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1.) Measuring ground level ozone
2.) Protocol for measuring the impact on a bioindicator - Common Milkweed

Measuring ground level ozone

1) The Schoenbein Paper Method - make your own ozone paper!

For the protocol of this method, see The Science Teacher "GROUND LEVEL OZONE TESTING", December 1995, pg.. 16-19. These instructions will show you how to make your own ozone paper for measuring ground-level ozone. After making your own paper begin at step seven in the protocol below.

Thanks to Judy Lee for developing and providing this protocol.

2) Eco Badge Kits - Monitoring Kits

This procedure uses the Vistanomics, Ecobadge Ozone Monitoring Kits, distributed by Wards Natural Science (1-800-962-2660).These kits cost approximately $90 complete with lesson plans, handouts, badges and paper inserts.

The test cards contained in this package react to ozone when exposed to the atmosphere. Using specially treated papers that react at different rates, the Eco Badge provides readings for peak short term (one hour) and average long term (eight hour) periods. After eight hours, the long term reading gives the average level of exposure for that period. It does not provide minute by minute readings of increase or decreases in ozone levels.

To use the Eco Badge for data collection:

  1. Remove two plastic Eco Badges from the outer pouch. Using the plastic Eco Badges is not necessary if you do not have them. The filter paper Test Cards are sufficient.

  2. Remove the filter paper Test Card sheet from their inner pouch. Separate two test cards from the sheet. They are perforated and tear easily.

  3. Place the test Card sheet back in its pouch. Seal the pouch by closing the zipper. With the pouch on a flat surface, leave a small opening and smooth the pouch with your hands to remove the air inside in order to keep the filter paper strips away from water and moisture. Seal the zipper completely.

  4. Insert the individual filter paper Test Cards into the slots at the top of two of the Eco Badges.

  5. Insert the One hour test blocker in the front of both of the Test Cards covering the one hour test of the Card.

  6. Insert the plastic strap of the clip through the hole at the top of the badge and attach using the snap.

  7. Although exposure to sunlight is not a problem for the test strips, excessive exposure can cause the colors to fade. The two test strips or badges should be hung outside, away from any absorptive surfaces that might react with atmospheric ozone. They should hang at about 1.5 meters off the ground.

  8. Weather data for the day should be recorded at 12:00 noon for the ozone readings. If you do not have a weather station at school, try a weather network. In Kansas City, Channel 5 offers a neighborhood weather network that may have a site near you. If you go to the Channel 5 neighborhood weather site. Weather data from around the United States can be obtained from NOAA Weather sites, usually airports at National Weather conditions. The following readings need to be taken and keep at your site;


    Air Temperature (Celsius)   
    Relative Humidity (%)  
    Wind Speed (mph)   
    Wind Direction (N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW):   
    Air Pressure (inches of hg)   

  9. After 1:00 p.m. and before 4:00 p.m. the test block should be removed from the Eco Badges. The one hour test should be completed before 4:00 p.m. each day.
  10. After eight hours total exposure, two eight hour readings should be taken. Ozone level is read from the color scales on the 8x10 chart. The one hour reading should be made as well. To prevent further exposure, after the one-hour test is completed, put a strip of clear scotch tape over both sides of the one hour test strip.

  11. Data from the tests should be submitted to the network from the Data Submission area. The two eight hour tests should be averaged and submitted as one reading for the eight hour period. The two one-hour tests should be averaged and submitted as one reading as well. Keep the weather data for each sampling day, at your site.

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