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  • 1. Something’s in the Air The Factors for Creating Health Supporting Indoor Environments Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology A Florida 501 (c) 3 educational non-profit Presented by: Larry Gust, Gust Environmental, Ventura, CA www.GustEnviro.com • 805-644-2008
  • 2. Why Is This An Issue? You breathe 1500 quarts of air a day. One of the Top Five Health Risks (EPA) First on the List of Environmental Cancer Risks (EPA) Home air: 6-10 times more polluted than city (EPA) 90% of our time is spent indoors where 60+% of offices are polluted and homes are worse (tighter).
  • 3. Why Is This An Issue? Allergists – 50% of Illness caused or worsened by indoor pollution  Fifty years ago 1 in 30 had allergies  Ten years ago 1 in 3 had allergies  Today 1 in 2.5 have allergies Asthma has doubled since 1980 – heavily kids MCS has grown to about 18% of the population
  • 4. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) EPA: 65% of office buildings Acute health & comfort effects linked to time in bldg. No specific cause can be identified Symptoms abate outside of building
  • 5. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) Classed as SBS if 20% of population is affected Social security admin union survey (1993):  Fatigue – 39%  Sneezing / coughing – 45%  Sinus / nasal congestion – 49%  Eye, nose, throat irritation – 38%
  • 6. Building Induced Illness Conditions induced by building conditions Symptoms do not abate outside building
  • 7. The Rain & Barrel & Total Load
  • 8. Manipulating The Barrel to Reduce Loading Clean up your diet / habits Clean up your water Clean up your home / office
  • 9. Manipulate the Politicians Chernoble radiation reaches Canada and NY in 24 hours Pesticide sprayed in South Africa reaches Key West in 5 days Pesticide sprayed in Texas reaches Cincinnati in 36 hours Indoor air is outdoor air PLUS …
  • 10. Sources of Indoor Pollutants 1. Human activity 2. Combustion products 3. Biological agents 4. Radon 5. Pesticides 6. Volatile organic compounds 7. Particulates 8. Electromagnetic energies (Another Lecture)
  • 11. Pollutant Concentration Factors Number of sources and volume Rate of removal
  • 12. Removal Strategies Source control:  Exclusion  Capture at source Pollutant removal (dilution):  Air changes per hour (bldg. tightness)  Air cleaning
  • 13. Removal Strategies Ventilation is for People For all pollutants except people it is best to apply source control
  • 14. Pollutant Source #1  Human Activity  Carbon dioxide, water vapor, odors  Handled by dilution & removal (trapping)
  • 15. Pollutant Source #2  Combustion Products • Carbon monoxide, dioxide and by-products • Source removal Keep sources out of living space
  • 16. Combustion Products  Exclusion & Source Capture  Fireplace – external air source, tight doors  Furnace, water heater – Use closed system  Range exhaust hood– Vent outside  Built-in oven– Vent outside  Monitoring  Carbon monoxide monitor/alarm
  • 17. Pollutant Source #3 Biological Agents: Mites, Bacteria, Virus, Fungi Symptoms  Infectious disease  Malaise  Exacerbation of asthma  Fatigue  Runny nose  Chest tightness  Conjunctive inflammation  Cough  Recurrent fever  Dermatitis  Diarrhea  Headache  Breathing Difficulty
  • 18. Mold: Leviticus 14: 37 - 47 … And you shall examine the house for plague; and if the plague is on the walls of the house with ingrained streaks, greenish or reddish, which appear to be deep in the walls, then close the house up for seven days. If you return and the plague has spread, then remove the stones and walls and the dust they scrape off. Now if the plague comes back after he has taken away the stones and plaster, then the house indeed has the plague. And he shall break down the house, its stones and timbers and all the plaster of the house, and he shall carry them outside the city to an unclean place. And he who is inside the house shall wash his clothes …
  • 19. Causes of Fungal Reactions: Allergenic cell wall proteins Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds Fungal generated Mycotoxins
  • 20. Conditions for Fungi Growth Food source Spores Moisture (as low as 70% RH for some)
  • 21. Moisture Sources Moisture producing appliances & activities Foundation capillary action Structural water leaks Condensation on cold surfaces
  • 22. Surface Temperature Control Dew Point depends on % RH and Surface Temperature Surface Temperature depends on  Insulation from cold temperatures  Correct installation
  • 23. Whole House Humidity Control Ultra Aire by Therma-stor
  • 24. Flooding- Correct Clean Up Stop water at the source Remove Porous Materials Immediately Dry out remaining materials within 36 -48 hours After this mold quickly becomes a big problem • Use a Certified Restorer from • American Indoor Air Quality Council (AmIAQC) • Institution of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC) Sewage is another issue • Already contaminated with virus, bacteria & parasites • Biocides are used a several steps of remediation
  • 25. Testing for Mold Air Samples:  Spore Trap  Culturable Surface Samples:  Tape lift  Culturable
  • 26. Another Fungus. . . Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)  Caused by fungus that grows in the bed and produces a neurotoxin gas.  Caused by use of flame resistant mattresses.  More danger from hand me down mattresses because the fungus grows stronger over time.  Can be avoided by simply placing a plastic bag over mattress.
