How to Improve your Indoor Air Quality


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A presentation that offers tips to recognize IAQ problems, info on their health effects, and how to deal with IAQ issues.

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  • How to Improve your Indoor Air Quality

    1. 1. RADEC AIR AND WATER SOLUTIONS INC. Improving quality of life in the places we work, live and play
    2. 2. Creating Healthy Indoor Environments
    3. 3. Did you know? <ul><li>Canadians spend 90% of their time indoors </li></ul><ul><li>15-20% of children have asthma </li></ul><ul><li>50% of Canadians have some type of allergy </li></ul><ul><li>It takes a new home approximately 15 years to fully off-gas pollutants in common building materials </li></ul>
    4. 4. IAQ and Green Rating Systems <ul><li>LEED </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is run by the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) </li></ul><ul><li>LEED offers points for Indoor Environmental Quality </li></ul><ul><li>GoGreen </li></ul><ul><li>GoGreen is run by the Building Operators and Managers Association (BOMA) </li></ul><ul><li>BOMA considers IAQ in their ratings </li></ul>
    5. 5. What Contributes to Poor IAQ?
    6. 6. A Few Causes of Poor IAQ <ul><li>Hairspray </li></ul><ul><li>Perfume </li></ul><ul><li>Deodorizers </li></ul><ul><li>Air Fresheners </li></ul><ul><li>Bug Spray </li></ul><ul><li>Office Equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Scented Laundry Detergent </li></ul><ul><li>Candles </li></ul><ul><li>Incense </li></ul><ul><li>Pets </li></ul><ul><li>Dust </li></ul><ul><li>Mold </li></ul><ul><li>Cleaning Products </li></ul><ul><li>Glues </li></ul><ul><li>Wood stoves </li></ul><ul><li>Paint </li></ul><ul><li>Varnishes </li></ul><ul><li>Plastics </li></ul><ul><li>Particle board </li></ul><ul><li>Particulates from cooking </li></ul><ul><li>Radon </li></ul>
    7. 7. VOCs <ul><li>V olatile </li></ul><ul><li>O rganic </li></ul><ul><li>C ompounds </li></ul><ul><li>VOCs are chemical compounds that are in a vapour state. In this state we can easily breathe them in. </li></ul>
    8. 8. VOC Related Health Problems <ul><li>Asthma triggers </li></ul><ul><li>Allergy triggers </li></ul><ul><li>Eye, nose and throat irritation </li></ul><ul><li>Headaches </li></ul><ul><li>Nausea </li></ul><ul><li>Vomiting </li></ul><ul><li>Fatigue </li></ul><ul><li>Dizziness </li></ul><ul><li>Nosebleeds </li></ul><ul><li>Increases sensitivity to chemicals or allergens </li></ul><ul><li>Shortness of breath </li></ul><ul><li>Allergic skin reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Visual disorders </li></ul><ul><li>Memory impairment </li></ul><ul><li>Lung damage </li></ul><ul><li>Liver, kidney and central nervous system damage </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer </li></ul>
    9. 9. Reducing VOCs <ul><li>Avoid using products that off-gas VOCs </li></ul><ul><li>Increase fresh air </li></ul><ul><li>Increase ventilation </li></ul><ul><li>Portable air filtration </li></ul>
    10. 10. What to look for in an Air Filtration Unit <ul><li>Carbon filter for adsorption of VOCs/odors </li></ul><ul><li>Particulate filter: medical grade HEPA filter </li></ul><ul><li>Housing material: does it off-gas? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it painted? If so what kind of paint is used? </li></ul><ul><li>DOES IT PRODUCE OZONE? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Ozone <ul><li>The natural ozone layer up in the stratosphere is good for the environment and for us. It filters out harmful sun rays. </li></ul><ul><li>At ground level, ozone is dangerous. </li></ul><ul><li>Ozone is an irritant gas that can cause respiratory problems. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Why some argue Ozone is a good choice for Air Cleaning <ul><li>Ozone is very volatile and can react with some chemicals and VOCs. This reaction will neutralize some substances, reducing odors. </li></ul><ul><li>HOWEVER the same chemical reactions that neutralize odours and chemicals can produce other harmful chemical by-products. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Canadian Regulations <ul><li>Health Canada has issued warnings against using ozone generators </li></ul><ul><li>Ozone generating devices for home use are NOT approved by the CSA (Canadian Standards Association). </li></ul><ul><li>Most ozone generating devices for home use are sold door to door or online where they can avoid meeting regulatory standards. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Some Examples of Ozone Producing Air Cleaners
    15. 15. Mold
