​Seoul to operate lab-on-wheels to analyze air quality in populated areas

By Park Sae-jin Posted : December 1, 2021, 10:13 Updated : December 31, 2021, 13:31

[Courtesy of Seoul Metropolitan Govenrment]

SEOUL -- A public health research institute in Seoul will start operating an electric truck-based mobile lab, also known as lab-on-wheels, to analyze air quality including the density of particulate matter and its source at populated areas. Using collected data, the institute will research solutions to improve public health.
A lab-on-wheels is a modified truck designed to carry a modulated lab compartment. It is ideal for checking the air and water quality of various places. In South Korea, mobile labs are frequently operated especially during winter to check the source of particulate matter, also known as fine dust.
Particulate matter is microscopic dust particles that contain harmful substances such as heavy metal and carbon composites. Particulate matter is normally created through the combustion of carbon materials including fossil fuels. While normal dust particles take an average of two days to be discharged from the body after inhalation, it takes about a week to remove particulate matter from the body.
The Seoul Research Institute of Public Health and Environment said that its mobile lab will be put into operation from December 2021 to February 2022 to check air quality in three crowded districts that showed high-density levels of particulate matter. In an investigation in early 2021, researchers found that the main source of air pollution was fumes created by vehicles and printing facilities.

"We will continue to track down the source of particulate matter emissions to develop an effective solution to improve air quality," an unnamed researcher said in a statement on December 1.
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