A presentation to help Floridians understand, improve and maintain their indoor air quality and the indoor environmental challenges in Florida. Presented by John Lapotaire, CIEC. Indoor Air Quality Solutions, IAQS
• IAQ: Indoor Air Quality refers to the quality of the air in the indoor environment.• This may also be referred to as Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ).
• Good IAQ is the quality of air which has no unwanted gasses or particles in it at concentrations which will adversely affect someone.• Poor IAQ occurs when gases or particles are present at an excessive concentration so as to affect the satisfaction or health of occupants.
Acceptable indoor air is defined by ASHRAE:• “Air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations and which a substantial majority (usually 80%) of the people exposed do not express dissatisfaction” -ASHRAE 62-1999
• Types Of Indoor Air Pollutants• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) places air pollutants into three general categories: 1. Particulates 2. Bioaerosols 3. Volatile Organic Compounds
• Particulates• Common indoor air particulates include dirt, dust, fibers, tobacco smoke particles and fireplace or wood stove soot. Airborne particles can range from 0.1 microns in size to 100 microns in size;
• Bioaerosols• Bioaerosols are microorganisms or particles, gases, vapors, or fragments of biological origin (i.e., alive or released from a living organism) that are in the air. Bioaerosols are everywhere in the environment.
• Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)• are a carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature.• Some VOCs have odors other VOCs have none.• Odor does not indicate the level of risk.• There are thousands of different VOCs produced and used in our daily lives.
• PARTICULATE: a state of matter in which solid or liquid substances exist in the form of aggregated molecules or particles. Airborne particulate matter is typically in the size range of 0.01 to 100 micrometers (µm).
• TOTAL SUSPENDED PARTICULATE: the mass of particulates suspended in a unit of volume of air when collected by a high volume sampler.• TSP refers to all particles in the atmosphere. TSP was the first indicator used to represent suspended particles in the ambient air.
• PARTICULATE MATTER: a suspension of fine solid or liquid particles in air, such as dust, fog, fume, mist, smoke, or sprays. Particulate matter suspended in air is commonly known as an aerosol.
• RESPIRABLE PARTICLES: particles that penetrate into and are deposited in the non-ciliated portion of the lung. Particles greater than 10 micrometers aerodynamic diameter are not respirable. Peak deposition of respirable particles occurs within the size range of 0.2 to 5 micrometers (µm).
• MICROGRAM (µg): one microgram is equal to one thousandth (1/1,000) of a milligram or one millionth (1/1,000,000) of a gram• MICROMETER (µm): one micrometer is equal to one thousandth (1/1,000) of a millimeter or one millionth (1/1,000,000) of a meter
Contaminates Come From Inside and Outside• Bacteria • Fungal spores• Viruses • Pollen• Insect feces • Tobacco smoke• Insect body parts • Combustible appliances• Cat and dog dander • Asbestos fibers
Contaminates Come From Inside and Outside• Cleaning • House Plants• Candles • Humidifiers• Incense • Computers• Refrigerators • Printers• Perfume • Those cute little desk top water fountains
Particulate Matter - Air Quality Index (AQI) and Health Concerns• An AQI of 100 for PM2.5 corresponds to a PM2.5 level of 40 micrograms per cubic meter (averaged over 24 hours). • An AQI of 100 for PM10 corresponds to a PM10 level of 150 micrograms per cubic meter (averaged over 24 hours).
• Particulate matter may be generated by natural processes, pollen, bacteria, viruses, mold, yea st, soil from erosion) or through human activities.• The smaller and lighter a particle is, the longer it stay’s in the air. Particles greater than 10 micrometers in diameter tend to settle to the ground in a matter of hours whereas the smallest particles less than 1 micrometer can stay in the air for weeks
• The effects of inhaling particulate’s have been widely studied and include asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular issues, and premature death.• The size of the particle is a main determinant of where in the respiratory tract the particle will come to rest when inhaled. Fine Particles can penetrate the deepest part of the lungs.
DUST MITES & BACTERIA –• Excessive Humidity Encourages Dust Mites, Dust Mite Allergen Production, Bacterial and Insect Hazards Indoors• High indoor humidity can encourage more issues than indoor mold.• The same moisture conditions that support growth of problematic indoor molds also encourage the development of bacterial hazards, dust mite populations, mite fecal allergen problem, and possibly other insect problems in buildings.
• The same measures of humidity control to prevent mold growth are needed to discourage the dust mite population that exists in all living areas.• Choosing and maintaining the proper humidity level to avoid indoor mold will also work to minimize the level of dust mites and dust mite allergens
• MCS: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is an unexplained condition where a person reports sensitivities and adverse reactions to low levels of chemicals.
• BRI: Building-Related Illness: This term is used when symptoms of a disease from several occupants of a building can be directly linked to specific airborne contaminants in that building. This differs from SBS because with SBS no specific illness or cause can be identified.
• SICK BUILDING: a building whose occupants complain of health and comfort problems that can be related to working or being in a building
• HUMIDIFIER FEVER: ("Ventilation Fever") a respiratory illness caused by exposure to toxins from microorganisms found in wet or moist areas in humidifiers and air- conditioners.
• HYPERSENSITIVITY PNEUMONITIS: a group of respiratory diseases, including humidifier fever that involves inflammation of the lungs. Most forms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis are caused by the inhalation of organic dusts, including molds.
• There are many filters available on the market today.• The most common are the one inch filters found in supermarkets, hardware stores and home supply retailers. All these filters guarantee a percentage of effectiveness, but that can be misleading.
