Air Sampling

_This page collects resources, questions, and requests related to air sampling. Please edit the page to add information or resources._ ## Background Air sampling is a way to capture small amounts of air for laboratory testing. Most air sampling methods involve pulling [whole air samples]( into a bag or container through a vacuum system. The bag or container can then be sealed and shipped to a [lab for testing]( Air grab samples can be tested for over 100 different chemicals ([Louisiana Bucket Brigade]( ### Particle sensing Air sampling for particulate matter or dust pollution is another type of air sampling. See [information on particle sensing on this page](/particle-sensing). ### Types of air samples Air samples typically fall into one of five categories: [indoor air](, ambient air, stationary sources (for instance, a smokestack or factory), soil vapor, and mobile sources (traffic). Each type is regulated differently with different sampling methods depending on what you are looking for. **** ## Questions [questions:air-sampling] **** ## Activities [activities:air-sampling] **** ## Bucket Sampling The bucket monitor is a low-cost, community-friendly air sampler that helps people measure toxic chemicals such as benzene and hydrogen sulfide in their air. It is an EPA-approved grab sampling method that is significantly less expensive than many other air grab systems such as the [summa canister](/wiki/air-sampling#The+Summa+Canister) ([Louisiana Bucket Brigade]( **What it tests:** When paired with lab analysis, the bucket monitor can measure up to 101 air pollutants including dichloromethane, hydrogen sulfide, perchloroethylene, vinyl chloride, toluene, and benzene. The **[bucket monitor wiki page](** contains full instructions on how to build and use a bucket monitor, instructional videos and stories from community partners who have used the bucket to advocate for healthier air, plus a community Q&A. **Cost**: The bucket itself costs around $100 each but they are re-useable. The [lab testing]( costs between $200-$500 each depending on what you want to get tested. The system also needs to be calibrated twice a year which can cost up to $400. **Video on how to use the bucket from Hilton Kelley of [Community In Power and Development Association](** **Story of West Virginia Chemical Valley Bucket Brigade:** **More resources and groups who have experience with the Bucket:** - ["Fenceline" film and Bucket Brigade resources]( - [Louisiana Bucket Brigade]( - [Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League]( ### Other types of canisters for sampling #### The Summa Canister The Summa Canister is a commercially available sampling system. It can take grab samples intermittently, or over a period of time. The Summa Canisters are described in [EPA Method TO-15](, and are commonly used for the collection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient and indoor air. **Community use case:** The [Citizens for a Healthy Community]( in Paonia, Colorado have used the summa canister for air grab sampling. Here is a publication they put together on [“How Oil & Gas Impacted Communities Can Test Air Quality On A Small Budget: A step-by-step guidebook based on the North Fork Valley Air Sampling Program” 2016]( #### Helium Diffusion Sampler Helium diffusion samplers are wearable devices that take samples to measure (VOCs) in ambient and indoor air. **Community use case:** In 2016, community members in Pavillon, Wyoming participated in a health and air sampling study. They had noticed an increase in health issues locally and were concerned about the pollution coming from the many nearby gas wells. In their exploration of VOCs, they used a FLIR gas camera, Minirea 3000 air monitoring device, an ambient air model, Aldehyde Badges, Summa Canisters and two wearable monitors: HDS (Helium Diffusion Sampler), and Sorbent Tubes. More information on their study, the results and about their community can be found in the "[When the Wind Blows](" ( permalink) publication by Elizabeth Crowe, Sharyle Patton, Deborah Thomas, and Beverley Thorpe. More information on this study and the groups involved can be found on the Coming Clean webpage here at #### More resources on canister sampling - [HDS sampler (and explanation of how they work)]( - [“A Guide to Whole Air Canister Sampling Equipment Needed and Practical Techniques for Collecting Air Samples”]( ...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
Onlinemagazine "Excellent post, thank you for share this amazing information. " | Read more » about 2 years ago
linktofun88 "Thank you for this post! " | Read more » over 2 years ago
gameapex_123 "In site host for community meeting is Early in the process of setting up a co-op, meetings provide a group the chance to openly discuss ideas and e..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
gameapex_123 "In site host for community meeting is Early in the process of setting up a co-op, meetings provide a group the chance to openly discuss ideas and e..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
bhamster "Agreed! To help make sense of the many sources of data, we just published an activity about air pollution databases for the current research area r..." | Read more » almost 3 years ago
amocorro "@jjcreedon - sounds like it could make a great OpenHour subject in 2021! Would you mind sending this feedback to our Suggest an OpenHour topic? You..." | Read more » almost 3 years ago
jjcreedon "Id love to see a webinar specifically on this subject.. teaching community folks how to use these resources. " | Read more » almost 3 years ago
eustatic "Good read. any COVID tips? " | Read more » about 3 years ago
viklostypil706 "So, if you want to win coupon code. Then, please check this post about Mary Brown’s Customer Satisfaction Survey. Mary Brown’s Customer experience..." | Read more » about 3 years ago
amocorro "@duwamishcleanup - thought you might want to give this one a read! The EJ student organizers might appreciate it too! " | Read more » about 3 years ago
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ms2739165 " " | Read more » over 3 years ago
eustatic "So, I'm new to air. i used the Emergency Response Mapping Application a lot. There's a lot of geographical information on ERMA for your region, an..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
DavidMack "Sure, also for estimating emissions, see EPA AP-42 emission factors:" | Read more » over 3 years ago
kgradow1 "This is pretty much exactly what I was hoping would happen when I posted this thread :). Thank you @DavidMack! " | Read more » over 3 years ago
DavidMack "You can look up the actual reported emissions from many facilities using the EPA National Emission Inventory, which is compiled every three years: ..." | Read more » over 3 years ago