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Fu, Q, Fang, Z, Villas-Boas, SB and Judge, G (2014)

An Investigation of the Quality of Air Data in Beijing

Unpublished manuscript.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: Not available at this time.

Abstract: With an eye to providing a methodology for identifying the quality of reported air quality data, we use Benford second digit reference distribution to track data of the Air Quality Index (AQI) for 35 monitors over the period 2013-2014 in Beijing. This reference, known as Benfordís law, is presented in many naturally occurring numerical data sets and portrays quite closely the air quality monitor data reported by the US Embassy in Beijing over the same time period. In contrast, we find that for a substantial number of Beijing monitors, especially those with large traffic nearby, the reported daily air quality data depart significantly from the Benford reference distribution, while the hourly real-time data fit well. This raises concerns relative to the potential errors in the AQI data and signals coming from air quality monitors. We find that the data deviation level is significantly correlated with the average pollution level and monitorsí geographical features like housing prices nearby and traffic flows. If indeed air quality reports contain measurement errors, this could have serious health implications in that individuals do not engage in the right avoidance behaviors for bad air quality days.

@misc{, author = {Qiuzi Fu and Zhongnan Fang and Sofia B. Villas-Boas and George Judge}, title = {An Investigation of the Quality of Air Data in Beijing}, year = {2014}, url = {}, note = {last accessed October 17, 2019}, }

Reference Type: Not specified

Subject Area(s): Environmental Sciences, General Interest