While it is true that air pollution knows neither boundaries nor borders, nevertheless an attempt to sort information into indoor and outdoor categories has been made for ease of reference. Please be certain to check both. If what you seek is not under one category it may well be under the other.
Note: This is such an incredible resource it deserves its own category. This Guide details exactly how to deal with an environmental investigation and, though it is Canadian-based, the information it contains can be extrapolated to other countries. It is available free online, but can also be ordered in print format.
EBI: Environmental Bureau of Investigation Citizens Guide to Environmental Investigation and Public Prosecution. Describes what citizens can do to hold polluters responsible for their actions, including: obtaining documentary evidence, collecting physical evidence, comparing laboratory results with pollution regulations, making a formal complaint to government regulators, informing the media about the problem, enlisting the help of experts, and as a last resort, launching a private prosecution. Click on the subheading numbers at the left of the entry to access each page. The name of each entry is not a link, only the subheading numbers are. See also their Mission Statement for more information about the group.
Pollution Tracking Sites:
Air Pollutant Emissions Criteria Air Contaminants Emission Summaries. National, provincial maps and summaries. The emissions of various air pollutants that affect our health and contribute to air pollution problems such as Smog are tracked by Environment Canada. These emissions originate from a number of sources located across the country which include industrial production, fuel combustion, transportation vehicles, incineration, paved and unpaved roads, forest fires, etc.
AirNow Today’s Air Quality Forecast (U.S.) Air Quality forecasts are provided by State and local agencies, using EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI), a uniform index that provides general information to the public about air quality and associated health effects. Cities which have web sites with information about air pollution in their location have links associated with their spot on the map. A more detailed forecast is also available.
Canoe air quality index The air quality index measures the concentration of seven major urban air pollutants produced by industry, automobiles and other urban activities. [ NOTE: Choose a city and then scroll down the page for the air quality index measurement.]
Canadian Cancer Surveillance On-Line The most current cancer statistics in Canada. Look at trends in cancer incidence by province and territory, by age group, over time, and for about 45 different cancer sites (types of cancer). Both graphs and tables are displayed and instructions are available for downloading the information.
Clean Air Strategic Alliance The Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) is a non-profit association composed of diverse stakeholders from government, industry, and non-government organizations (such as health and environment groups). Senior representatives from each of the three sectors are committed to developing and applying a comprehensive air quality management system for the people of Alberta through a consensus-based process.
Criteria Air Contaminant Emission Summaries Environment Canada. Air Pollutant Emissions. National and provincial maps and summaries.
Diesel Soot Health Impacts To view health impacts in your community, enter your ZIP Code or click on your state on the map.
Environment Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) The NPRI … is the only legislated, nation-wide, publicly-accessible inventory of its type in Canada. The NPRI provides Canadians with access to pollutant release information for facilities located in their communities. Search for pollutants by first three digits of postal code.
Environment Canada’s Stratospheric Ozone Web Site Ozone Depletion, Health and Environmental Impacts, Canadian Ozone Layer Protection Programs, International Efforts, ODS Information by Sector, Regulations, Resources, Kidzone and Archives.
PollutionWatch: Smoking out Canada’s Polluters PollutionWatch is your source for information about the chemicals that manufacturing facilities release in your community. Simply type in your postal code or click on the map of Canada, to get the facts on pollution in your community, in your province and in Canada.
Scorecard Get the Facts on Local Pollution (U.S.) Simply type in your postal code or click on the map to get the facts on pollution in your community, in your state and in the U.S.
Toxmap TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) that uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) (http://www.epa.gov/tri/).
Indoor Air Quality
Aerias Better Health through Indoor Air Quality Awareness. IAQ information on homes, offices, schools, biological pollutants, top indoor chemical pollutants, etc.
American Lung Association® Offers Indoor Air Tips for People With Allergies and Asthma
Asbestos in Your Home EPA Document Reference Number 400-K-90-100, 1990.
Biological Pollutants in Your Home EPA Document Reference Number 402-F-90-102, January 1990. This booklet will help you understand: 1. what indoor biological pollution is; 2. whether your home or lifestyle promotes its development; and, 3. how to control its growth and buildup.
Candles: a burning controversy by Francesca Lyman, special to MSNBC. [NOTE: This article no longer appears in MSNBC’s archives. The link is to the article at a different site and is in PDF format. It is also available in html format .]
