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Table 1 Household testing protocol

From: Participatory testing and reporting in an environmental-justice community of Worcester, Massachusetts: a pilot project

Indicators medium location materials/methods MDL2 frequency result type
1. lead drinking water faucet Water in pipes 6 hours. First-draw sample, then ran the water 60 secs for purged-line sample Used 2 1 L nalgenes. Fill 50 mL small bottles, send to lab (Environmental Quality Institute, Asheville, NC). Lab analysis by EPA Method 200.9, Determination of Trace Elements by Stabilized Temperature Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption. Rev 2.2, 1994. 1 ppb once per home level in ppb
2. lead indoor paint living spaces LeadCheck® by Hybrivet Systems of Natick, Mass. Touch swabs in six locations, cut beyond surface layer. 1 μg six locations esp. child contact areas presence/absence
3. lead dust floors, window sills Followed Mass. Dept. Env. Protect. Dust Wipe Collection Protocol. Tested three rooms in each home. Dust wipe and a floor wipe in each home. Blank wipe with each home and a spiked wipe in every three homes. Sent to EHS Labs (Richmond VA) for analysis. Analysis by EPA method SW846, 7420. 0.1 μg/ft2 7 per home: 3 windowsills 3 floors 1 blank level in μg/ft2
4. lead outdoor soil yard, garden Followed Worcester Roots protocol. Chose two areas outside to test. Usually a garden and drip line. Took four composite samples in each testing area. Combined the four composites from testing areas #1 into one bag and four composites from testing areas #2 into another bag. Lab analysis by Clark University using ICP-AES3. 1 mg/kg 2 areas per home level in ppm
5. radon indoor air basement Used Pro-Lab ® Radon liquid scintillation gas detection canisters. Followed company protocol. Placed canister in basement, away from windows, three feet off the ground. Left for 48+ hours. Sent to Pro-Lab (Weston, FL) for analysis. 0.1 pCi/L once per home level in pCi/L
6. PM2.5 indoor air living spaces DustScan Scout 3020 nephelometer (Rupprecht and Patashnick, East Greenbush NY). Optical scattering method. 1 μg/m3 Once per room, 30-minute duration time series, μg/m3
7. suspended mold spores 1 indoor air, outdoor air living spaces CyClex Bioaerosol Impact Sampler, (Environmental Monitoring Systems Inc. Charleston, SC). Rate 20-lpm for 8-10 mins. Impact slide mailed to EMSL Analytical Inc. for analysis of non-viable (non-living) spores1. Analysis by real-time PCR4. 1 count per m3 once inside (pilot) once inside and outside (phase II) Total spore counts per m3 air, ID of spore types
8. Various drinking water kitchen sink, bathroom sink Parameters (MDL)2: lead (< 15 ppb), total chlorine (< 4 ppm), pesticides (atrazine < 3 ppb, simazine < 4 ppb), total nitrate/nitrite (< 10.0 ppm), nitrite (< 1.0 ppm), bacteria, pH, hardness. WaterSafe® drinking water test (Silver Lake Research Corporation, Monrovia, CA). MDLs are less than USEPA maximum contaminant levels or guideline values as shown. As shown left in () once per home presence/absence or colorimetric
9. moisture indoor moisture walls, floors Tramex Moisture Encounter Plus moisture meter (Tramex, Littleton, CO). Wood level on % scale, brick, plaster, drywall on relative scale. - variable (0 to 20) per home % saturation (wood), comparative (plaster etc.)
10. CO sensor n/a indoors Testing of visibility and operation. n/a Once per home visual and audio detection
11. visual survey various indoors and outdoors Indicators: deteriorated paint indoors/outdoors; bare soil; cockroaches; rodents; holes in walls; mold/mildew; water damage; strong musty smell; natural gas/sewer gas smell; un-vented gas oven/dryer/heater/stove. n/a Once per home presence/absence
  1. 1 includes: agrocybe, alternaria, ascospore, aspergillus, basidiospores, bipolaris, chaetomium, cladosporium, curvularia, epicoccum, fusarium, ganoderma, myxomycetes, odium, paecilomyces, pithomyces, rusts, scopulariopsis, stachybotrys, taeniolella, torula, ulocladium and zygomycetes.
  2. 2 method detection limits; 3 ICP-AES - inductively-coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy; PCR - polymer chain reaction.