Mobile Responding to Air Pollution in Disasters (mRAPiD) is a unique mobile van that allows for real-time detection of chemical air pollutants, mainly volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are emitted from a variety of sources, including gasoline and diesel emissions, industrial emissions, dry-cleaning, tobacco smoke, and building materials, including paints and varnishes. Many VOCs can be hazardous to human health. There is concern about ambient VOC concentrations due to a variety of sources, which may be increased following environmental disasters or industrial accidents. 

The mRAPiD van is a resource at Texas A&M University able to provide highly sensitive levels, parts per trillion, of a wide range of VOC mixtures. Using an ultra-sensitive trace gas analyzer (proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer, PTR-MS), our team can obtain real-time VOC data linked with specific locations. Air sampling provides hyperlocal information on air quality currently not currently available to residents concerned about local air quality and health. The mRAPiD van, under the direction of Dr. Natalie Johnson, will coordinate routine air sampling, as well as rapid response to disasters, across the state of Texas. This unique resource aims to support the protection of human and environmental health. 

On-board Instrumentation  

  • Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) (Model 4000, Ionicon, Inc.) for volatile organic compound (VOC) monitoring  
  • Metrological equipment to measure wind speed and direction, temperature, and relative humidity 
  • GT5000 Terra – multigas Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analyzer
  • On-board GPS system  
mrapid van with staff
mrapid van with staff
mrapid van with staff


mRAPiD Van | Texas A&M Superfund Research Center |

Dr. Natalie Johnson 
Associate Professor | School of Public Health 
Vice Chair | Interdisciplinary Program in Toxicology 
Texas A&M University | College Station, TX 

Dr. Garett Sansom
Research Assistant Professor | School of Public Health
Texas A&M University | College Station, TX