Air pollution monitoring for health research and patient care: An official American Thoracic Society workshop report

American Thoracic Society Assembly on Environmental, Occupational, and Population Health, American Thoracic Society Environmental Health Policy Committee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Air quality data from satellites and low-cost sensor systems, together with output from air quality models, have the potential to augment high-quality, regulatory-grade data in countries with in situ monitoring networks and provide much-needed air quality information in countries without them. Each of these technologies has strengths and limitations that need to be considered when integrating them to develop a robust and diverse global air quality monitoring network. To address these issues, the American Thoracic Society, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences convened a workshop in May 2017 to bring together global experts from across multiple disciplines and agencies to discuss current and near-term capabilities to monitor global air pollution. The participants focused on four topics: 1) current and near-term capabilities in air pollution monitoring, 2) data assimilation from multiple technology platforms, 3) critical issues for air pollution monitoring in regions without a regulatory-quality stationary monitoring network, and 4) risk communication and health messaging. Recommendations for research and improved use were identified during the workshop, including a recognition that the integration of data across monitoring technology groups is critical to maximizing the effectiveness (e.g., data accuracy, as well as spatial and temporal coverage) of these monitoring technologies. Taken together, these recommendations will advance the development of a global air quality monitoring network that takes advantage of emerging technologies to ensure the availability of free, accessible, and reliable air pollution data and forecasts to health professionals, as well as to all global citizens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1214
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Air pollution
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Satellite imagery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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