Over the last approximately six month an auto parts plant in town has started releasing quite a bit of what smells like paint fumes. When it first started it was pretty rare to get an overwhelming breeze, but now it seems quite often, especially at the park a few miles away and often downwind.

Since this is a fairly recent new smell in the town, how do I know the EPA or state regulatory office are monitoring this? Who should I contact?

And after the EPA's failure to disclose lead in Detroit's drinking water, what kind of kits, or testing can I do myself? I have no idea what's in paint that makes it dangerous, only that it should always be done in well ventilated areas, ironically what the auto parts plant is doing.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are several air-quality districts within each state... depends on your location. They wouldn't be "monitoring" the toxics and other VOCs emitted by the plant, but there may be permitting in place for certain allowable emissions. $\endgroup$
    – f.thorpe
    Sep 27, 2016 at 17:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps try approaching them and ask them if they could cut down on the emissions. An air pollution control device may have stopped working and this may actually help them, if they haven't noticed it. If that doesn't seem to help, try contacting your local government- you may be able to file a complaint. If you want to test the air quality, it will be a bit more difficult than water quality. Try testing for acetone, Toluene and Xylene. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2016 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ Do you know of a retail testing kit that is accurate? Or do I need to find some DIY plans on the internet? I really don't want to contact the company myself as it appears the fumes are coming from an incinerator that is exhausting but not turned on (no heat plume and no noise, yet has an overwhelming smell directly downwind of it). So they're likely doing it on purpose. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2016 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ Most industrial plants while registering with the government, have to file details on likely emissions, their measurement and containment plant. You can try to obtain those under the right to information. Most air pollutants are difficult to measure at home. If you know any university where there is environmental research division, they will have the right equipment. Most university faculty and researchers are happy to help in such a case. They can send you a special bag to collect air in it and you can collect air sample and send them back for analysis. $\endgroup$
    – Harish
    May 29, 2018 at 10:03


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.