OpenAQ is an open-source project to surface live, real-time air quality data from around the world. Its “mission is to enable previously impossible science, impact policy and empower the public to fight air pollution.” The data include air pollutant measurements for PM10, PM2.5, sulfur dioxide (SO₂), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO₂), ozone (O₃), and black carbon (BC) from over 5,400 locations in 48 countries as of June 2017. Scientists, researchers, developers, and citizens can use these data to understand how air quality in different locations changes over time.
OpenAQ has 5 criteria for including data sources in its platform:
1) Data must represent one of these pollutant types: PM10, PM2.5, SO₂, CO, NO₂, O₃, or BC;
2) data must be from an official-level stationary, outdoor air quality source, defined as data produced by a government entity or international organization;
3) data must be "raw" and reported in physical concentrations on their originating site;
4) data must be at the "station-level," not aggregated into a higher (e.g., city) level;
5) data must be from measurements averaged between 10 minutes and 24 hours.
PM10 are fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller. These particles come in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals. Some are emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires. Most particles form in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.
The size of these particles allows them to get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream. Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including: premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing. People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure.
Resource Watch shows only a subset of the dataset. For access to the full dataset and additional information, see the Learn More link.
OpenAQ Air Quality Readings
Data on the OpenAQ Application Programming Interface (API) are as reported by official entities. All quality control and data verification should be performed by users.
Hasenkopf, Christa A., David C. Adukpo, Michael Brauer, H. Langley Dewitt, Sarath Guttikunda, Alaa I. Ibrahim, Delgerzul Lodoisamba, et al. 2016. "To Combat Air Inequality, Governments and Researchers Must Open Their Data." Clean Air Journal = Tydskrif vir Skoon Lug 26 (2): 8-10. Accessed through Resource Watch, (date). www.resourcewatch.org.
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan (Province of China), Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam
Varies by country and source