    16. 16. Mold is Detrimental in Two Ways <ul><li>Health of Occupant </li></ul><ul><li>Runny nose </li></ul><ul><li>Headaches </li></ul><ul><li>Respiratory problems </li></ul><ul><li>Dizziness </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty breathing </li></ul><ul><li>Memory & hearing loss </li></ul><ul><li>Flu-like symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Bleeding in lungs </li></ul><ul><li>Health of Building </li></ul><ul><li>Decrease the life of building materials </li></ul><ul><li>Damages paint/surfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Damages drywall </li></ul><ul><li>Damages carpets </li></ul><ul><li>Damages household items (books, furniture) </li></ul><ul><li>Structural damage </li></ul>
    17. 17. Signs of a Mold Problem <ul><li>Water Spots on ceilings, walls, around windows, around bathtubs and sinks </li></ul><ul><li>Previous leak </li></ul><ul><li>Bubbles in paint or wallpaper </li></ul><ul><li>Bulging drywall </li></ul><ul><li>Musty odors </li></ul><ul><li>Visible signs of mold </li></ul>
    18. 23. When to Clean Mold Yourself <ul><li>3 patches or fewer less than 1 square metre each </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>The size of a garbage bag folded in half </li></ul><ul><li>As recommended by the </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) </li></ul>
    19. 24. How to Clean Mold Yourself <ul><li>Make sure to wear </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Safety Glasses or Goggles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A Disposable Dust Mask </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Household Rubber Gloves </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scrub the patch with an unscented detergent. </li></ul><ul><li>Then sponge with clean water and dry quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>The CMHC does not recommend using bleach </li></ul>
    20. 25. When to call in a Mold Expert <ul><li>When the mold area is very large </li></ul><ul><li>When you clean mold and it repeatedly and quickly returns </li></ul><ul><li>When mold has caused obvious damage to building materials, or household items </li></ul><ul><li>When the home is very moist or damp </li></ul><ul><li>When someone in your family has asthma or respiratory problems that appear to be aggravated inside the home </li></ul>
    21. 26. Causes of Large-scale Mold Problems <ul><li>Improperly ventilated dryer, stove and bathroom fans. </li></ul><ul><li>Leaky roof </li></ul><ul><li>Piping that is poorly maintained or not maintained at all </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of natural building ventilation </li></ul>
    22. 27. Dryer Duct Comparison
    23. 28. Roof of Condo Building
    24. 29. Poorly Maintained Piping
    25. 30. Insurance <ul><li>Home insurance will normally cover a leak or flood, provided steps are taken immediately to resolve the problem </li></ul><ul><li>HOWEVER most home insurance does not cover mold which can develop later, or as a result of improper flood repairs </li></ul><ul><li>Check your policy to find out what is and is not covered </li></ul>
    26. 31. Solutions & Prevention
    27. 32. Find the Root of the Problem <ul><li>If you discover a mold problem in your home, bring in an expert to find the root cause and repair it at the source. </li></ul>
    28. 33. Reduce Humidity <ul><li>Get a dehumidifier </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to use bathroom fans when showering and for 30 minutes afterwards </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to use stove fans when cooking, especially when boiling food </li></ul>
    29. 34. Improve Air Movement <ul><li>If you don’t have a bathroom or stove fan, install one. If for some reason you can’t install one, open a window when showering or cooking </li></ul><ul><li>When possible, keep doors inside the house open to allow air movement throughout. This is especially important for rooms that lack windows or ventilation. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider air movement when organizing furniture, and try to avoid placing items where they could block air flow </li></ul>
    30. 35. Clean Water Leaks Right Away <ul><li>If you have a water spill or leak, address it immediately </li></ul><ul><li>A larger water leak requires expert help, industrial drying equipment, and may require pulling out wet building materials (carpets, and very wet drywall) to ensure that other building materials can be saved </li></ul><ul><li>After a water leak, </li></ul><ul><li>mold will grow within 24-48 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Never delay water clean up! </li></ul>
    31. 36. Anti-Microbial Treatments <ul><li>A mold expert will usually recommend treatment with an anti-microbial spray for a large problem </li></ul><ul><li>Cleaned areas can then be treated with an anti-microbial sealer to prevent future growth </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-microbial sealer can also be used as a preventative measure in areas where mold could eventually be a problem such as basements and crawlspaces </li></ul>
    32. 37. Where to find more information <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>