Carbon Monoxide Headquarters by David G. Penney, PhD, Wayne State University School of Medicine: This site is devoted to issues of chronic carbon monoxide poisoning … “It has been known for decades that CO poisoning can produce lasting health harm, mainly through its destructive effects on the central nervous system … Now, an emerging body of evidence suggests that longer exposures to lower levels of CO, ie. chronic CO poisoning, are capable of producing a myriad of debilitating residual effects that may continue for days, weeks, months and even years.”
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Varon J, Marik PE: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. The Internet Journal of Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine 1997; Vol1 N2
Carbonless Copy Paper NIOSH Hazard Review: Carbonless Copy Paper. The NIOSH Hazard Review “Carbonless Copy Paper” is the most comprehensive scientific document available on issues relating to health concerns from exposure to Carbonless copy paper. It includes extensive information about the components of Carbonless copy paper, production processes, published and unpublished scientific data, and historical recommendations for preventing or reducing exposure to Carbonless copy paper.
Crabby Kathy, A True Story Inspired by Room Six KMAC Kids, 1999. Student-written book (grade school) online at NIEHS Kids Pages (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences). This is a story written by children about their teacher and her sensitivities to some things encountered in their classroom and their “sleuthing”. See also:
What Could It Be, Beverly? KMAC Kids 1999-2000.
Mama Didn’t Know KMAC Kids 2000-2001.
Healthy Indoor Air in Mohawk Homes An education program designed to develop awareness of home indoor air quality concerns and encourage community members to take steps to improve the quality of air in their homes. Topics: Radon, Environmental Tobacco Smoke, Moisture and Biologicals, Lead, Combustion Products Included Carbon Monoxide, Household Products and Furnishings.
Indoor Air Is More Contaminated Than Outdoor Air; Homes At Risk Rachel’s Environment & Health News, September 21, 1987. “Why is it important to reduce the use of hazardous materials (as distinct from reducing hazardous wastes)? Here’s one compelling reason: Indoor air pollution is a greater source of exposure to hazardous chemicals than is outdoor exposure, even if you live near major “point sources” of pollution, according to a careful study by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”
Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals EPA. Indoor air pollution poses many challenges to the health professional. This booklet offers an overview of those challenges, focusing on acute conditions, with patterns that point to particular agents and suggestions for appropriate remedial action. (See in particular: Diagnostic Quick Reference: a Cross-reference from symptoms to pertinent sections of this booklet; Diagnostic Checklist: additional questions for use in patient intake and medical history)
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and IAQ-Related Resources EPA. Please see the EPA site for a full list of publications available. Topics include: Asthma, Carbon Monoxide, Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS), IAQ in Homes (or) Residences, Large Buildings (or) Offices, Molds, Radon, Radon Resistant New Construction, Radon Technical Documents, Schools and Other Indoor Air Materials.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools Kit EPA. This Kit shows schools how to carry out a practical plan of action to improve indoor air problems at little or no cost using straightforward activities and in-house staff.
Mold, dust mites, fungi, spores, and pollen: Bioaercsols in the human environment Prepared by Dr. Sandra A. Zaslow, Extension District Director, and Dr. Mary Beth Genter, Extension Leader, Toxicology. This publication has been issued in print by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service as publication FCS-360-5 (January 1993).
No Room to Breathe: Air Pollution and Primary Care Medicine Jefferson H Dickey, MD. A Project of Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR): Pollutants exposure and source, Ozone, Particulate, Carbon Monoxide, Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Air Toxics/Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), Incinerators, Diesel and Automobile Exhaust,
Organic Gases (Volatile Organic Compounds – VOCs) EPA. Sources, Health Effects, Levels in Homes, Steps to Reduce Exposure, Subject-Specific Publications.
Radon (Rn) EPA. FAQs, Publications, Hotlines, Myths and Facts, Risk Chart, Links, Map of Radon Zones, Radon in Water, Radon Resistance New Construction, etc.
Ventilation and Air Quality in Offices EPA. Office of Air and Radiation (6607J) 402-F-94-003. (Fact Sheet). Revised July 1990.
