Residents of nine more countries now have the opportunity to see how dirty the air they breathe is.
BreezoMeter, the Israeli-created app that shows how good or poor air quality is in a specific location, is moving beyond Israel and the US, where it had been available until now, and will be able to measure air quality in large cities in China, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, Finland, France, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan. As a result, said the company, BreezoMeter’s current user base of 50 million daily users is set to grow significantly.
The company is ready, said Ziv Lautman, co-founder and chief marketing officer of BreezoMeter. “Understanding pollution trends and making air quality data actionable with reliable and accurate information has long been a challenge in addressing the global environmental concerns. Our platform addresses these issues by providing access to an unprecedented level of dynamic air quality analysis, bringing to life this invisible enemy. We want cities and individuals to understand how to improve air quality and, in turn, their own wellbeing.”
According to a recent OECD report, air pollution has now become the biggest environmental cause of premature deaths worldwide, overtaking poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water. In most OECD countries, the death toll from heart and lung diseases caused by air pollution is much higher than the one from traffic accidents.
In numbers: Outdoor air pollution kills more than 3 million people across the world every year, and causes health problems from asthma to heart disease for hundreds of millions.
BreezoMeter does its part to fight air pollution by supplying vital information and raising consciousness about it. BreezoMeter’s data analytics determine the dispersion and flow of air pollution in real-time by gathering information from thousands of sensors around the world, providing users with accurate air quality data – specific down to a city block, said Breezeometer co-founder and CEO Ran Korber.
Its proprietary platform, BreezoTool, uses sensor input as well as weather data and infrastructure maps to help cities not only understand pollution and dispersion patterns but also to understand how to take action to improve air quality.
The app looks at your location and determines where the closest stations are in order to make its calculations; for example, the app may take data from three or four nearby stations. Barometer’s algorithms check the information and match it up with weather data (also supplied by the stations), including temperature, wind information, time of day, position of the sun — all factors that can affect the pollution level. BreezoMeter then delivers a localized pollution reading — which, said Korber, “is 99% accurate.”
“We developed it in order figure out where the safest place would be for my pregnant wife,” on the theory that high pollution levels could cause physical or mental damage in fetuses or infants, said Korber. “Many studies have shown that high levels of pollution can cause damage in infants, and with BreezoMeter families can check if pollution levels are consistently high in a specific location before they rent or buy a home there.”
AddressReport, a provider of property background checks, uses BreezoMeter to provide customers with information about the environment of a house they are interested in purchasing.
“BreezoMeter’s air quality data has helped us drive increased engagement among our users,” said Kayvon Bina, president of AddressReport. “We use BreezoMeter’s tool to inform homeowners, buyers, sellers and real estate agents of important air quality changes and considerations near the addresses they care most about. We’re excited to introduce even more features as BreezoMeter rolls out new data points and capabilities.”
Last May, Lautman and Korber were feted by the White House as being among the top entrepreneurs in the world working to battle climate change, and before that it BreezoMeter was recognized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as a company “that can contribute to address today’s social and environmental challenges, through new groundbreaking ideas that can become successful business,” according to the group. And BreezoMeter was named one of the “20 hottest in the world” by American cable news network CNBC, chosen out of over 600 start-up ideas.
Lautman said the company has its eye on the prize – bringing its technology to countries around the world.
“Fifty years ago Israel and other countries started the water revolution; now it is time for the air quality revolution,” said Lautman. “BreezoMeter is only the first stage but there is more to come. It is the first step in order to make the invisible visible, and we are proud to be the first solution that provide accurate air quality data.”