Question: Can collecting dust on a sticky pad result in EPA review?

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liz asked on May 09, 2018 13:52
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I am asking a question on behalf of a community member. They want to know:

1) would collecting dust on a sticky pad, described here by @mathew and in the activity linked in the comments, could get the Federal EPA to come in where their State DEP has refused to collect data? For context, i can share that the State DEP has refused to do air quality monitoring about agriculture related issues because agricultural activities are not regulated by their agency.

2) If the community did an exercise to collect dust in their neighborhoods and inside their homes, would this be informative to the people in the area about the particulate matter air quality issues they may have?



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1 Answers

1)I can’t answer your question, but I can refer you to EPA sponsored modeling efforts (https://www.epa.gov/air-research/models-tools-and-databases-air-research that was noticed by zengirl2 @zengirl2
https://publiclab.org/notes/Zengirl2/04-20-2017/epa-s-beta-c-tools-community-tools-for-modeling-near-road-or-port-air-quality

If you keep looking at the EPA models, the one that seems to be the most appropriate (but I can’t really tell) is Downscaler - https://www.epa.gov/air-research/downscaler-model-predicting-daily-air-pollution “The DS model combines air quality monitoring and modeling data to provide better fine-scale predictions of air pollutant levels at local and community scales. The DS model used here provides the best out-of-sample validation predictions relative to earlier DS models and other traditional geostatistical methods. It allows users to zoom in to specific locations to obtain information about daily pollutant patterns.”

There is an EPA Technical Contact for Downscaler so maybe he can answer the question ---: David Holland (holland.david@epa.gov) .

2)I do think that a community exercise is possible and the crowdsourcing tools could be used to support EPA rules. Community sponsored dust collection could help prioritize where to conduct more refined analysis, validate existing models and generate evidence for some type of regulatory action. Something like:
---a) Community volunteers place sticky dust collectors at various locations. As described above: Mathew:, https://publiclab.org/notes/mathew/06-05-2014/the-development-of-stickypad-monitoring#comments ---b) At regular intervals, volunteers take pictures of the collectors and replace. --c)Pictures are uploaded to a web site similar to spectral workbench except that the site does particle statistical analysis. Something like what amirberAgaindid with opencv https://publiclab.org/notes/amirberAgain/01-12-2018/python-and-opencv-to-analyze-microscope-slide-images-of-airborne-particles or https://publiclab.org/notes/mathew/10-07-2016/sizing-images-at-portland-science-hackday but over larger areas. ---d)Particle statistics are geotagged and some sort of dust map is generated.
---e)Data is also shared with EPA and used to verify exist models (Downscaler?) ---f) Results from models support more refined analysis and measurements which may create EPA or state regulations.


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