ASP Databases


APAD and ASFID: Airborne Particulate Matter Databases Related to the Asia-Pacific Region

The presence of atmospheric particulate matter pollution, often generically referred to as haze or smog, is a significant issue that impacts every urbanised city, country or region in the world to varying degrees. It can greatly reduce visibility on a local and regional scale, can be easily transported over long distances across international borders and can influence climate change on a global scale through absorption and scattering of light.

There is a growing body of evidence strongly linking the inhalation of fine air pollution to a range of serious human health implications including respiratory disease and infection, cardiovascular disease, stroke and premature death. In fact, a recent 2014 report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that approximately 7 million people in 2012 died prematurely as a result of exposure to air pollution– making it one of the world’s largest single environmental health risks.

This is particularly concerning for a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region which, as a result of rapid urban development, have significantly higher levels of air particulate pollution when compared with internationally accepted goals. Research aimed at identifying the composition and source contributions of this pollution is the first critical step needed to develop effective strategies for reducing it which has the potential to save millions of lives.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the auspices of the United Nations initiated a Regional Cooperative Agreement (RCA) project more than 15 years ago to collect, quantify and use nuclear-based analytical techniques to characterise airborne particulate matter across the greater Asia-Pacific region.

The fifteen IAEA member states that collaborated in this long-running project include (In alphabetical order): Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

The project has generated the following two air pollution databases containing one of the longer-term and most comprehensive air particulate matter datasets for the Asia-Pacific region to date. We believe these databases will be a valuable resource which can be utilised for improved air pollution models and pollution reduction strategies.

Asia-Pacific Aerosol Database (APAD)

This database contains the measured concentrations (ng/m³), errors and minimum detectable limits of between 15 - 40 different elemental species for each sampled day and site. The database is provided in EXCEL workbook (.xlsx) format to facilitate its access and usability. Detailed information regarding the database contents, format, sampling and analysis methodology are provided in the accompanying user manual.
Downloads: User Manual (pdf) | Database (.xlsx) 25.9MB

If you use this database, please include the following citation:  David D. Cohen, Armand J. Atanacio. The IAEA/RCA Fine and Coarse Particle Ambient Air Database. ANSTO report/E-784, 2015. ISBN: 1921268247

Note: An interim version of the APAD containing data for Mass, S and BC was released in 2011 and can be downloaded from the RCA website here:

Asia-Pacific Source Fingerprint Database (ASFID)

This database contains an attempt by the national project coordinator (NPC) of each participating country in the IAEA/ RCA program to perform receptor source fingerprinting on the APAD dataset for one of their sites using Positive Matrix Factorisation (PMF). The database is provided in an EXCEL VBA macro workbook (.xlsm) which can be used to both view and export the PMF plots and data. Detailed information regarding the applied PMF technique, the database contents, format and instructions on its use is provided in the accompanying user manual. Downloads: User Manual (pdf) | Coarse Database files (.zip) | Fine Database files (.zip) 

If you use this database, please include the following citation:  Armand J. Atanacio, David D. Cohen. The IAEA/RCA Fine and Coarse PMF Receptor Fingerprint Database. ANSTO report/E-783, 2016. ISBN: 1921268247 


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