When we at SimSmoke.Org developed the computer simulations used here to estimate secondhand smoke exposure levels, we validated them using real-time air pollution monitoring instruments. It was important for us to verify the results of exposure estimates using numerous measurements in bars, restaurants, homes, and cars.
The instruments for measuring airborne particles typically operate by drawing air into a tube and analyzing the amount of light that scatters off the particles in the air stream when struck by a laser beam or other light source. The amount of light scatter can be related to the mass of particulates that are present in the air.
There are several new real-time particle monitors coming onto the market. Mark Travers and others at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute have set up a course to help educate those who would like to use one type of instrument to measure particulate air pollution as part of their their own studies or projects.
Check out their website at TobaccoFreeAir.Org.