Used by the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency (Agency) to aid in complaint investigations, a canister is a very helpful tool that can be supplied to complainants as part of the Canister Sampling Program.
A canister is an evacuated canister that is used to collect an instantaneous or 24 hour air sample. This method of obtaining an air sample is simple and can be used by any individual concerned about odors or emissions from a nearby source of air pollution. Participants receive written instructions on how to take a sample using the canister. It is at the discretion of the participant as to when a sample is taken. This is a very popular aspect of the program because the participants are not required to wait for an inspector to arrive before taking a sample.
Once a sample is collected, the participants are instructed to immediately contact the Agency through the hotline number, 513-946-7777 or 1-800-889-0474 (toll areas) and request a field response. The participant also collects and records basic information about the complaint such as the time the sample was taken, wind direction, temperature, etc. An Agency inspector will then meet with the participant, pick up the collected sample, and conduct an investigation to try to determine the source of the complaint.
After completion of the field investigation, the Agency delivers the canister to a contract laboratory that analyzes the sample for organic compounds. The analysis identifies the chemical constituents present in the sample, in concentrations as low as parts per billion. This analysis usually takes several weeks. Once received, the Agency can use the results of the canister analysis as a tool to identify the source of the complaint.
If you are interested in becoming a participant or to learn more about the Canister Program, please feel free to contact Kerri Castlen at 513-946-7738. You may download the Citizen Air Sampling Program brochure here.