Proof of Smoke

Technical questions that one would like posed to experts
(scientists) in fields related to particulate pollution.

Postby burningflorida » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:32 pm

maybe you've already seen this video?
http://barrecityfire.org/smoke.html
It gives you a general understanding of the detector topic
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Postby Wilberforce » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:33 am

The video is very educational. Thanks so much!
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smoke detectors et al

Postby Ernest Grolimund » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:38 pm

Great thinking. I was driven to desperate things too. I bought a Sears Envirosence air ceaner with two opacity meters for dust - particulate and odors - VAH's. It had an automatic fan that went turbo when very unhealthy levels of smoke registered. I photographed that for documentation with a time and date stamp setting on the camera. Judges are not environmental scientists and would not listen to the DEP arguments that they are not calibrated. If I get in trouble again, I may drive to the nearest state pm monitor and record readings in a way to verify what very unhealthy means. I am also watching Tom closely like others to see what the dylos monitor conversion to mcg/cubic meter is, if there is one. A state rep was impressed that I tried to get a measurement of some kind and referred to it in OWB hearings.

Note that the monitors registered very unhealthy and the smoke detectors in my house never went off. Neither did carbon monoxide detectors. My daughter is asthmatic and so we used her peak flow log as evidence too. She was a canary in the coal mine. I think florida will suceed because he has the determination to.

Florida: see my sucess stories in smoke stories where your situation is discussed for ideas. I think you would win in court and could get an out of court setlement.
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Smoke detectors and evidence

Postby Ernest Grolimund » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:58 am

Woodnyet and I both came up with the idea of referring to european standards for pollution because they use particles/cubic meter as their units. I re read a BI blog that quoted the EPA as saying any reasonable evidence can be used to prove nuisances not just visable smoke. ANY REASONABLE EVIDENCE. Wisconson is also using smell as an indicator of pollution at the department of human services which includes the public health department according to a news article posted by woodnyet. I learn something every time I search this site and I have been doing it for two years. An Am. Lung Assn scientist told me he bought a dylos monitor and did some testing and compared the readings to european and world health standards. The majority of the world recognizes the world health organization as the leading health organization in the world so the dylos monitor is sounding good to me. I do note woodnyets caveats though about not being able to use it on rainy or high humidity days such as foggy days. I will resaerch this more with an eye for purchasing one. I must protect myself living next to a woodburner in a woodburning city in a woodburning state.
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Postby Wilberforce » Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:35 pm

I agree, Ernest, about the European and Australian practice of using particle counts
as opposed to particle mass to define air pollution levels. I surmise that the original
usage of particle mass data was to measure the direct effluent exiting a smokestack
(or vehicle exhaust pipe) since the gross amounts of particles present could not be
accurately counted, due to their sheer numbers. Besides, the technology to do accurate
particle counts did not exist in the 1960s, (laser counting was only recently invented)
when these measurements became necessary to perform, due to imposed regulations.
Hence, mass-value parameters were used (and still are used) for this purpose.

A problem arises, however, when this system of mass count is employed to measure
ambient air particles. The problem is that the total mass involved is very small. While
the larger particles (10 µm) might be measured this way, a problem arises when the
ultra-fine (nanoparticles of 0.10 µm) must be measured. These are really just large
clumps of individual molecules which have so little mass that the measurement itself
may come into question due to the limits of the instrumentation in use.

Perhaps it may be all right to measure direct chimney effluent with a mass-type system,
but I feel as though particle counting is by far the better means of defining nanoparticle
pollution levels in the atmosphere as a whole. As such, we need not rely on necessarily
expensive instrumentation to measure vanishingly small masses, along with the potential
for inaccuracy. Even under laboratory conditions, mass-data must be collected and
interpreted carefully.

In summary, I feel that counting is the superior method to use. Can we petition the EPA
to abandon the particle mass method, and begin adopting a particle count method?
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Petition?

Postby Ernest Grolimund » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:38 am

C.A.R. probably has no ability to change the EPA's way of doing things. We don't have the numbers or quality of scientists and they are most concerned with cost for them and the states in redoing tests and re-educating. But we are most concerned about equipment costs and so are most people. We do not have $4,000 to spend on equipment especially since we have to do the legal work that the states are afraid of. So, we have to use the Dylos and educate the DEP and hand them the C.A.R. blog that says the EPA allows any reasonable evidence. That's our key card. As I said before, a legislator was impressed by my measuring smoke in my house with the Sears Envirosense air cleaner with 2 opacity meters though the DEP response was to try to find any excuse not to enforce, like saying it was not calibrated and had no units, just healthy, unhealthy, and very unhealthy. With the dylos we can look up standards from WHO. I think we have a case but the DEP is slippery and they make the rules. I do not have the money to take them to court. I'll talk to them and see what they say but expect the worst. I do not know how to question the courts except see a lawyer or have Pm2.5Mary check with Atty Pletten. I do know that they will be concerned with accuracy of readings from humidity as I am. This means we must measure and photograph a humidistat for proof I guess. I am tiring of the burden of proof being put on the victims. Equipment is supposed to be approved by engineers and architects and all kinds of labs before it is allowed to be used, but when it comes to wood anything goes because fireplaces have been used for thousands of years.
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