How Do You Check Your Local Air Quality?

Hey Pick 5’ers, it’s time again for you to share what you’ve done and how you did it.  If you haven’t done it yet, Pick 5 for the Environment and then come back to comment. Today we cover action #6: how do you check your local air quality? Please share your stories as comments below.

Local air quality affects how you live and breathe. It’s like the weather; it can change from day to day. When I purchased my home years ago I really was thinking about the money I would save by heating with the wood burning fireplace. I never thought about the air quality in and around my home. When I had my chimney cleaned, the tech asked if I ever had a carbon monoxide detector. When I told him no, he suggested that I invest in one. It had never crossed my mind, but I purchased one the next week, and was surprised how inexpensive it was. The detector, which simply plugs into an electrical outlet on the wall, helps me monitor carbon monoxide levels in my home.

By making changes in my daily routine, I’ve also started to help keep the air clean. I no longer warm my car in the morning, since the extra emissions contribute to unhealthy air quality. When I cleaned my garage this summer, I properly disposed of some household paints, solvents and pesticides; the materials I kept I now store in airtight containers so that they don’t leak any fumes. Fumes from these items can cause unhealthy air.
Now it’s your turn: How do you check your local air quality? If you’re not sure what you can do, learn more on our site.

Don’t hesitate to share your other Pick 5 tips on how you save water, commute without polluting save electricity , reduce, reuse, recycle , and test your home for radon.

Note: to ward off advertisers using our blog as a platform, we don’t allow specific product endorsements.  But feel free to suggest Web sites that review products, suggest types of products, and share your experiences using them!

About the author: Denise Owens has worked at EPA for over twenty years. She is currently working in the Office of Public Affairs in Washington, DC.