Thanks for your interest in ROCIS
(Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces)

The American Lung Association's 2021 State of the Air Report ranks Pittsburgh's airshed the worst east of the Rockies for 24-hour and annual particles. What can households do to reduce their exposure?

Join a ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project Virtual Cohort!

Now is the perfect time to learn about outdoor and indoor air quality, the effect on you and your family, andmost importantlyopportunities for improvement.

The “Introduction to the Low Cost Monitoring Project” webinar will be held at 7:00 PM Thursday, Nov. 17, and will be repeated at 10:30 AM Friday, Nov. 18. Take this webinar to learn more about the LCMP and our upcoming virtual monitoring Cohort 53 (Dec. 1–Jan. 13). A limited number of folks outside of southwest PA can also participate in this cohort.

After the webinar, attendees confirm their interest in joining Cohort 53 and meeting the LCMP expectations

Click below to register for the webinar:

Register Here

"It was a privilege to glimpse this part of our invisible world and learn more of the health connections."

–Kevin, ROCIS Cohort 47

What To Expect From a LCMP Cohort

Monitoring kits will be delivered to participants through a no contact exchangeeither delivered to your door or sent via the mail. The kit includes monitors for particles, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and radon. During the one-month-long cohort, participants monitor their indoor and outdoor air and receive weekly feedback on the results. During the monitoring period, ROCIS participants can test the effectiveness of ROCIS-loaned equipment, including an induction stovetop and/or DIY fan-filters. Traveling over the holidays? Not a problem; it is useful to see the difference between an occupied and unoccupied home.

The virtual format of this project has increased the convenience of participation through:

  • No travel requirementsAll meetings are online!
  • Flexible meeting timesTwo weekly online Cohort meetings, each with the option of attending in the morning or evening.
  • Shorter and more frequent meetingsEach meeting is 75 minutes
  • Opportunity for more household members to participateKids are welcome!

Over the course of the virtual cohort, the ROCIS team covers a wide range of topics including:

  • Accessing and interpreting air quality monitoring results
  • Behavioral and technical interventions to improve indoor air quality
  • Access to resources to track ambient air quality
  • Health impacts of poor air quality

Questions? Contact Emily Dale, ROCIS LCMP Coordinator, 724 833 8223,

We look forward to hearing from you.

Please forward this email to friends and colleagues who may want to learn about monitoring and improving their home's air quality.

"I was grateful to be a part of the ROCIS Virtual Cohort. The time and effort to participate were well worth it. My family and I feel we now have a greater understanding of our indoor and outdoor air quality and how to make changes to improve it. Thank you to everyone at ROCIS for this great opportunity!"

-Ann, 2020 participant

Upcoming Event: PA League of Women Voters, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Host Nov. 15-16 Shale Gas & Public Health Conference

The PA League of Women Voters and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will hold their 10th Annual Shale Gas and Public Health Conference November 15-16.

This online Conference will feature a synthesis of 10 years of research on shale gas development and its impacts on public health as well as presentations on the latest study results by researchers.

Click Here To Register!

Trap It, Don't Kill It: Beware of Additive Air Purifier Claims

Not all portable air cleaners work equally well. While a high-quality air cleaner can significantly reduce indoor particle pollution including viruses, beware of promises to do anything more than filter your air. This comprehensive article from Mother Jones ( describes the range of air cleaners available and addresses the limitations of some popular types of air cleaners. With the advent of COVID and the desire for "purified" air in homes, stores, offices, and schools, many manufacturers have made claims about the efficacy of their products to reduce viruses or particles. Some of these claims are legitimate. Simple air cleaners remove particles—including viruses—by collection in filter media. However, the makers of “additive” air cleaners claim to offer additional benefits by injecting the passing air with ozone or ions. In theory, this could result in better collection efficiency for the targeted pollutants. But whether these types of air cleaners actually work in a real home or school setting—and whether the injection of additives might contribute to the formation of harmful pollutants—is open to debate. It is difficult to find third-party, objective research on additive air cleaners among the publicity originating from manufacturers. 

This doesn't mean that you should avoid using portable air cleaners. Quite the opposite! It is well known—and has been shown in ROCIS results—that standard filtration will reduce the number of particles in your home. ROCIS has seen reductions up to 90% with certain technologies! The Mother Jones article above discusses some of the questions and conundrums related to additive air cleaners, making a strong case for sticking with the conventional HEPA-filtration air cleaners to reduce particles and viruses.

Learn More About Carbon Monoxide

As we move into winter, windows are closing up and more combustion devices are in use—that can mean increased levels of carbon monoxide in the home. Learn about health effects, symptoms, and sources of CO exposure (as well as the selection of CO alarms) in this informative ROCIS video. Don't forget, an added benefit of joining Cohort 53 is that you will be able to use our CO monitor this winter.

Watch here:  

Linda, for the ROCIS Team


Linda Wigington

Team Leader | Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS)

724-852-3085 (office), 724-986-0793 (mobile)

Thanks to The Heinz Endowments for support of the ROCIS initiative. 
(Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces)