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.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) is one of a group of highly reactive gases known as oxides of nitrogen or nitrogen oxides (NOx). Other nitrogen oxides include nitrous acid and nitric acid. NO₂ is used as the indicator for the larger group of nitrogen oxides. NO₂ primarily gets in the air from the burning of fuel. NO₂ forms from emissions from cars, trucks and buses, power plants, and off-road equipment.
Breathing air with a high concentration of NO₂ can irritate airways in the human respiratory system. Such exposures over short periods can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, leading to respiratory symptoms (such as coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing), hospital admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Longer exposures to elevated concentrations of NO₂ may contribute to the development of asthma and potentially increase susceptibility to respiratory infections. People with asthma, as well as children and the elderly are generally at greater risk for the health effects of NO₂.
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