In February of 2013, Ella Kissi-Debrah, age 9, died from what was ruled to be acute respiratory failure and severe asthma. Seven years later, her mother—after a long battle that stretched for just as long—had her death reexamined by a different coroner, who added ‘exposure to air pollution’ as cause of death.
Since little Ella’s death, the World Health Organization published data showing that 7 million people die each year due to air pollution, and that 90% of people breathe polluted air which goes over what a human being can tolerate. With the impact of COVID-19 and the damage it does to the lungs of those who contract it, the importance of breathing quality air without the need for respirators has been highlighted than ever before.
As we start to slowly return to our normal way of life, we must be mindful of pollutants and how they affect not only our health, but our environment as well. The impacts of climate change are becoming more severe and progressing sooner than what was previously anticipated.
With this in mind, UKBlackTech is creating a prototype for a bot on Discord—an increasingly growing social media platform—which will allow users to check levels of pollutants at different locations in boroughs around London, using hourly-updated data. It will present this data in a user-friendly format, which could be used to plan activities with, helping those with respiratory problems to choose days where the air quality is better. The bot will store the average data for each day for 30 days, allowing users to examine how barbecues, street parties, festivals, and other events impact the air quality of their area, and act accordingly.
The world is changing and it calls for us to adapt and change with it, and keeping ourselves aware and informed will help us in the days to come.