Cause for Concern
Residents of Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay area
of California have long suspected that something in the air
may be affecting their health. But without access to accurate
air quality information, individuals, environmental groups,
government agencies and businesses have had a hard time identifying
specific problems, and acting to solve them. Residents felt
they had the right and responsibility to know what they and
their children were breathing.
The Air Toxics Bucket Brigade is a program formed by a broad
partnership of organizations in order to help community members
find out exactly what chemicals are in their air through the
use of some simple technology. Volunteer teams of “sniffers”
and “samplers” use air pumps attached to bags inside
five-gallon buckets to collect air samples whenever people detect
a foul odor in the air. These samples are then tested in laboratories
to determine which toxins were released at what time in what
quantities. The data is compiled into a database that helps
satisfy residents’ right to know what they’re breathing
Knowledge Is Power
Everyone has a role to play in making sure our air is safe —
citizens, corporations and government. Access to accurate information
about air quality is a necessary part of this process. The Bucket
Brigades have found that businesses and government agencies
are more likely to respond to community concerns when they know
people are organized and aware about exactly what pollutants
their communities are facing. The Bucket Brigades are a great
first step in "taking back your air."
More information… Global
Community Monitor Find out how to establish an air monitoring program
in your community. This organization goes to all parts of
the world Bucket
Brigades of Contra Costa County
Get an overview of the Bucket Brigade program, as well as
access to their database on chemical releases in the area.
A national campaign seeking to clean up America's oil refineries
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