  • 27. Sources of Indoor Pollutants Our Lecture Roadmap Human activity Combustion products Biological agents Radon Pesticides Volatile organic compounds Particulates
  • 28. Pollutant Source #4 Radon • Colorless, odorless, radioactive gas • Found in bedrock & soil from decay of radium 226 • Radon half life is 3.8 days • Decay products are solid particles that live minutes • Decay energy is dangerous to lung tissue • The lungs take in radioactive particles riding on dust • Second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking
  • 29. Radon Enters via Cracks in Foundation Parts Basements are the main problem Seal foundation cracks, penetrations, joints Use Sub-slab suction Screening:  Radon kit (Home Depot)
  • 30. Pollutant Source #5 Pesticides 4 billion applications per year 85% of households store 3 to 4 pounds 20,000 household pesticide products 140,000 reported exposures in 1993, 93% home use, 50% children under six
  • 31. Types of Pesticides Chlorinated (chlordane, lindane, heptachlor) Carbamate (carbaryl) anti-cholinesterase Organophosphate (chlorpyrifos) anti-cholinesterase Newer pesticides have lower acute toxicity Little research into subtle effects  Immune function issues  Cognitive damage 300 active (controlled) ingredients
  • 32. Pesticides Continued 1700 inert (uncontrolled) ingredients  Manufacture decides with FDA agreement  Some product’s inerts are actives in others  Toluene, xylene – central nervous system depressant  Ethyl benzene – know carcinogen
  • 33. Pesticide Exposure Hampers Development in Children • Study: Sonora Technological Institute, Mexico • Children ages 4-5 from Sonora’s Yaqui Valley 45 pesticide applications times per crop cycle • Children ages 4-5 from nearby foothills Pesticide used is avoided • Pesticide exposure impairs cognitive development
  • 34. Disturbing Development:
  • 35. Pesticide Facts: Significant source of indoor pollution (esp. Southern climates) Binds strongly to synthetic materials Carpeting is contaminated even after repeated cleaning
  • 36. Pesticide Facts: Binds to dust which can float in the air Remediation is partial at best & may not be enough for the sensitive Remediation of older chlorinated pesticides is probably impossible
  • 37. Remediation Approaches Discard exposed synthetics Steam clean remaining items with minimum 150 degrees steam Clean all hard surfaces with vinegar, detergent and water Reduce air concentration with carbon/zeolite filtration Get additional info from HEAL 404-248-1898, http://members.aol.com/HEALNatnl
  • 38. Pollutant Source #6 Volatile Organic Compounds Symptoms  Eye irritation  Nose, throat discomfort  Headache  Allergic skin reaction  Breathing Difficulty  Serum cholinerterase decline  Nausea, vomiting  Nose bleeds (formaldehyde)  Fatigue  Dizziness
  • 39. Volatile Organic Compounds Sources  Carpet, furnishings  Vinyl flooring  Building materials: paint, glue, flooring  Cleaning products  Finishes & sealants  Dry cleaning
  • 40. Volatile Organic Compounds Sources (cont.)  Garaged cars  Formaldehyde from urea-formaldehyde glue (Particle board, carpet padding, caulking, paint)  Personal care products  Air fresheners
  • 41. VOC Control Strategy Primary: Source reduction or elimination Secondary: activated carbon Testing:  Air sample collection  Mass spec/gas chromatography analysis  Expensive
  • 42. Synthetic Fragrances (VOCs) National Academy of Sciences to US Congress in 1992: Test fragrances for Neurotoxicity Makers are not required to disclose chemicals used 95% of chemicals are synthetic hydrocarbons  Benzene derivatives  Aldehydes  Phthalates (hormone mimics)
  • 43. Synthetic Fragrances (VOCs) Known to cause:  Cancer  Birth defects  CNS disorders  Allergy: inhalant & skin  Asthma triggering in children (up 40% in 10 years) No routine industry testing for neurotoxicity or respiratory affects
  • 44. Synthetic Fragrances (VOCs) Safety of ingredients is not assured  Warning label is required by law  There are no warning labels The chemical equivalent of physical assault
  • 45. Sources of Indoor Pollutants Our Lecture Roadmap 1. Human activity 2. Combustion products 3. Biological agents 4. Radon 5. Pesticides 6. Volatile organic compounds 7. Particulates
  • 46. Relative Size of Contaminants
  • 47. Pollutant Particle Sizes
  • 48. Particulates Body Removal Efficiency  Over 3 microns easily removed  Under 0.5 microns go deep into lungs Mortality increases with dirtier air  EPA Study of PM10 < 10 microns  PM 10: 30 grams/ liter of air vs 11 gr/l  Steubenville, OH was 31% > than Portage, WI  EPA standard: 50 gr/l
  • 49. Particulate Control Strategies Source control  Use hard surface floors, not carpets  Housekeeping Most vacuums trap only about 30% of the dust
  • 50. Fantom Vacuum with HEPA Absolute Air Filter Uses Centrifugal large particle separator There is no bag Last stage is a True HEPA filter
  • 51. Particulate Control Strategies Source control  Exclusion from living space, positive air pressure and a tight building envelope  Suppression of biologicals via humidity control to under 50% Removal by air filtration  Particulate removal  Gas removal
  • 52. MERV Air Filter Rating System
  • 53. Common Throw-Away Fiberglass Filter (MERV 2)
  • 54. Electrostatic Filter (MERV 6) Washable Metal or plastic frame Heavily advertised Offered by HVAC dealers Poor performance for the cost
  • 55. Increased Efficiency Pleated Filter (MERV 6-8)
  • 56. Higher Efficiency Filter Requiring Special Installation (MERV 12) April Aire / Air Bear
  • 57. Filtrete Ultra Model 1250 (MERV 11) Made by 3M Company Meets the American Lung Association Healthy House Guidelines. Replaces standard fiberglass filters.
