Levels of Concern

How you can help support MyAirSample.org


We are committed to improving and developing the MyAirSample.org site in the long-term. You can help us by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and specifying that you have a special purpose for your donation and enter "MyAirSample.org" in the "I want my donation to be dedicated to" box at Louisiana Bucket Brigade's donation page: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1429869

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See Contact us for our contact information in order to send us comments, feedback, or errors to fix.

How our Create a report program helps fenceline community members interpret data from bucket samples

The data produced from the bucket samples are just as good as monitoring data from agencies, but the data can also be confusing. After a community member has taken a sample with a bucket, that sample is then sent to an analytical laboratory which measures how much of each chemical was in the sample. The analytical laboratory sends back a detailed, technical report that includes a listing of chemicals that were in the air and the measured values of those chemicals. An example of results listed in a typical report from the analytical laboratory might look like this:

analytical report results

This example tells us that many chemicals such as carbonyl sulfide and methyl mercaptan were "ND" or "not detected." This example also tells us the minimum value of these chemicals that the laboratory was able to detect, or the "MRL." An MRL of 12 ug/m3 for carbonyl sulfide means that there could have been 6 µg/m3 of carbonyl sulfide in the sample but the lab can only get an accurate measurement of the carbonyl sulfide in the sample if it is greater than 12 µg/m3.

Most interestingly, this example tells us that the air from this sample had 7.4 µg/m3 of hydrogen sulfide and 8.1 µg/m3 of carbon disulfide. But what do those numbers mean? Are they high or low? How is a community member to know if those values are above or below state standards? Our Create a report program here at MyAirSample.org helps community members who have results from bucket samples understand what these kinds of bucket results mean and see how they compare to state standards and screening levels developed by government agencies or what we call levels of concern.

Who we are and how we develop MyAirSample.org

The tool behind MyAirSample.org was originally developed by Gwen Ottinger, professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell. Current development of MyAirSample.org is a collaboration between Professor Ottinger, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Residents for Air Neutralization, and Digital Resources for Community and Science.

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is a 501(c)(3) environmental health and justice organization working with communities that neighbor the state's oil refineries and chemical plants. Their mission is to support communities' use of grassroots action to create informed, sustainable neighborhoods free from industrial pollution.

Residents for Air Neutralization is a fenceline community group neighboring a refinery in Shreveport, Louisiana, advocating for clean air and a better quality of life.

The mission of Digital Resources for Community and Science is to help non-profits, academics, and communities, both local and online, leverage open-source and web-based tools and strategies to advance knowledge, facilitate communication and achieve individual and organizational goals.

LABB, RAN, DRCS and Professor Ottinger currently collaborate on the design of MyAirSample.org, and DRCS implements and maintains the design and the web site, using open source code. MyAirSample.org is an open source project, licensed under a GNU General Public License – to get the source code, go to https://github.com/drcs/myairsample.org.