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]...

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Title URL Last edited Edits Page Views Likes
Bucket Monitor /wiki/bucket-monitor 12 months ago by kgradow1 19 93 1
Choosing a method for Particulate Matter Monitoring /wiki/choosing-a-method-for-particulate-matter-monitoring over 1 year ago by stevie 21 136 0
Orangetown Aluf /wiki/orangetown-aluf over 1 year ago by stevie 5 108 1
The Sand Sentinel Program /wiki/the-sand-sentinel-program over 1 year ago by stevie 18 1,215 2
Local reporting on frac sand mining issues /wiki/local-reporting-on-frac-sand-mining-issues about 2 years ago by stevie 2 53 0
Observable air quality violations related to frac sand mining /wiki/observable-air-quality-violations-related-to-frac-sand-mining about 2 years ago by stevie 2 130 0
CAFO /wiki/cafo over 1 year ago by stevie 3 106 0
Filters /wiki/filters over 2 years ago by warren 11 160 2
PurpleAir /wiki/purpleair over 1 year ago by joyofsoy 16 3,392 2
Community Microscope Kit /wiki/micro over 1 year ago by warren 65 4,710 11
MACA /wiki/maca about 3 years ago by nanocastro 4 488 5
Odor Logging /wiki/odor about 1 year ago by joyofsoy 32 781 3
How Wisconsin's Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) Wants to Receive Environmental Violation Data /wiki/how-wisconsin-s-dept-of-natural-resources-dnr-wants-to-receive-environmental-violation-data over 3 years ago by gilbert 1 200 0
Air Sampling /wiki/air-sampling about 1 year ago by kgradow1 23 2,467 2
Formaldehyde /wiki/formaldehyde almost 4 years ago by gretchengehrke 5 301 1
BioBroth Bubbler /wiki/biobroth-bubbler about 4 years ago by warren 3 600 0
General Environmental Monitoring Study Strategies /wiki/general-environmental-monitoring-study-strategies over 3 years ago by gretchengehrke 2 402 0
Dust /wiki/dust over 4 years ago by warren 1 2 0
pDR-1500 /wiki/pdr-1500 about 4 years ago by mathew 6 749 2
MiniVol TAS Particulate Matter Monitor /wiki/minivol about 2 years ago by Bronwen 45 1,566 1
Silica Monitoring /wiki/silica-monitoring over 3 years ago by warren 14 3,962 4
Visual Monitoring of Particulate Matter /wiki/visual-pm over 1 year ago by stevie 18 926 2
Filter Based Monitoring of Particulate Matter /wiki/filter-pm over 3 years ago by warren 9 1,350 1
SEM stub monitor for particulate matter /wiki/sem-stub-pm over 3 years ago by warren 17 480 1