Andrew Stelzer: Radio & Print Journalist

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

All you need is a few walkie-talkie looking things from the hardware store to start monitoring your own environment.  In this 1-day experiment, a San Francisco art gallery asked people to show up, grab some tools and a notepad, and take readings on the air quality in the Mission District.  It’s a technique that’s increasingly being used around the world, with garbage trucks and taxis getting monitors installed, to help map a city’s most polluted neighborhoods.

This story originally appeared on the Distillations podcast in August 2008.