Using portable air particulate monitoring equipment attached to backpacks, bike handlebars or baby stroller handles, Community Air Tracker volunteers will walk, run, or ride through their neighbourhoods collecting real-time air pollution data.
All of this data is returned to the INHALE Project Team for analysis and then used to create the Fresh Air Finder online map.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about becoming a Community Air Tracker volunteer:
- Who can become a Community Air Tracker?
- Do I need to be a scientist to use this air monitoring equipment?
Who can become a Community Air Tracker?
Anyone who lives, works or plays in Hamilton or Toronto can get involved with the INHALE Project. We hope to attract lots of Community Air Tracker volunteers who have a direct connection to one of the 4 specific communities where the INHALE project is being pilot tested. It is important to us that the people most affected by poor air quality in a neighbourhood are directly involved in collecting air quality data. Community Air Tracker volunteers can be residents, employees, business owners, and people who spend their time in the area shopping, recreating, or going to school!
Do I need to be a scientist to use this air monitoring equipment?
Absolutely not! What's so exciting about the INHALE Project is that the air monitoring equipment is so easy to use, anyone can do it! In fact, projects like these often call their volunteers 'citizen scientists' because anyone with the motivation to improve their community who enjoys collecting information can get involved. With the simple push of a button, the air monitoring device automatically starts taking air samples every ten seconds and analyzes the level of air pollution in the sample. All this information is recorded onto a microchip inside the device so you don't even need a pen and paper! The GPS unit fits in your pocket and automatically records the route you traveled so you don't need a map.