Public Lab Research note

DustHack Event Menomonie Wisconsin !

by stevie | | 2,024 views | 7 comments |

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Explore and experiment with dust monitoring tools!

When: Monday October 27th, 5:00-8:00 Where: The Hundredth Monkey Maker Space in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

The tools used to explore dust and silica levels in air are prohibitively expensive for people and many require expensive lab tests for results. We're interested in exploring other monitoring methods that will reduce the cost of monitoring and increase people's assess to this important data!

We'll have a DustDuino, a spec. and a Dylos!

Some of the questions we might explore include:
- How do tools such as the DustDuino work under different light conditions?
- How does humidity affect these tools?
- Is there stable housing we can use to prep tools for outdoor use?
- How does sampling with the different tools compare?
- How can we make these tools more user friendly?
- How can we make the data more accessible? etc.

Together, we will brainstorm how to make dust monitoring more accessible!

This event is on 10-27-2014 iCal

Please log in to RSVP (3 people will attend)


I wont be able to attend in person, but this is really interesting sounding & relevant to where I am at right now.

Keep me updated please. :)

Sure Amy!

I will be attending!

I have lots of photos of mines, most in Chippewa, Eau Claire, and Trempealeau county. Every time I photograph on the ground, I meet security. They favor black SUVs. Even though you can see little of the mine and mining from the ground, I think it is worthwhile to do in order to record the light and air to study changes from the dust. Blasting creates even more dangerous dust-the small silica particles are shattered, creating particulates that look like tiny shards of broken glass. In addition, no one knows what blasting chemicals may be breathed with the dust. In addition, blasting breaks apart a solid sandstone aquifer, allowing dangerous chemicals from the mine or local farms, or bacteria, to have a rapid travel route through the aquifer that is the source of drinking water in these counties, via individual or municipal wells. The effects on groundwater includes worries in addition to the flocculant, polyacrylamides, which can break down into acrylamides, which are neurotoxins and teratogens. First concern is other chemicals which may be used. I have observed that the mines' settling ponds have no algae, or any sign of life, even in the middle of the August heat. I have a lot of photos as evidence, but, as they aren't collected with any controls or randomization, they aren't definitive evidence. Observed, though, a high percentage have a green or blue green color. This suggests to me that some kind of copper compound is being used, perhaps copper sulfate. Still, some clays can give those colors. Second, I suspect some mines are using surfactants. I have a photo of a truck parked along highway 53 in mining country, which is labeled as carrying surfactants. As it's not in a mine, it is merely suggestive.

Also, I have a photo of a semi carrying organic peroxides, paused at the same rest stop along highway 53. Organic peroxides are nasty chemicals, but they have the useful function of being a catalyst for flocculation, meaning that the sand washing can go much faster than if polyacrylamides alone are used. A reporter called the organic peroxide supplier, and they denied that they sold to sand mines, fwiw.

I wish a health survey could be done comparing people living within a kilometer of a mine and a local, control population living at a distance from the mines.

I look forward to comparing ideas and helping with your terrific research project. There is no inexpensive way to measure the dangerous particles of 2.5 microns and less. So I hope that collectively, or individually we can brainstorm and figure out another way of collecting particulate data.

I will be attending!

I will be attending!

I will be attending!

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