Official monitoring stations in Romania only provide data from a few locations, and are not updated regularly, only once per day. Romanians therefore need real time sources of information, which can be achieved via simple solutions like a mobile app. In 2019, in Bucharest, we recorded 126 days when the daily average concentration of PM2.5 exceeded the permissible standard (according to WHO recommendations of 25 μg / m3). Togheter with Philips Romania Airly decided to create a campaign called RomâniaRespiră, to build a real time monitoring system. The first was in Bucharest and later in other Romanian cities.
The first edition of the campaign lasted from January to March 2020. A special landing page https://repairtheair.org/romaniarespira/ was created to educate Romanians about air pollution and its health effects. The second edition sterded in November 2020 and will be active until the end of 2021.
On the landing page, Romanians were able to buy one sensor and get the second one for free from Philips for their own homes. For those who didn’t need the sensor but wanted to support the action, we offered the possibility to donate and gather the money for a shared sensor installed in public locations like schools. Additionally Philips offered a 40% discount code on air purifiers. Thanks to the campaign, awareness of air pollution among Romanians has increased. People started sharing screenshots of the Airly map, and the issue was widely discussed on Facebook and Instagram.