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'air-quality' by mathew

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. ## 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. ### Subtopics [wikis:parent:air-quality] **** ## Questions [questions:air-quality] **** ## Activities [activities:air-quality] ## Particle Sensing 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] ## DustDuino [DustDuino ]( help individuals with limited resources monitor PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations, indoors or outdoors. It uses Shinyei PPD42NS, a $15USD optical sensor that uses an LED and a lens to determine the concentration of dust in a partially closed chamber that draws in air from its surroundings. ### Cypress Hills Air Quality (CHAQ) Initiative In 2013, this 8 week [Air Quality Class]( was created for middle-schoolers in the Cypress Hills Air Quality (CHAQ) Initiative, with support from the <a href="">United States Environmental Protection Agency</a>'s program "Citizen Science: Community Involvement Today and in the Future". This project was a collaboration with the <a href="">Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation</a>. <a href="/people/jmsaavedra">Joe Saavedra</a> and <a href="/people/liz">Liz Barry</a> are the Public Laboratory facilitators. <a href="/people/georgiabullen">Georgia Bullen</a>, <a href="/people/yeb">Yael</a>, and <a href="people/jlipshin">Jason Lipshin</a> are involved from MIT. ### Air Column Monitor The [air column monitor project]( is from the April 2012 EcoHackII at Parsons in NYC, which brought together a group of developers, "scientists", data visualizers and activists to work on the initial design. ### Roomba Indoor Air Quality Mapping This tool is being developed to experiment with visually [mapping indoor air quality]( A Roomba--the room cleaning vacuum--is programmed to travel all around a room once it is left to roam. **** ## 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]( 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
PM Tools /wiki/pm-tools 11 months ago by warren 3 370 0
Optical Monitoring of Particulate Matter /wiki/optical-pm over 1 year ago by warren 23 2,562 5
Formaldehyde Test Kit /wiki/formaldehyde-test-kit almost 4 years ago by mathew 23 7,710 10
Particle Sensing /wiki/particle-sensing over 1 year ago by warren 25 11,875 6
Silica /wiki/silica over 2 years ago by mathew 17 5,106 1