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Air Check

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A high tech mobile air quality testing lab recently sniffed around Lantana.

Dave Gutierrez with Green House Gas Analysis showed off his specially equipped van to The Cross Timbers Gazette staff last Wednesday.

The equipment constantly takes air samples and analyzes it for methane plumes, which could also contain harmful carcinogens or neurotoxins.

“High levels of methane can be an indicator that volatile organic compounds like benzene are also present,” said Gutierrez.

The van is outfitted with an air intake tube connected to a $100,000 air analyzer from California-based Picarro, Inc., and a GPS unit.  Air samples are taken every eight seconds and plotted on a map.

Gutierrez made a quick pass through Lantana and did not find any methane plumes.

“To really know if that there are no issues, we should monitor the area at different times of the day for about a month,” said Gutierrez.

Leasing the equipment costs around $7,000 to $8,000 per month Gutierrez said.

Additional testing with canister samples would be needed to check for the presence of benzene if high methane levels are found.

Gutierrez was in North Texas for a conference hosted by the North Central Texas Communities Alliance in Arlington.

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