Translator Exposure APIs: Open Access to Data on Airborne Pollutant Exposures, Roadway Exposures, and Socio-Environmental Exposures and Use Case Application

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jul 21;17(14):5243. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17145243.


Environmental exposures have profound effects on health and disease. While public repositories exist for a variety of exposures data, these are generally difficult to access, navigate, and interpret. We describe the research, development, and application of three open application programming interfaces (APIs) that support access to usable, nationwide, exposures data from three public repositories: airborne pollutant estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency; roadway data from the US Department of Transportation; and socio-environmental exposures from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Three open APIs were successfully developed, deployed, and tested using random latitude/longitude values and time periods as input parameters. After confirming the accuracy of the data, we used the APIs to extract exposures data on 2550 participants from a cohort within the Environmental Polymorphisms Registry (EPR) at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and we successfully linked the exposure estimates with participant-level data derived from the EPR. We then conducted an exploratory, proof-of-concept analysis of the integrated data for a subset of participants with self-reported asthma and largely replicated our prior findings on the impact of select exposures and demographic factors on asthma exacerbations. Together, the three open exposures APIs provide a valuable resource, with application across environmental and public health fields.

Keywords: airborne pollutants; application programming interfaces; asthma; asthma exacerbations; demographic factors; environmental health; open data; public health; roadway exposure; socio-economic factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Pollutants*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Environment*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency


  • Air Pollutants
  • Environmental Pollutants