EPA Air Quality Data Download: Tips and Tools for Data Users and Researchers
How to Download and Use EPA Air Quality Data
Air quality is a vital factor that affects our health and environment. Poor air quality can cause respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and premature death. It can also harm ecosystems, crops, buildings, and climate. Therefore, it is important to monitor and manage air quality to protect ourselves and our planet.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) collects and provides ambient air quality data from various sources across the country. These data include measurements of pollutants such as ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead, and toxics. The data can help us understand the current and historical levels of air pollution, as well as the trends and patterns over time and space.
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In this article, we will show you how to download and use EPA air quality data for different purposes. We will cover the following topics:
Downloading daily data
Downloading pre-generated files
Using the Air Quality System (AQS)
Benefits of EPA air quality data
Downloading Daily Data
If you want to get the most recent data for ozone, PM2.5, and PM10, you can use the to select a pollutant, a year, a geographic area (such as a state or a county), or a specific monitor site. You can also view the data on an interactive map or download it as a CSV file.
The daily data are expressed in terms of the Air Quality Index (AQI), which is a scale that ranges from 0 to 500 and indicates how clean or polluted the air is. The higher the AQI value, the greater the health risk. The AQI is calculated based on the concentration of each pollutant and its health effects. You can use the to learn how to calculate the AQI from pollutant concentration.
Downloading Pre-Generated Files
If you want to get more comprehensive and historical data for various pollutants, you can use the . AirData provides pre-generated files of data that are updated twice per year. The files include annual summary data, daily summary data, daily AQI data, hourly data, 8-hour average data, and blanks data. The files are grouped by parameter class (such as criteria gases, particulates, meteorological, toxics, ozone precursors, and lead) and by year (from 1990 to present).
The files are all comma separated text with a header. Each aggregate level has a different format. You can use the to learn about the origin and quality of the data.
Using the Air Quality System (AQS)
If you want to access the most complete and accurate ambient air quality data from EPA's repository, you can use the . AQS contains data from more than 10,000 monitors across the U.S. and its territories. The data include raw measurements, quality assurance information, and derived values. The data are submitted by state, local, and tribal agencies, as well as other organizations.
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You can use the AQS website to query, download, and submit data using various tools and formats. You can use the to learn how to use the AQS system and its features.
Benefits of EPA Air Quality Data
EPA air quality data can provide many benefits for various stakeholders and applications. Some of the benefits are:
Assessing health impacts: EPA air quality data can help estimate the exposure and risk of different populations to air pollution, and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and policies.
Monitoring trends: EPA air quality data can help track the changes and variations of air quality over time and space, and identify the factors and drivers that influence them.
Supporting regulations: EPA air quality data can help establish and enforce national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for criteria pollutants, as well as other regulations for hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and greenhouse gases (GHGs).
Informing decisions: EPA air quality data can help inform and educate the public, policymakers, industry, and other stakeholders about the current and future state of air quality, and support their actions and choices.
EPA air quality data can also be used for research, analysis, and visualization purposes. For example, you can use EPA air quality data to:
Analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of air pollution and its sources
Model the transport and dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere
Estimate the emissions and inventories of pollutants from various sectors
Compare and validate different methods and models of air quality assessment
Create maps, charts, graphs, dashboards, and other visual displays of air quality information
In this article, we have shown you how to download and use EPA air quality data for different purposes. We have covered how to use the AirNow website to download daily data for ozone, PM2.5, and PM10; how to use the AirData website to download pre-generated files of annual, daily, and hourly data for various pollutants; how to use the AQS website to access ambient air quality data from EPA's repository; and how to use EPA air quality data for various benefits and applications.
We hope that this article has helped you learn more about EPA air quality data and how to use it effectively. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us. You can also check out some of the following resources for more information:
What is the difference between AQI and concentration?
AQI is a scale that indicates how clean or polluted the air is based on the concentration of each pollutant. Concentration is a measure of how much of a pollutant is present in a given volume of air. AQI is calculated from concentration using a formula that considers the health effects of each pollutant.
What are the criteria pollutants and why are they important?
The criteria pollutants are six common air pollutants that have national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) set by EPA. They are ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead. They are important because they can cause various health and environmental problems, such as respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, acid rain, smog, and climate change.
What are the sources of EPA air quality data and how reliable are they?
The sources of EPA air quality data include state, local, and tribal agencies; federal agencies; industry; research institutions; and other organizations. They use various methods and instruments to measure and report air quality data to EPA. The data are subject to quality assurance and quality control procedures to ensure their accuracy and completeness. EPA also conducts audits and reviews to verify the data quality.
How can I visualize EPA air quality data and create maps and charts?
There are many tools and platforms that can help you visualize EPA air quality data and create maps and charts. Some of them are:
: A web-based tool that shows the current AQI for ozone and PM2.5 for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
: A service that sends you email or text alerts when the AQI in your area reaches a certain level.
: A web-based tool that shows the current fire locations and smoke plumes for the U.S. and Canada.
: A web-based tool that allows you to compare the air quality in different locations across the U.S.
: A web-based tool that shows the trends of air quality and emissions for criteria pollutants over time.
: A set of widgets that you can embed on your website or blog to display the AQI or other air