Worried about pollution in your town? Here's something you could do

Community members in Tonawanda, N.Y., used simple materials from a hardware store and expertise from Global Community Monitor to test for toxic air. Here's how they did it — and how others are starting to find out more about what they're breathing.

Natasha Soto/The Clean Air Coalition of Western N.Y.

Using a bucket, a hose and pump, and a plastic bag, air samples are collected. The finished contraption can test for more than 70 gasses and 20 sulfur compounds. The sample can then be sent to a state or independent laboratory for evaluation.

Natasha Soto/The Clean Air Coalition of Western N.Y.

Those taking samples can attach either a camping pump or a small electric vacuum to the top to help collect the sample.

While it sounds simple, expertise is available to guide citizens who want to conduct the most reliable tests. The Global Community Monitor, can provide proper training on how to build the bucket and collect air samples, or can direct you to a "bucket brigade" already established near where you live.

These links provide information on what it takes to get involved.

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