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Air grab sampling is a way to capture air samples for laboratory testing. Most air grab sampling methods involve capturing air pulled into a bag through a vacuum system. The bag 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).
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"The Bucket is a patented device for capturing a sample of air for laboratory analysis in three minutes" from Blue Ridge Environmental Defence League. The Bucket is an EPA approved grab sampling method for measuring air pollution and is significantly less expensive than the other air grab systems such as the summa canister (The Louisiana Bucket Brigade).
What it tests: The Bucket can measure up to 101 air pollutants including: dichloromethane, hydrogen sulfide, perchloroethylene, vinyl chloride, toluene, and benzene. Written instructions and information on how to use the bucket can be found here from the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
Cost: The bucket itself cost around $100 each but they are reuseable. The lab sampling 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:
Other types of canisters for sampling
The Summa Canister
The Summa Canister is a commercially available sampling system.
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
More resources on canister sampling: