A tweet to know the rate of air pollution before leaving home. An utopia? No, it is a particular service launched on Friday 22 April, on the occasion of Earth Day, in India, one of the states with the worst air pollution, whereas according to the latest report published by the World Health Organisation, between 20 most polluted cities in the world 13 are Indian.
The service, made possible through the collaboration between Twitter and the investigative journalism site IndiaSpend, allows citizens of five cities (New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Lucknow) to receive real-time information on the level of air pollution in their neighborhood. The system, which uses sensors of the IndiaSpend network and closer monitoring stations within a 25 km radius, is very simple: what users have to do is just using the hashtag #Breathe followed by the name of the city and the neighborhood where they are on Twitter. After few seconds they automatically see a reply tweet with the levels of air quality recorded in the last hour. Among the information received they can find the level of dust Pm 2.5 Pm and 10, the general view on the clean air and the possible health impacts.
The initial launch of the service for now affects only the top five Indian cities, but the idea is hoped to be spread soon in other places with the objective of creating more and more effective forms of pollution prevention.