Image: Visualization of PM2.5 levels over 24 hours in Taiwan, from the LASS PM2.5 Open Data Portal. CC BY NC SA.
Public Lab's latest research area review on air quality is wrapping up.
- Air quality main wiki: see community projects and stories, Q&A, resources to research air quality, regulations, and next step challenges. Plus, many ways to get involved in air quality research with support from the Public Lab community.
- Bucket monitor wiki: @kgradow1 and @A_SCH have extensively documented this storied air sampling tool. On the wiki, you’ll find stories of how people have used the bucket to advocate for change, updated resources on building and using a bucket monitor, and instructional videos.
- Air-polluting gases and monitoring methods wiki: common gas-phase pollutants, approaches to investigate them, example tools, and pollutant-related posts from the Public Lab community. A companion to a similar overview of particulate matter monitoring.
- Simple Air Sensor wiki: Public Lab’s open source, arduino-based particulate matter monitoring kit.
As usual, the conversations we had with people from the Public Lab community and beyond uncovered the latest and richest resources to examine further. Much gratitude to the folx who shared their time, knowledge, and experiences in air quality monitoring:
- Ethan McMahon, US Environmental Protection Agency
- Nick Shapiro, UCLA and former Public Lab Fellow
- Bongani Mthembu and Desmond D'Sa of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, and Rico Euripidou of groundWork
- Jackie James, Citizen Science Community Resources
- Katie Gradowski, Public Lab Community Technology Fellow
- Ana Hoffman and Randy Sargent, CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University
- Sema Hernandez and Mashal Awais, environmental organizing and science in Houston, TX
- Deborah Mills, Wendy Brawer, Veronica Olivotto, and Mary Jo Burke, LES Breathe in New York City
- Gustavo Aguirre Jr., Central California Environmental Justice Network
- Gwen Ottinger, Fair Tech Collective and Drexel University
- Steven Hoyt, Environmental Analytical Service
- R Subramanian, OSU-EFLUVE
- Scott Eustis, Healthy Gulf
The tips, resources, and questions that people shared during these conversations informed the bulk of the updates to the air quality pages and posts on Public Lab.
Virtual event: What's in your AIRea?
We wrapped the research area review with a virtual, open event on community air monitoring. We showed highlights from refreshed Public Lab pages, shared about ongoing air monitoring projects, and traded tips and resources. Check out a recording of the call plus all shared links here, and learn more about research area reviews and how to get involved here.
We'll pick another topic for our next research area review to kick off the year, so stay tuned! And please comment below if you have any ideas, questions, or feedback.
Some ongoing questions and challenges discussed on the call:
- In addition to monitoring, what immediate remediation options are there for communities with polluted air? DIY / inexpensive air filters, perhaps distributed with government emergency funds.
- The need to answer multiple questions at once in regions experiencing immediate health impacts, like the US Gulf Coast.
- What are different ways to get air quality information to people in a community? Real-time in the event of an emergency, or when not everyone can/will use online methods?
Many thanks to @kgradow1, @jjcreedon, @MsSema, @mashalawais, @eustatic, @ottinger, @nshapiro
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