensor.
The PMS5003 is designed for detecting outdoor pollution. According to Pimoroni, the gas sensor of the Enviro+ enables qualitative measurements of changes in gas concentrations, “so you can tell broadly if the three groups of gases are increasing or decreasing in abundance.” The company says the reading from the temperature, air pressure, and humidity sensors can not only be used to monitor general indoor conditions but can all affect particulate levels, giving you a more complete picture of air quality.