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.
Unlike stratospheric ozone, which forms naturally in the upper atmosphere and protects us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, ground-level (or tropospheric) ozone is created through the interactions of man-made (and natural) emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides in the presence of heat and sunlight. Cars and gasoline-burning engines are large sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs also come from consumer products such as paints, insecticides, and cleaners as well as industrial solvents and chemical manufacturing.
High concentrations of ozone near ground level can be harmful to people, animals, crops, and other materials. Ozone can irritate your respiratory system, causing you to start coughing, feel an irritation in your throat and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in your chest. Ozone can aggravate asthma, and can inflame and damage cells that line your lungs. Ozone may also aggravate chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis and reduce the immune system's ability to fight off bacterial infections in the respiratory system. Lastly, ozone may cause permanent lung damage. These effects can be worse in children and exercising adults.
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