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Measuring pollution exposure

An important difference between shipping and other forms of freight transport is that sailing personnel live for longer periods on their ship. As a result, these people might also be exposed to air pollution sources (for example: exhaust gases, cargo vapours, pollution originating from harbours) during their free time. For example, for inland shipping it is common that children sail along during holidays. Unfortunately, we have insufficient knowledge about the indoor air quality in the accommodations of ships.



A joint team of the Antwerp Maritime Academy, KdG University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and VITO aims to evaluate the health risks of sailing personnel in the living areas on board of ships. To realize that ambition, the ELGAS-project will realize the following objectives.

  • Develop a measuring system that communicates with the sailing personnel in real time
  • Deploy the system on multiple ships
  • Get an insight into the air quality in the accommodations of ships
  • If needed, make proposals to improve air quality
  • Involve other organisations in the realization of the goals

Main deliverables

The ELGAS-project will result in several important deliverables:

  • A calibrated measuring system that continuously monitors multiple environmental parameters that allows the evaluation of indoor air quality in ships
  • A software platform that converts measurements of several parameters in a single Air Quality Index. That index allows sailing personnel to better explore and understand the measurements
  • A wireless communication system between the measuring devices and scientists at their institute
  • Data sets from several measuring campaigns performed on board of ships