Monitoring Air Quality in Low- Income and Lower Middle-Income Countries

16th March 2020
Author: Suzanne Bartington, William Avis

Air pollution is a global environmental health threat, contributing to an estimated 3-7 million deaths per year. This rapid literature review surveys academic and grey literature on air quality monitoring in low-income (LICs) and lower middle-income countries (LMICs). Despite links between exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution and negative health impacts, there is paucity of long-term, appropriately calibrated data measuring air quality in LICs and LMICs. A number of methods of air quality monitoring are utilised to assess levels of air pollution. Air pollution affects all regions of the world, in a context of rapid urbanisation, the WHO estimated that between 2008 and 2013, urban air pollution levels increased by 8% and are expected to rise further given rapid urban development. Whilst most studies exploring air pollution monitor outdoor levels, indoor air quality is also a concern, particularly in households where vulnerable groups may be present. Despite concerted efforts to manage air quality globally, air pollution remains one of the world’s largest environmental health risks.

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Suggested Citation

Avis, W. & Bartington, S. (2020). Monitoring Air Quality in Low Income and Lower Middle-Income Countries. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


16th March 2020


Continent: Global