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Ambient Air Monitoring

Understand pollution levels with SGS ambient air monitoring services.

Transportation, power generation, industrial and domestic sources have all led to pollution and changes in the ambient air’s composition. Air pollution can seriously impact human health, causing respiratory problems, cardiac disease and cancer.

SGS Ambient Air Monitoring Services

Ambient air monitoring assesses pollutant levels by measuring the concentration of key pollutants in the surrounding outdoor air. Utilizing its unrivaled global network of accredited laboratories and sampling offices, SGS offers ambient air sampling and analytical services to provide you with quality scientific data that enables informed decision making.

Our comprehensive range of ambient air monitoring services includes:

  • Passive monitoring
    • Passive sampling is performed by means of diffusive sampling. The results provide a general indication of average pollution concentrations over a period ranging from one week to one month. This methodology is not reliant on electricity and is ideal for baseline measurements or where no permanent site has been established
    • Measured pollutants include SO2, NO2, NOx, CO, O3, HF, H2S, BTEX and VOCs
  • Dust deposition monitoring
    • Dust deposition sampling is performed to determine dust deposition rates at multiple points on the fenceline of a facility. The results of which can provide a general indication of average dust concentrations over a period of one month
    • Additional analysis of heavy metals, dioxins and furans can be undertaken on the samples
  • Total suspended particulate (TSP) matter and fine particulate matter (PM-10 and PM-2.5)
    • TSP refers to airborne particles or aerosols that are less than 100 micrometers in size, usually sampled using a high-volume sampler. PM-10 and PM-2.5 refers to the fine inhalable fractions of suspended dust particles that are regulated due to potential health impacts
  • Active sampling by sorbent tube
    • Sorbent tube sampling is performed by drawing ambient air through a sampling tube at pre-determined flow rate over a specified duration by means of a calibrated sampling pump
  • High volume sampling
    • Determines the concentration of pesticides/PCBs using Polyurethane Foam (PUF) and Dioxins/PAHs using PUF/XAD cartridge with quartz fiber filter. Samples are analyzed by accredited SGS laboratories in Belgium, USA and Taiwan
  • Canisters
    • A sample vacuum is used to draw a sample into the canister. Can be collected by:
      • Grab sampling – generally performed over a short interval (1-5 minutes) and when the sample often needs to be taken quickly e.g. emergency response. Grab samples provide a “snapshot” of the air at the moment of collection
      • Integrated sampling – performed over a longer sampling period (5 min – hours). A flow controller is used to regulate the rate at which samples enters the canister. Integrated sampling is useful when air quality fluctuates over time, or when time-weighted concentrations are required
  • Continuous monitoring
    • SGS owns and operates, or manages for a client, dedicated mobile and fixed monitoring stations capable of measuring ambient air pollutant concentrations in real-time
    • Typical parameters include PM10, PM2.5, O3, SO2, NOx, CO, THC
    • Samples are drawn through a Teflon or glass inlet manifold to the analyzer where they are logged at user defined intervals and relayed to a dedicated SGS or client server
    • Data is validated by SGS personnel, who are responsible for station maintenance and daily, weekly, monthly QC and calibration checks
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Thanks to our new and innovative real-time monitoring solutions (SGS SmartSense), SGS can offer continuous ambient air monitoring through the use of sensors that can accommodate a wide range of different parameters and be controlled remotely. This technology significantly increases the quantity of collected data in a very scientific and accurate manner

Why choose SGS?

Employing over 6,000 environmental specialists, including engineers, scientists and chemists, SGS can assist you with the design and implementation of your ambient air monitoring program. Our experienced local field service teams are backed by a global network of experts, meaning your sample will be collected, stored, handled and analyzed to internationally recognized and locally accepted sampling methodologies.

To learn more about ambient air monitoring, contact your local SGS office.

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