What's in our Air?

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Stuart Keer-Keer
Director, K2 Environmental Ltd

(Invited, Friday 28, Ilott Room, 9.15)

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What's in our Air?

  1. 1. Whats in our Air? Stuart Keer-Keer K2 Environmental Ltd
  2. 2. What is Coming up?• What is present? – Usual Suspects-main variables – Composition of fresh air• What is the significance of these contaminants• How to Test• Applications Examples – Home – Office – Factory – welding fumes
  3. 3. What are Majors and Minors?Review of the following compounds / Species• Particulate/dust and particulate/dust size• Carbon Dioxide• Formaldehyde• Water• Bacteria and Fungus• Volatile Organic Compounds• Carbon monoxide
  4. 4. Air Composition• Not static• Changes all the time• Depends on activities• Depends on Environmental Conditions
  5. 5. What is in Fresh Air ?
  6. 6. Whats in Fresh Air Numbers• Nitrogen (N2): 78.09%• Oxygen (O2): 20.95%• Argon (Ar): 0.93%• Carbon dioxide (CO2): 0.038%• Others (less than 0.002% each): Neon (Ne), Helium (He), Krypton (Kr), Hydrogen (H2), Xenon (Xe).• Formaldehyde 0.0000009 %
  7. 7. Vehicle Exhaust Fresh Air Fungus Plants/Trees Open FiresUn flue Gas Heaters Cooking with Gas Dogs Carbon Dioxide CO2 Humans Cats Wood Combustion Vehicle Exhaust Smoking
  8. 8. A Bit of Science
  9. 9. Photosynthesis all plants and trees doing it• Winter and Autumn less active• Spring and Summer active• At night less active• During day active• Winter and Autumn leaves fall decompose.
  10. 10. Night and Day Changes
  11. 11. Mauna Loa
  12. 12. Carbon Dioxide with Time
  13. 13. Effect of High CO2
  14. 14. CO2 in Home and Office• Plants love it – grow really well• At the same time people are generating CO2 they are also producing odour-causing bioeffluents• Relationship odour acceptability and ventilation
  15. 15. Carbon Dioxide• Useful tool to determine how much fresh air?• High CO2 indication other pollutants will also be high• Bio effluents not being removed• Normal 380 -500ppm• Over 1000 ppm a worry• Humans give off 4%
  16. 16. How to Measure • CO • CO2 • Temperature • Humidity • Calibration Gases
  17. 17. CO2 ppm 0 1000 1500 2000 2500 500 300021:01:4621:19:4621:37:4621:55:4622:29:4122:53:5623:11:5623:29:5623:47:56 0:05:56 0:23:56 0:41:56 0:59:56 1:17:56 1:35:55 1:53:55 2:11:55 2:29:55 2:47:55 3:05:55 3:23:55 3:41:55 3:59:55 2:33:53 CO2 ppm 2:51:53 3:09:53 3:27:53 3:45:52 4:03:52 4:21:52 4:39:52 4:57:52 5:15:52 5:33:52 5:51:52 6:09:52 6:27:52 CO2 Nephews Bedroom 6:45:51 7:03:51 7:21:51 7:39:51 7:57:51 8:15:51 8:33:51 8:51:51 9:09:51
  18. 18. CO2 Sources - Combustion• Un-flued gas heaters• Gas Cooking• Open Fires• Vehicles, Smoking• Also fine particulate, organics, formaldehyde
  19. 19. Dust-Particulate
  20. 20. Pet Dander Liquefaction Fungal Spores SoilDead Human Skin Textile Fibers Pollen Particulate/ Dust Road DustDust Mite Faecal Matter Wood Combustion Vehicle Exhaust Elemental Carbon Smoking
  21. 21. Dust Effect on Humans
  22. 22. Examples• Floating dust in a sun beam (40 – 60µm)• Spores 2 – 10 µm• Cigarette smoke 0.1 – 1 µm• Burning wood 0.2 – 3 µm• Flaming or smoldering cooking oil 0.03 – 0.9 µm
  23. 23. 0.0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1.0 1.25 1.5 1.75 2.0 2.25 2.5 2.75 3 3.25 3.5 3.75 4 4.25 4.5 4.75 5 10 20 Resin Smoke 0.05 - 1 µm Paint Pigments 0.01 - 5 µmOil Smoke 0.02 - 1 µm Carbon Black 0.01 - 3 µm Smog 0.01 - 1 µm Virus 0.2 - 20 µm Metalurgical Dust and Fumes 0.001 - 100 µm Bacteria 0.1 - 10 µmCooking Smoke 0.01 - 1 µm Resipirable Particulate - not good for humans - Less than 4 µm
  24. 24. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 2000 Metalurgical Dust and Fumes 0.001 - 100 µm . Fly Ash 1-300 µm Pollen 10 - 100 µm Human Hair 20 - 300 µm Dust Mites 250-320 µm Beach Sand 9 - 2000 µm Visble to Human Eye 40µm and above
  25. 25. Mobility of Dust• Less 2.5 µm many months• 2.5 µm dust remains airborne weeks – months• 2.5 µm – 10 µm airborne hours – days• 10 µm hours• More residence time = greater range
  26. 26. Elemental Carbon• Water Scrubbers- carbon• Particle Size less than 1µm• Diesel Combustion• VOC• Soot• Nano particles in rats• Bio available
  27. 27. Pet Dander• Skin• 2-3 µm• Similar to dandruff but smaller• Allergys not fur
  28. 28. Soft Wood Dust• Lower Limits – Labour Department• Chemical Constituents – resins, acids• Bacteria and Fungus – Spores growing on wood• Chemicals in Wood – CCA, anti sap stain• MDF – change when heated
  29. 29. Managing Dust• Vacuum vs Sweep• HEPA filters• Air Exchange Systems
