Ogawa & Co. was established August 12, 1937 by Suzukichi Ogawa in Osaka, Japan. The original mission of the company was the introduction of imported rice and cotton into Japanese home market. They became a Corporation (Ltd.) in 1978, and it was at that time the current President, Hiroshi Ogawa, an Engineering graduate of Otaru University, revived his interest in the air quality which existed in the workshops of Japan.
Then, as now, most monitoring was done using real-time monitors which were expensive and not dependable, due to their being complex devices dependent on constant power supply.
His initial goal was to invent a simple device, requiring no outside source of power, which could determine the quantity of basic air-quality gases in ambient air. Working closely with Dr. K. Hirano, Chief Chemist, City of Yokohama, Japan, they combined their talents for engineering and chemistry and in 1986 invented the Ogawa Passive Sampler.
Intially designed to simultaneously sample for NO-NO2-NOX, it was the first device invented that could read NO concentrations passively.
Brought to the United States in 1988 by D.R. Schaeffer, who, with H. Ogawa, formed Ogawa & Co., USA, Inc., the sampler was given to U.S. E.P.A. for trial purposes. While at E.P.A., it was observed by Dr. Petros Koutrakis, Harvard School of Public Health, inventor of a solution that had the ability to determine Ozone concentrations in ambient air. This solution worked very well in the Ogawa Passive Sampler, and the device has taken a life of its own as the Harvard Ozone Passive Sampler.
Today, the Ogawa Passive Sampler is being used world-wide for the collection of NO-NO2, NOX, SO2, O3 and NH3. It can be used as a personal sampler or in micro-environmental outdoor programs. It has weather shelters that protect it from high winds and moisture. Because they only consumable item for each exposure is the pre-coated collection pad, the Ogawa Passive Sampler represents one of the lowest cost devices for accurate measurements of large urban and rural areas. Its usable life-span is measured in years and in countless exposures.