Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)

Pollutants - Gases - SO2


AirQuality Limited can offer a variety of monitoring options for the monitoring of SO2 including:

  • SO2 Direct-reading instrumental method (fluorescence)
  • SO2 Electrochemical Sensor

More detail on each of these options is shown below:

SO2 Direct Reading Instrumental Method
The direct reading sulphur dioxide analyser is a reference standard instrument which can meet the requirements of AS 3580.4.1-2008 : Determination of sulphur dioxide- Direct-reading instrumental method. The correct operation of this instrument requires a temperature controlled enclosure.

SO2 Gas Sensitive Semiconductor
The AirQuality Gasmote-SO2 electrochemical sensor uses advanced electrochemical technologies in combination with data-logging, communications and global positioning systems

  • Capable of high quality indicative SO2 measurement
  • Continuous measurement, automated data up-load


Pricing is dependent upon:

  • The length of time you wish to monitor for
  • The type of equipment you wish to use
  • Whether you wish to purchase or rent the monitoring instrumentation
  • The level of data validation and reporting
  • Whether an instrument enclosure is required
  • Whether mains or solar powered options are required
  • Whether wind speed and direction also need to be measured

Our clients tell us that we offer very competitive quotes for both the supply and operation of these instruments.

Contact us today for an obligation free quote!


Sulphur dioxide causes its irritant effects by stimulating nerves in the lining of the nose and throat and the lung’s airways. This causes a reflex cough, irritation, and a feeling of chest tightness, which may lead to narrowing of the airways. This latter effect is particularly likely to occur in people suffering from asthma and chronic lung disease, whose airways are often inflamed and easily irritated (Department of Environment, 1995).

Asthmatics are generally considered the most sensitive group in the community to concentrations of SO2. Other sensitive groups include those exercising. This is because SO2 is very reactive and consequently the distribution of SO2 along the conductive airways of the respiratory tract is non-uniform, depending on breathing volumes and types. For nasal breathing with low to moderate volumes the penetration into the lungs is negligible. For oral inhalation and larger volumes, doses may reach the segmental bronchi (World Health Organisation, 2000).

The health effects of concentrations of SO2 have been studied in a number of ways including exposure of volunteers to sulphur dioxide in the air they are breathing in a laboratory situation and by examination of the effects on members of the population who have been exposed to episodes of atmospheric pollution. In the controlled laboratory situation, acute responses occur within the first few minutes of exposure and further inhalation does not increase effects.

Short-term (less than 24-hour exposure) guideline values for SO2 have been developed based on the minimum concentrations associated with adverse effects in asthmatic patients exercising in a laboratory situation (World Health Organisation, 2000). Thus the guideline values represent a protective level for vulnerable groups within the community.

Information on the effects of exposure for longer periods (e.g. 24-hour) is obtained from epidemiological studies, which show associations between contaminants such as SO2 and health impacts in communities and selected panels. In evaluating the health evidence relating to SO2 exposure for the New Zealand ambient air quality guideline values, Dennison et al (2002) concludes that because of the correlations between SO2 and other contaminants in the air it is difficult to confidently attribute the observed effects in the epidemiological studies to SO2 alone. Experimental studies were therefore used to derive the dose-response relationships underpinning the ambient air quality guideline values for SO2 for New Zealand.