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.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can be harmful when inhaled in large amounts. CO is released when something is burned. The greatest sources of CO to outdoor air are cars, trucks and other vehicles or machinery that burn fossil fuels. Breathing air with a high concentration of CO reduces the amount of oxygen that can be transported in the blood stream to critical organs like the heart and brain. At very high levels, which are possible indoors or in other enclosed environments, CO can cause dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness and death.
Very high levels of CO are not likely to occur outdoors. However, when CO levels are elevated outdoors, they can be of particular concern for people with some types of heart disease. These people already have a reduced ability for getting oxygenated blood to their hearts in situations where the heart needs more oxygen than usual. They are especially vulnerable to the effects of CO when exercising or under increased stress. In these situations, short-term exposure to elevated CO may result in reduced oxygen to the heart accompanied by chest pain also known as angina.
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