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Single sensors hold promise for studying effects of air pollution


1 May 2019​

A new study has shed light on the best way to study the immediate physiological effects of air pollution.

Researchers from CAR and the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University looked at how to measure heart rate, breathing rate and blood oxygen saturation (amount of oxygen in the blood) using a single sensor on the human body.

Lead authors Dr Gaetano D Gargiulo and Ms Sally Longmore, of Western Sydney University, placed sensors on multiple sites on volunteers.


Their study, published in the journal Sensors, found that while a sensor placed on fingertips produced the best results when a person was resting, a sensor on the forehead produced the overall best results during walking.

Dr Gargiulo said that although improvements were required, this was an important result, as it showed it was possible to monitor physiological parameters during daily life from a single site.

Co-author Professor Bin Jalaludin, an expert in the health effects of air pollution at CAR, said there was a strong link between air pollution and heart disease.

Professor Bin Jalaludin ... a single sensor will make it easier for researchers to study the immediate effects of air pollution.

“Using personal air pollution and physiological monitoring such as blood oxygen saturation and respiratory/heart rates will make it easier for researchers to study the immediate effects of air pollution,” he said.

For more information contact Professor Jalaludin on

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