What You Should Know About Combustion Appliances and Indoor Air Pollution EPA. “… Combustion appliances are those which burn fuels for warmth, cooking, or decorative purposes. Typical fuels are gas, both natural and liquefied petroleum (LP); kerosene; oil; coal; and wood. Examples of the appliances are space heaters, ranges, ovens, stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters, and clothes dryers. These appliances are usually safe. However, under certain conditions, these appliances can produce combustion pollutants that can damage your health, or even kill you. POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS range from headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, and watery eyes to breathing difficulties or even death. Similar effects may also occur because of common medical problems or other indoor air pollutants …”
What You Should Know About Using Paint Strippers Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC Document #423. Paint strippers contain chemicals that loosen paint from surfaces. These chemicals can harm you if not used properly. Some paint stripping chemicals can irritate the skin and eyes, or cause headaches, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, or loss of coordination. Some may cause cancer, reproductive problems, or damage of the liver, kidney, or brain. Others catch fire easily. Proper handling and use of paint strippers will reduce your exposure to these chemicals and lessen your health risk.
Healthy Indoor Painting Practices EPA and the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, February 1995, CPSC Publication # F-747- F-95-002. This safety guide was formulated for residents, property managers and painters who are strongly urged to follow several simple steps to reduce possible adverse reactions to chemicals emitted from paints. (Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Report. Please see the link on this page to download a free version.)
Air Pollution Epidemiology University of Manchester. This page is intended to give a brief overview of some of the salient issues regarding research into urban air pollution and health … “The study looked at urban air pollution and cardiac and respiratory ill health (including mortality) in the residents of the City of Edinburgh from 1981 through to 1995. Data was obtained through the Scottish Health Service, Information and Statistics Division …”
Airborne environmental pollutants and asthma The author of this site is a Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Manchester.
Burning Issues A Project of Clean Air Revival. Burning Issues provides public education about the health hazards of exposure to wood smoke … The most common sources of Particulate Pollution are residential wood burning (RWB) and coal burning, forest and agriculture burning, and diesel exhaust. “A single fireplace operating for an hour and burning ten pounds of wood during that time will generate 4,300 times more carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons than thirty cigarettes. Fortunately most of the pollutant emissions go up the person’s chimney, but with the low wind speeds on cold winter nights, the emitted plumes hug the ground for hours. Soon the particles penetrate into the neighbors’ homes, reaching about half the concentration indoors as outdoors.”
Diesel fumes hit asthmatics with one-two punch By E. J. Mundell, Reuters Health. “As many asthmatics know, a blast of diesel exhaust can trigger bouts of wheezing, coughing and other asthma symptoms. Now researchers say they have figured out why these fumes are so tough on those afflicted with the illness. According to researcher Dr. Fred D. Finkelman of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, the fine particles in diesel exhaust hit the human immune system with a double whammy, upping the production of an immune protein that triggers asthma attacks while suppressing a second protein that might otherwise bring symptoms to a halt.
Earthlights NASA image of earth at night. This map clearly shows light pollution worldwide and can be used to gain an idea of pollution in various areas of the world since pollution is so closely associated with densely populated areas.
Health Impacts of Incineration – Part I and Part II Congressional Testimony. Barry L. Johnson, PhD Barry L. Johnson, PhD, Assistant Surgeon General, Assistant Administrator Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Public Health Service, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Before the Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations Committee on Government Operations United States House of Representatives, January 24, 1994.
National Resources Defense Council Thousands of early deaths could be averted with cleaner air standards. Every year, some 64,000 people may die prematurely from cardiopulmonary causes linked to particulate air pollution, according to an analysis conducted by NRDC. Tens of thousands of these deaths could be averted each year if the Environmental Protection Agency set stringent health standards for fine-particle pollution.
Ozone Alerts NIEHS/NIH Publication #99-4671. Kingsley Crumbles (case history); What Ozone Is; How it Hurts You; New Research Results; Stratospheric Research Leads to Nobel Prize; You can Help; Ozone Alert Values; UV Alerts; Saving your Money on Ozone Air Cleaners; Ozone Quiz.
Ozone Monitoring Environmental Defense Organization. Citizen Ozone Monitoring Network Project. What is Ozone? Health Effects. Environmental Effects. EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
State PIRG The state Public Interest Research Groups are an alliance of state-based, citizen- funded organizations that advocate for the public interest. We uncover threats to public health and well-being and fight to end them, using the time-tested tools of investigative research, media exposes, grassroots organizing, advocacy and litigation. The state PIRGs’ mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented activism that protects the environment, encourages a fair marketplace for consumers and fosters responsive, democratic government.
Super Polluters PIRG. Campaign to Clean Up Toxics. The Top 25 Superfund Polluters and their Toxic Waste Sites.