• Each time the HVAC fan cycles air into the home, armies of potentially harmful spores, along with other allergens and pollutants, can be propelled through the supply ducts and spewed throughout your home into the air your family breathes.
1. Standard throwaway filters: Designed to protect the air handler only. No capability of collecting fine particles.2. These filters are designed to protect the air handler and do a fair to poor job at that.3. Most are made of fiberglass and provide no protection against fine or ultra-fine particles.
2. Washable Filters: These filters are very restrictive to airflow and are difficult to clean thoroughly, especially if they have a poly, sponge-like, inner filter.
• Electronic Air Cleaners: These air cleaners are 95% efficient at .3 microns when new or clean. They can reduce in efficiency very quickly as they load and are difficult to clean thoroughly and maintain.• Many home owners do not take the time to clean these on a regular basis, thus the product rarely works at the efficiency that it was designed for.
• Large 4 to 5 Inch Media Filters: These filters have a large amount of filter surface to allow for good air flow. They do a good job at protecting the air handler and keeping it clean.• They can collect a large amount of dust and particles above one micron in size, but have no capability of collecting particles and allergens that measure below one micron.
• What Is MERV?• The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of a filter describes the size of the holes in the filter that allow air to pass through. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes in the filter, the higher the efficiency.
• MERV is an industry standard rating, so it can be used to compare filters made by different companies.• Residential filters commonly have MERV ratings of 1-11. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is, and the more particles it can filter.
• A MERV rating of 6 means the filter is 35% to 50% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns.• A MERV rating of 7 means the filter is 50% to 70% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns.• A MERV rating of 8 means the filter is 70% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns.• A MERV rating of 11 means the filter is 85% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns.
• Another consideration is that a dirty filter impedes the flow of air. This is called "pressure drop". It is a double-edged sword - the more effective a filter is at grabbing the smaller particles, the sooner it will clog up with these particles and cause pressure drop.
• A Healthy HVAC System Means Cleaner Indoor Air• It’s estimated that more than 70% of all indoor air quality problems involve the HVAC systems. Dirt, dust and other particulates can accumulate on system components and in ductwork.
• “Bacteria, molds, pollen and viruses can breed in stagnant water that has gradually accumulated in ducts, humidifiers and drain pans.”• –Article appearing in Health Facilities Management, June 1997
• Stand-alone room air cleaners cannot possibly match the effectiveness and efficiency of whole house systems.• They simply do not move the large volume of air required to remove indoor air pollution. By using your existing forced-air system, you can have measurably cleaner indoor air.
• Few people think about their vacuum cleaners as sources of air pollution in their homes. How could something that makes the carpet look clean be polluting the air?• Yet frequently the air people breathe after vacuuming is dirtier than it was before they vacuumed!
• Many vacuum cleaners pick up the larger particles of dirt so that the carpet looks clean.• But the smaller particles - are not retained by the vacuum cleaners filter.• Instead, they are shot out in the exhaust air, aggravating allergies and redistributing dust, mold spores, lead dust, animal dander, etc., throughout the home.
• These tiny particulates that are recycled float around for hours before settling down. Anyone in the room is breathing them in.• Many carpets contain years of accumulated recycled particulates. Carpets may contain dust, mold spores, pollen, animal dander, dust mites, pesticides, lead dust, asbestos and fiberglass fibers, and other pollutants.
• Many vacuum cleaners that sound as if they have HEPA filters really dont.• Read the ads closely. You will see words such as "HEPA-like" or "removes 99.97% of particles 5 micrometers in size."• 5 micrometers is about 17 times as large as 0.3 micrometers.
• In addition to having a good filter, it is important for an allergy vacuum cleaner to have a sealed unit. It does little good for particulates to be stopped by a HEPA filter, only to be exhausted through openings in the vacuum housing.• HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaners are not necessarily designed to be leak-proof.
• Dusting is just not fun. There is no other way to say it, to control the Particulate buildup in your home you have to collect and remove it and that means dusting.• Most people who dust use a simple feather duster, or a cloth of some kind, and some kind of dusting spray.
• Swiffer Dusters have thousands of fibers that work to trap dust instead of spreading the dust around like the traditional feather duster. Dust clings to the fluffy fibers and stays there.• You must capture dust with a soft cloth dampened with water or your favorite multipurpose spray or furniture polish, whichever is appropriate for the surface.
Advantages of Good IAQ for people already suffering from allergies• Reduction of the symptoms of an allergy• Often reduction of medication intake possible• More relaxing sleep
Good IAQ... can have the following effects inyoung children:• Prevention of allergies• Delay of the occurrence of an allergy• Reduction of the symptoms of an allergy
• Keep your home dry: Control humidity levels between 35% and 50%.• If you have a flood, take immediate action and dry the area out, including all affected furnishings, within 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
• Maintenance is the key: Change your HVAC filters every 30 days or as prescribed by the Manufacturer.• Check you’re A/C drain line every 3 months.• Have your system serviced annually.
• Upgrade your air handler filter to pleated or extended surface filters, which have a medium- or high-efficiency rating.• Change this filter at least every month or two during periods of use. As a minimum, air filters with a dust spot efficiency of 30% are recommended.
• Clean the house frequently to collect & remove particles from your home. – especially if there are children or pets running in and out of the house.• Vacuum rugs and furniture with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA air filter.
• Do not store paints, solvents or varnishes inside your home;• Have people use doormats and leave their shoes by the door to help keep indoor particle levels down.• Control the source of irritants, – which refers to chemicals that can be inhaled • not people!.