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Support Group

Air Monitoring
Project

Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania (PSR PA) is a public health, 501c3 nonprofit organization that promotes socially and environmentally responsible practices, policies, and programs to safeguard and improve public health.  Composed of a variety of health professionals, PSR PA is uniquely equipped to speak to threats posed to public health in our region and fulfills its mission through programs focused on health and the environment and working with youth. 
 
PSR PA is conducting research and gathering data via Air Quality Monitoring and FLIR Optical Gas Imaging to support communities as they advocate for better policies to support public health.  At this early stage in the process, we are not yet ready to share our findings, but will return as our studies progress to update residents on the results. 

How Can You Help?

PSR PA has partnered with Temboo to monitor air quality across the state of Pennsylvania. You can join the site to see data, share stories and images, and submit data if you have an outdoor air quality monitor of your own.

 

To join or for more information please send an email to info@psrpa.org.


Are you concerned about an environmental situation within your community?
You can report environmental emergencies and other sudden threats to public health, such as:

  • oil and/or chemical spills,

  • radiation emergencies, and

  • biological discharges,

 

to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and/or the Department of Environmental Protections (DEP). Submitting
these complaints creates a permanent record that can be used in future proceedings.


Emergencies
 

To report an environmental emergency incident to DEP call (800) 541-2050
To report to EPA, call the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802


Environmental complaints
 

DEP call (866) 255-5158
EPA region 3 call (215) 814-5000 or toll free (800) 438-2474

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FLIR Optical Gas Imaging is ground-breaking technology for visualizing fugitive hydrocarbon leaks at natural gas well sites, off-shore platforms, liquid natural gas terminals, and more.

Why is air quality monitoring important?

Air quality monitoring is an important tool for improving air quality, protecting public health, and ensuring compliance with regulations. It can also be used to identify pollution sources, monitor climate change, or support research and development.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

Particulate Matter (PM)


Particulate air pollution is an air-suspended mixture of both solid and liquid particles. They are often separated into
three classifications: coarse, fine, and ultrafine particles. Coarse particles have a diameter of between 10 μm and 2.5
μm and settle relatively quickly whereas fine (1 to 2.5 μm in diameter) and ultrafine (<1 μm in diameter) particles
remain in the air longer. When someone talks about PM10 (fine particles) they are referring to particles smaller than 10
μm which include dust, pollen, and mold spores. PM2.5 (ultrafine particles) are particles smaller than 2.5 μm which
include combustion particles, organic compounds, and metals. These small particles pose incredible risks, because they
can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream.
Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle
pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:

 

  • premature death in people with heart or lung disease

  • nonfatal heart attacks

  • irregular heartbeat

  • aggravated asthma

  • decreased lung function

  • increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.

 

People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution
exposure.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)


VOC vapors are emitted into the air by numerous types of toxic industry. VOCs are also a common pollutant at sites where chemicals have been spilled or mishandled. VOCs can leach into groundwater and migrate to drinking-water supply wells.


Exposure to VOCs can cause a variety of health effects, including eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches and loss of coordination; nausea; and damage to the liver, kidneys, or central nervous system. Some VOCs are suspected or proven carcinogens.
 

VOCs in air pollution are also a concern because they contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone when they react with nitrogen oxides in the air.

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