  30. 30. How to Measure
  31. 31. Respirable/Inhalable Particulate • Personal Sampling • Up to 100 µm • Requires Calibration • Requires good kit • Does not always work • Obstrusive Portable Pump
  32. 32. Respirable and Inhalable Dust Pump draws air inSample Air Sample Air Pump draws air in
  33. 33. Filter HolderFilter to capture Dust
  34. 34. Elemental Carbon
  35. 35. Formaldehyde
  36. 36. Information on Formaldehyde• Formaldehyde is a preservative that can cause breathing problems• Sensitizer• A2 Suspected Carcinogen• Breaks down in atmosphere forms CO2 and H20• Children, Elderly more sensitive• Pre existing respiratory conditions• Eyes sensitive
  37. 37. Cooking Brussell Sprouts and Cabbage Paint MDF Smoking Finger Nail HardenersFurniture Fabric Wrinkle Resistant Plywood FormaldehydeCombustion eg Wood Glue - CarpetParticle Board Colour Fixing Fabrics Wall Paper Plywood Vehicle Emissions Un-flued Gas heaters
  38. 38. Formaldehyde at Home• New homes higher formaldehyde• Older homes lower• Drafty homes expect lower concentrations
  39. 39. Concentrations• New House 25 – 100 µg/m3• Outside air 3 – 9 µg/m3• NIOSH 8 hour limit 19 µg/m3• Californian EPA 8 µg/m3• Workplace 12 hour limit NZ 360 µg/m3• Workplace 8 hour limit NZ 600 µg/m3
  40. 40. Acute and Chronic• Lower limits for Long Term Exposures• Time for body to recover
  41. 41. Trailers – Hurricane Katrina144,000 – 39,000 still in use
  42. 42. Trailers - Katrina• Government tests found elevated levels of formaldehyde.• Formaldehyde 3-590 µg/m3• Health effects from occupants• Set limit for trailers 20 µg/m3• Reduced concentrations 13.3 Air Changes Per hour• Limits for MDF exported
  43. 43. Aldehyde-Formaldehyde
  44. 44. Passive Formaldehyde • Turnstile • Vapour • No good for Embalmers • Easy • No good for particulate and mist
  45. 45. Water
  46. 46. Vehicle Exhaust Fresh Air Showers Open FiresUn flue Gas Heaters Cooking with Gas Dogs Water H2O Humans Cats Wood Combustion Vehicle Exhaust Leaks Smoking
  47. 47. Humidity• How much water is dissolved in air• 100% no more will dissolve• Planes 10%• Antarctica - washing• Cool Air  Condensation
  48. 48. Source of Water• Combustion – Un flued gas, cooking, smoking• Bathrooms• Air dilution systems – outside vs inside• Solution to pollution is dilution• Furniture, concrete – absorption• Heating dissolved water
  49. 49. Measurement• Q trak – Humidity• Moisture Meter
  50. 50. Fungus and Bacteria
  51. 51. Water + Organic Material Fungus / Mould / Bacteria Toxins, Spores, Fragments, Odour
  52. 52. Effect of Moisture• If you have a water problem you have a mould problem.• If you have a mould problem you have a water problem
  53. 53. FungusWhat parts affect air quality• Growing fungi• Spores• Toxins• Fragments (hyphae)• Mould (a type of fungi)
  54. 54. Fungus and Odour• Produce Volatile Organic Compounds• Give the distinctive odour• Wall space – Low spore count• Mould Toxins - Mycotoxins• Can be toxic to Humans• Depends on Fungus and what growing on• On Fragments and Spores
  55. 55. Example of Mycotoxin• Penicillium fungi produces a mycotoxin – (Penicillin)
  56. 56. Example - Bacteria• Pseudomonas and other gram-negative – extremely wet.• May cause respiratory symptoms involving allergic type reactions.• Gram-negative bacteria small• Respiratory symptoms
  57. 57. Measurement• Air Sampling• Culturable-Agar• Non Culturable – Spore trap• Microscope vs Growth• Moisture, CO2, VOC• Swabs
  58. 58. Dry Cleaned Clothes Building Materials Paint Adhesives Smoking Cosmetics Furniture Mould Volatile Organic Fuel CompoundsCombustion eg Wood Glue - CarpetPrinters and Photocopiers Cleaning Products Wall Paper Plywood Vehicle Emissions Un-flued Gas heaters
  59. 59. What are VOC’s?• Volatile Organic Compounds• Organic compounds that evaporate• Petrol, perfume• Benzene, Toluene, Ethanol• All have separate health effects
  60. 60. Example VOC from HFO
  61. 61. Heavy Fuel Oil• Long chain complex atoms• Odour = VOC• Lego• Products• Sulphur molecules• Westport Odour
  62. 62. VOC Measurement
  63. 63. Sorbent Tubes
  64. 64. Carbon Monoxide• Combustion – ambient air• Odourless – colourless• Poorly tuned engines• Diesel and LPG Forklifts
  65. 65. CO Measurement
  66. 66. Example - Workplace• Welding – Ultra fine Particles – Carbon monoxide – VOC – Carbon Dioxide – Formaldehyde• Spray Painting – VOC – CO, CO2 from compressor
  67. 67. Example - Home• Formaldehyde – Bench – Walls – Lino – MDF• VOC – Cleaners – Perfume• Water – Cooking , no extraction
  68. 68. Your Challange

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