This is a testing site only. See the live Public Lab site here »

Air Quality

Outdoor air pollution, in the most extreme cases, can be immediately identified even without any special training. It casts a haze over cities, collects on streets and buildings, and provides dramatic fodder for the news. But while high drama is often a prerequisite for news about air quality to be reported, the real story is the health impacts that occur even when the air isn't thick enough to see. _Lead image from @eustatic's [work](/notes/Schroyer/11-23-2013/measure-coarse-and-fine-air-particulates-with-a-dustduino#c7711)_ ## Introduction According to the [EPA](, Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. Most pollutants affecting indoor air quality come from sources inside buildings, although some originate outdoors. Typical pollutants of concern include **combustion products such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and environmental tobacco smoke; substances of natural origin such as radon; biological agents such as molds; pesticides; lead; asbestos; ozone (from some air cleaners); and various volatile organic compounds from a variety of products and materials**. This is even more striking when the health effects attributed to outdoor fine [particulate matter (PM2.5)](/wiki/particle-sensing) rank among the risk factors with the highest health impacts in the world, annually [accounting for over 3.2 million premature deaths]( In October 2013, the World Health Organization [announced]( they are considering particulate matter, a major component of indoor and outdoor air pollution, as a Group 1 carcinogen along with tobacco smoke and asbestos. For more, see this [excellent overview by Toxics Action Center]( ###Example Air Pollution Regulations in Wisconsin: | VIOLATIONS | RELEVANT PROVISION | |-|-| | Air pollution which is defined as the presence of smoke, dust, gases, fumes in the air. The presence of these substances must also lead to injury on humans, animals or plants as well as interfere with the enjoyment of life or one's property. | NR 400.02 | | Fugitive dust. This refers to the presence in the air of dust from sources such as open fields and piles. There will be a violation on air quality when during handling, transporting and storing of materials, the people undertaking these activities do not take precaution and some of these materials end up being released into the air. | NR 415.04| | Causing, allowing or permitting solid or liquid hazardous substances into the air. This includes dust, soot, pollen, smoke and liquid droplets. One can spot that violation by simply observing the ambient air. | NR. 415.05| | Industrial sand mines that do not take precautions to ensure dust does not escape into the air. | NR 415.075| ### Subtopics [wikis:parent:air-quality] **** ## Questions [questions:air-quality] **** ## Activities [activities:air-quality] ## Particle Sensor Projects Public Lab has initiated a [Particle Sensing Project](/wiki/particle-sensing) focused primarily on [Silica](/wiki/silica). This project overlaps with and includes the DustDuino and is coordinated on the [Air-Quality Google Group](/lists). A variety of particle sensors have been posted on the site: [wikis:particle-sensor] **** ## Air quality projects [wikis:air-quality-projects] **** ## Resources ### U.S. EPA Standards and Test Methods ### National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) Section 109 of the Clean Air Act directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) requisite _to protect public health_ with an adequate margin of safety (primary standard) and _for the protection of public welfare_ (secondary standard). Section 109(d)(1) of the CAA requires EPA to complete a thorough review of the NAAQS at _5-year intervals_ and promulgate new standards when appropriate. Complete details of the standards, measurement principles, and data interpreation, can be found in [Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 50]( [Summary of the NAAQS Criteria Pollutants]( [![EPANAAQS.gif](]( ### EPA Test Methods EPA approved instruments are designated as either a Federal Reference Method (FRM) or Federal Equivalent Methods (FEM). The complete list of approved instruments for NAAQS evaluating is provided on the EPA [Ambient Monitoring Technology Information Center (AMTIC) web site]( ### Real Time Data EPA and its State and Tribal partners publish near real-time air quality data (typically hourly updates) as well air quality _forecasts_ on the [AirNow web site]( The AirNow site also contains, links to [Visibility Cameras](, which are yet another way to evaluate air pollution. Examples of clear and hazy days from [Boston HazeCam]( [![boston.jpg](]( ### Historical Data Historical air quality test results are freely available through [EPA AirData]( ### EPA & Citizen Science Next Generation of Monitors EPA has also been involved with [Next Generation Air Measuring (link may be deprecated)]( and is currently offering its Citizen Science Toolbox Resources online - Air Sensor Guidebook; - Air Sensor Technology: State of the Science Presentation; - Mobile Sensors and Applications for Air Pollutants; and - Sensor Evaluation Report. ## Other Resources for Air Quality Standards The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and its **National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)** also offer a wealth of guidance. In particular, the [NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods]( is a collection of procedures for sampling and analysis of contaminants including workplace air. The **Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)**, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their [Toxicological Profiles](, is particularly useful for when a pollutant can be identified by compound or element. ## Wikis All wiki pages relating to air quality: [wikis:air-quality]...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
noi5e "Test comment 2! " | Read more » 5 months ago
noi5e "Test comment! " | Read more » 5 months ago
icarito "Testing image upload in stable " | Read more » about 1 year ago
anaXg "Test comment " | Read more » almost 2 years ago
kulbirs416 "Consumer Rights,Consumer Awareness is an act of making sure the buyer or consumer is aware of the information about products, goods, services, and ..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
Ag8n "The emission bands would be best seen at night. And they are flame condition dependent. So you would want to monitor the flame some way. The bes..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
kgradow1 "In this picture, for instance, there's no blue. So maybe it's not carbon? That's a stretch, though. Swan bands are hard to see in the daylight. " | Read more » about 2 years ago
kgradow1 "I think it's both, right? Emission bands give you a spectra you can match. The blue light that's emitted from a regular flame, swan bands, for in..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
Ag8n "This conversation may get a little write-up FYI. The shimmering air is probably caused by refraction. The heated air has a different RI then cold..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
eustatic "what's a handheld weather model? Definitely track the wind. Here's an example using Meso West in Cancer Alley" | Read more » about 2 years ago
kgradow1 " @kgradow1 has marked @jjcreedon as a co-author. " | Read more » about 2 years ago
www_v9_bet "Thanks for posting your question. You can also check out this website too: " | Read more » about 2 years ago
bhamster "That makes a lot of sense. Thanks @DavidMack for taking the time to share your thoughts and this additional context about the reliability of the em..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
DavidMack "It's quite a broad question to answer but when people use WebFire to estimate emissions, it's generally the best information available. Sources co..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
bhamster "@A_SCH Thanks for posting your question. For others who want to check out WebFIRE, here's the website: " | Read more » over 2 years ago
bhamster "Hi @ajg434, thanks for posting this question. For others interested in WebFIRE, here's the website: @DavidMack I sa..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
naomitsai88 "Banyak orang ingin bermain poker online namun tidak memiliki modal yang besar, namun tak perlu bersedih karna terdapat solusinya, yaitu IDN Poker y..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
Ag8n "I'm not an expert on the EPA. But I do have extensive experience in the medical device field. In the USP ( United States pharmacopeia), timelines ..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
kgradow1 "@joyofsoy @nshapiro @eustatic " | Read more » over 2 years ago
covinsopolst7856 "So, if you visit Loch Fyne Restaurant this week and receive the receipt, it may be a lucky day for you and you may be one of the survey winners. S..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
kgradow1 "@eustatic, would you be interested in chatting with me about this project? it would be awesome to do a quick write-up of the minivol vs. bucket, ..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
ms2739165 " " | Read more » over 2 years ago
ms2739165 " " | Read more » over 2 years ago
ms2739165 " " | Read more » over 2 years ago