This seems like a cool project happening over at the UW. Heather McAuliffe sent in this announcement:
We are looking for volunteers who are willing to host an air pollution monitor at their residence or other location, such as a business or community organization, for one month or longer. Many individuals and community groups are interested in how much air pollution they breathe. Our monitors can help you answer these questions. By hosting a monitor, you will learn more about how much air pollution is at your location, and how this pollution varies, for instance, by time of day.
We are researchers at the University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. We are working with Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) to study the relationship between air pollution and brain health. We want to understand whether air pollution can cause or worsen certain brain-related problems in older adults. These include Alzheimer’s disease, trouble with memory or understanding, and physical changes that can be seen in the brain. We study fine particulate matter (dust or soot), nitrogen dioxide (a gas that can turn the air brown), ozone (a gas that forms from car exhaust on hot, sunny days), and carbon monoxide (a gas that is sometimes formed when wood or fuel is burned).
Over the next few years we will measure the level of air pollution at homes and other locations around Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area. These measurements will help us understand and model the pattern of air pollution. We will use what we learn about the air pollution pattern to better understand its relationship to brain health. For individuals already participating in a KPWHRI-sponsored study, we will compare people who breathe more air pollution to people who breathe less air pollution to better understand brain health.
The photograph to the left shows one of the air pollution monitors. The monitor needs to be located outdoors in a secure location such as a back yard, behind a fence, on a roof, or on a balcony. The monitor will need to be plugged in to operate. We will deliver and pick up the equipment. Its measurements will be transferred over the cellular network to the University of Washington. You will be able to log into a website to see how the measurements change over time. After monitoring is complete, we will provide you with a report of the air pollution we measure and how it compares to other measurements collected around Puget Sound. We will use the air pollution measurements, along with the location of the monitor, in our research. We won’t use any other information about you or your organization. There won’t be any direct link between the air pollution measurements we collect and the health information of anyone, including anyone at your location.