  • 58. Hepa Sheild House Carbon Filter (MERV 20 )
  • 59. Filter Comparison
  • 60. Carbon Filter • Combined particulate filter & carbon (ounces) Used to remove odors • Filters with pounds of carbon are available for heavy duty VOC removal, but require specially fabricated holders
  • 61. Honeywell QuietCare HEPA Air Cleaner #17200 Rooms up to 220 square feet. Features a systems to monitor filter life Plastic housing Available with carbon Sound reducing features
  • 62. Austin Air Health Mate + Metal Cabinet, Baked finish 15 Lbs of carbon Three Speeds
  • 63. Water Quality
  • 64. Water Quality Water Quality is declining Disease up 250 times in 10 years Microorganism contamination rising (E. coli test) Water testing is periodic and limited 90% is not for human consumption EPA sets contamination levels Poison is purposely added
  • 65. Water Quality Chlorine is purposely added (Cl test)  21% increased risk of bladder cancer  38% increased risk of rectal cancer  Heart disease & stroke Reacts with organic matter => Trihalomethanes  Increased spontaneous abortion  Spinabifidal  Neutral Tube defects Fertilizer runoff increases nitrates Blue baby syndrome (nitrate to nitrite into blood reduces O2) Spontaneous abortion
  • 66. Water Quality Increasingly acidic (pH test) causing leaching Lead (Pb test)  Anemia  CNS damage  Impaired mental function  Size & Hearing in infants Copper  Gastrointestinal disturbances  Liver & Kidney damage (years of exposure
  • 67. Water Quality Herbicides & Pesticides (Pe test)  Carcinogenic  Mutagenic (alters genic information)  Teratogenic (birth defects)  Immune suppression  CNS damage  Liver & Kidney damage
  • 68. Water Quality for Ingestion Do not Drink or cook with tap water Reverse osmosis purification is best  Filters at the size of an atom => 95+% removal  Mineral content not an issue unless you eat rocks  Must be maintained annually Bottled water is dicey  Very poor oversight by FDA  Resource usage and trash disposal  Bottle your RO water in a stainless steel container
  • 69. Water Quality for Bathing Do not shower or bathe in tap water Carbon filtered water is best (not KDF)  Shower filter  Whole house filter  Must be maintained
  • 70. What you can do NOW: Stop water leaks & moisture Intrusion. Dry wet materials within 36 hours. Clean carpets every 6 months. Install reverse osmosis water for cooking & drinking. Install whole house water filtration or Install carbon shower filters.
  • 71. What you can do NOW: Upgrade furnace filter to 3M Filtrete 1250. Eliminate toxic pesticides, use non-toxic or least toxic methods. Use safe paints and sealers (No VOC’s) [See www.GustEnviro.com] Avoid the use of flexible plastics made from polyvinyl chloride/PVC/vinyl Install solid surface floors in bedrooms
  • 72. What you can do NOW: Cultivate a positive mental attitude. Get exercise. Eat macrobiotically and organic.
  • 73. Institute for Building Biology & Ecology, Inc A 501 c3 Non Profit • Teaching the use of healthy building principles • Improving the health of living & work spaces • Improving the health of people For information on educational materials & services: www.buildingbiology.net
  • 74. Thanks for listening Something’s in the Air The Factors for Creating Health Supporting Indoor Environments Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology A Florida 501 (c) 3 educational non-profit www.BuildingBiology.org Presented by: Larry Gust, Gust Environmental, Ventura, CA www.GustEnviro.com • 805-644-2008

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