I used to jokingly tell people that I’m a human barometer or a walking weather station, because my lungs are so sensitive to the environment. Well thanks to Atmotube, now I actually am.
Not only does their newest gadget, the Atmo tube PRO and it’s companion phone app, monitor and track the current weather conditions, including relative humidity and barometric pressure, which are biggies if you have chronic lung disease, it also measures and displays air quality parameters in real time. We’re talking particulate matter readings like PM 1 and PM 2.5 that are elevated smoggy or stagnant air These are the particles that get deep into your lungs that exacerbate your asthma and make it hard to breath. on smoggy or stagnant air days, what we call here in the Bay area refer to as “Spare the air days.” High particulate matter levels in the air can get deep into your lungs exacerbating your asthma and making it hard to breath. In addition to PM1 and PM 2.5, the Atmotube PRO also measures the larger PM 10 particles, such as dust, pollens and other indoor and outdoor irritants which can trigger asthma symptoms as well.
The Atmo tube also measures VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Things like the fumes and odors from paints, lacquers, solvents, building materials, cleaning and disinfecting supplies , gasoline etc. I do my best to avoid chemicals, noxious fumes and overly dusty places if I know they’re present, but for those who might be exposed to these substances on a regular basis or at their worksite, knowing what the VOC levels are could be helpful.
Ironically, almost all of the medical offices Ive visited in the past week while wearing the Atmotube had higher VOCs than other public indoor locations. Today while at a Physical Therapy clinic ( not for me, but my partner), the Atmotube texted me an alert that the VOCs were super high. Sure enough, it turns out that there was building construction and remodeling going on inside the clinic. My eyes were actually watering from the VOCs in the air.
Here’s a screenshot I took……
If you’re the type a of person who finds personal health monitoring devices helpful, then using one that monitors the air you breath should probably be on your list, especially if you have sensitive lungs. And for asthmatics who like to keep a diary of their peak flow and daily symptoms, the Atmo tube could be a useful tool in correlating daily respiratory stats with the environmental conditions at the time, giving you a clearer picture of what your triggers might be. At the very least, a device like this can alert you to conditions that might affect your breathing, so that you can take precautions.
Just to be clear, Im not a technical whiz or specialist in the field air quality instrumentation, so I can’t attest to the accuracy of the ATMO’s onboard air quality sensors, but in the 2 weeks that Ive had this device, the readings do seem to correlate with air quality data reported on environmental agency sites. As a matter of fact, while I was writing this post there was actually an active 4-alarm vegetation fire on Mare Island, which is located just a couple miles due east of where I live. I could actually see some of the flames on the island from my front deck. The prevailing off shore winds were blowing the smoke directly into the nearby towns, including mine. When I stepped outside you could smell thick smoke in the air. Out of curiosity I took the Atmotube outside with me and within minutes the air quality reading on the device dropped from 90 inside the house to 79 on my front deck. Did I need a device to tell me that air quality was bad? Probably not, as the smell alone would tip anyone off that air was not good to breath. But the point is, the Atmo did it’s job!
One thing’s for sure, since I began using the Atmotube I’ve become much more aware about the air I breath and more educated on how the environmental factors can affect ones health and wellbeing. It feels good knowing that Im armed with a device that can alert me to potentially dangerous irritants in the air I breath in real time. You can never have too many tools in your anti asthma arsenal, right?
Atmotube comes in two versions, the Atmotube Plus and the Atmotube PRO . The main difference between models is that Atmotube PLUS measures VOCs while Atmotube PRO measures VOCs and PMs. You can find both of these on the Atmotube website or on Amazon.com If you decide to purchase directly from the Atmotube, use promo code “TAKEABREATHE” for a 10% discount.
Disclaimer; I was given a Atmotube Pro at no cost in exchange for my personal feedback. I was not required to post my thoughts publicly, but I like to share with my readers new tools and technologies that might improve and protect their respiratory health.