Air chemical analysis "homemade"?

In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of performing an air analysis near a nearby steelworks to determine the level of pollution in the air. The speaker asks for advice on which instrument to use and if there are any cheaper options available. The response is that it cannot be done cheaply and reliably without expensive equipment and extensive training. The conversation suggests buying a cheap meter or contacting the steelworks or a government agency for information on emission levels. The speaker expresses concern about the potential for the steelworks to emit more pollution at certain times and the varying levels of pollution in different areas. The conversation ends with the speaker thanking the other person for their input.
  • #1
I have a steelworks nearby my home. Is it possible to perform an air analysis in order to know how much the air is polluted? Which instrument do I need ? Are there cheap possibilities? Thanks a lot in advance for your help!
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  • #2
Sorry, no way of making it cheaply, reliably, without expensive hardware and years of training.
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Likes Marvin94
  • #3
Thanks for your reply. Do you know however, how it should be performed?
  • #4
What are you afraid of? If you are worried about something specific, like CO or NOX, go to ebay and by a cheap meter. Also do some measurements in the city center, it will probably be worse there.

You can also call the steelworks and ask if they can provide information on the emission levels. Probably there is also an external (government) agency that will measure emissions every once in a while. This might be information that must be made available to the public if they ask for it (in the US it is the freedom of information act I think).
  • #5
I'm just worried about the steelwork near my home. Even if somebody measure emissions every once in a while, two problems can arise:
1) In some particular time frame (for example night) the steelwork could also emits more than usual pollution; it means that emissions control which are eventually done every once in a while could not really fully correspond to the reality.
2) The level of pollution, I think, is not the same in all the area. If I live near the steelwork maybe there is more pollution with respect to someone living far away. So a given measure is however not reflecting the effective pollution in every housing units.
However , thanks for your interest.

1. What equipment do I need for "homemade" air chemical analysis?

To perform "homemade" air chemical analysis, you will need a sampling device (such as an air pump or vacuum), sample containers, reagents or test strips, and a testing apparatus (such as a colorimeter or spectrophotometer). You may also need protective gear and a well-ventilated area to conduct the analysis.

2. How do I collect a sample for air chemical analysis?

The method for collecting a sample will vary depending on the specific chemicals you are looking for. In general, you can use a sampling device to collect air from a specific location or use a passive sampling method (such as a badge or diffusive sampler) to collect air over a period of time. Make sure to follow proper sampling techniques and handle the sample carefully to avoid contamination.

3. What chemicals can I test for in "homemade" air chemical analysis?

The chemicals you can test for will depend on the equipment and reagents you have available. Some common chemicals that can be tested for include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter, and various gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. It is important to research and understand the limitations of your equipment and testing methods before conducting any analysis.

4. How accurate are "homemade" air chemical analysis results?

The accuracy of your results will depend on the quality and calibration of your equipment, as well as the skill and consistency of the tester. "Homemade" air chemical analysis may not be as accurate as professional laboratory testing, but it can still provide valuable information about the air quality in a specific location. It is important to follow proper testing procedures and document any potential sources of error.

5. Are there any safety precautions I should take when conducting "homemade" air chemical analysis?

Yes, it is important to take safety precautions when handling and testing potentially hazardous chemicals. Make sure to wear appropriate protective gear (such as gloves and a mask) and work in a well-ventilated area. It is also important to properly dispose of any used reagents and contaminated samples to avoid potential health hazards.

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