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
cfastie "The Adafruit VOC sensor module uses a CCS-811 VOC sensor. Modules with these sensors cost about half as much when purchased on eBay from sellers in..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
etechschool " was founded in 2019 by Shubham Bane with a dream of creating a valuable resource for tech greeks. Must check out : Etechschool " | Read more » over 3 years ago
lmichaelsen "Nice thats really clever. I like it " | Read more » over 3 years ago
stevie "From Mallory on the Purple Air team: "When a user registers their PurpleAir sensor, they select the location that they want the sensor icon to appe..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
eustatic "Thanks, Stevie. in the past, we've had surveyors for companies releasing PM trespass onto private property and reset the sensors. this was for imp..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
wu_ming2 "I prefer notifications because my sensor is indoor and don't want to keep checking the map to know when is time to switch on the purifier. Very si..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
eustatic "There's now a secondary download option, from a lat long exclusion bbox: Here's an example of a sensorlist generated with a exclusion bbox, for Ne..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
eustatic "I did this! but it's different in 2020 " | Read more » over 3 years ago
eustatic "purple air is different now, you have to click the very obscure download link on the map page They also discuss selecting an AOI on the map, but i..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
eustatic "cool stuff, would like to learn about being notified " | Read more » over 3 years ago
evandevnd12 "دوره آنلاین آموزش زبان انگلیسی یکی از جدیدترین و بهترین راه کارها برای یادگیری اصولی زبان انگلیسی است. امروزه یادگیری زبان انگلیسی یک مزیت که نه یک..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
subir "Wow thanks for organizing this and making all things accessible toward the end. " | Read more » over 3 years ago
stevie "Hi Yes! give me a day, and everything (chat links shared and such, as well as the call itself) will be shared on www/ " | Read more » over 3 years ago
subir "Hey all. It was a wonderful discussion, but after it ended the Zoom app thing closed down and i have no way to get back to all the chats that were ..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
stevie "Hi All! Reminder this OpenHour is today at 1pm ET (see your local timezone here,438)!! Here's a link to join..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
warren "Same! " | Read more » over 3 years ago
annemolony413 "Thanks for your advice Stevie. anne " | Read more » over 3 years ago
annemolony413 "Thank you for your help kgradow1. Our main problem now is to prove that silica is in the quarry that exists so that we can stop its expansion to s..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
eustatic "interested in this for sure " | Read more » over 3 years ago
sarasage "More specifically, does anyone have experience with VOC breakout boards for Arduino? Do you prefer a different manufacturer? Do you have experien..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
asampra "I did this! Don't forget the springs. There are 3 sizes and four springs. So far the device corresponds to a duplicate system. Was reading very ..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
stevie "Hi! Yes good question. Also check out this page: It's related to sand mining, but there would be similar conce..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
autoheydari246 "i had similar problem and resolve it by a solution you car red in: " | Read more » over 3 years ago
kgradow1 "Airborne crystalline silica is a known occupational health hazard and is hazardous in high concentrations. See links below: https://www.silica-sa..." | Read more » over 3 years ago