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IAQ and Airborne Particulate Matter PM

Particle pollution, also called particulate matter or PM, is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets in the air. When breathed in, these particles can reach the deepest regions of the lungs.  Exposure to particle pollution is linked to a variety of significant health problems such as asthma.


Particulates are a mixture of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air. They can be solids and/or liquids and exist in a range of sizes. Particulate size is measured in micrometers (µm), one millionth of a meter. The EPA refers to different groups of particulates that include:

 

  • Total suspended particulates (TSP) – representing the range of particulate matter normally found in the urban atmosphere. TSP generally includes from 1µm to 50µm.
  • PM10 – refers to particulate matter of less than 10m m in diameter. PM10 is generally considered the most useful particulate measure. Particles less than 10µm in diameter can be inhaled and have the potential to reach the tracheo-bronchial region of the lung.
  • PM2.5 - comprises of fine particulate matter less than 2.5µm in diameter. Particles of this size are capable of deep lung penetration.
  • Total suspended particulates (TSP) – representing the range of particulate matter normally found in the urban atmosphere. TSP generally includes from 1µm to 50µm.

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have a recommendation for 8 hour exposure for particles in the .3 µm size which is a recommended 0-40,000 particles/cc this is found in the OSHA Technical Manual.

Particulate Reduction;

 

The goal of improving the Indoor Air Quality is going to begin with particulate reduction.  Particulate matter (PM) is the name for a wide range of particles that are small enough to be carried by the air, therefore; breathed in by people. They can be solid or liquid, or a mixture of both.

 

The size of particles may range from 0.005 µm to 100 µm in diameter. In comparison, the average size of a human hair is 60 µm. PM10 are particles that are 10 µm or less in diameter.  PM2.5 are particles of 2.5 µm or less in diameter.  The finer particles pose the greatest threat to human health because they can travel deepest into the lungs.

 

Indoor particulate matter is a mixture of substances like these:

 

  • Carbon (soot) emitted by combustion sources;
  • Tiny liquid or solid particles in aerosols;
  • Fungal spores;
  • Pollen; and
  • A toxin present in bacteria (endotoxin).

Airborne Particulate Matter Florida Indoor Air Quality Solutions, IAQS

In a properly-maintained home, most of the airborne particulate matter comes from the outside. However, some homes do have significant sources of indoor particulate matter which come from the following sources:

 

  • Cigarette smoking is the greatest single source of particulate matter in homes and buildings where people smoke;
  • Cooking: especially frying and sautéing;
  • Malfunctioning combustion appliances: for example, furnaces without a proper air filter;
  • Non-vented combustion appliances like gas stoves;
  • Wood-burning appliances like wood stoves and fireplaces: especially if the smoke leaks or back drafts into the home; and
  • Mold growth.

 

Reducing concentrations of particulate matter in your home;

 

Furnaces and ventilation systems: Make sure that furnaces and ventilation systems are properly maintained, and that you replace filter screens as often as recommended by the manufacturer. All combustion appliances, including furnaces, should be inspected by a qualified technician yearly.

  • Cooking: Turn your exhaust fan on when you are cooking, and especially when frying.
  • Woodstoves: Choose properly sized woodstoves and make sure that the doors close tightly. Have your chimney cleaned yearly, too.
  • Mold: Prevent mold growth and the release of mould spores into your indoor air by controlling humidity and fixing water leaks and water-damaged areas
  • Smoking: Don’t allow people to smoke indoors because particulate matter levels increase with every smoker in the building.
  • Clean: Use your HEPA vacuum cleaner regularly.

Your vacuum cleaner, as a general rule, is really only efficient at trapping particles that have settled onto the floor or whatever surface you’re vacuuming.  Even many room air cleaners are of limited effectiveness in typical building environments, because every time someone walks across a room, opens a door or window, or flips on the central air handling home, thousands if not millions of superfine particles are introduced into the breathing space as the room air is disturbed or exchanged.


Since portable air cleaner airflow rates are often fairly low in relation to the rate of room contamination, many people with portable air cleaners may still end up breathing more dust than they realize.

 

How can you stop or prevent dust? Well, you can’t, at least not completely, since even humans produce their own organic dust and the surfaces within the building are also constantly “shedding” micro-particles. Of course, you can make sure you have good entrance matting in place, so outdoor contaminants and dusts are not tracked in as much.  You can also try to cleanup or contain other sources of fine particles (e.g., paper dust from tissue boxes, dirty air ducts or HVAC filters, etc.) Finally, you can make sure that the processes you use to clean your homes removes rather than redistribute dust as much as possible. This would include vacuuming surfaces with an HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtered vacuum cleaner.   Use HEPA vacuum cleaners or high efficiency vacuum cleaner bags. These dramatically reduced the amount of dust, allergen and pollens pumped back into the air by the vacuum cleaner.

Airborne Particulate Matter, PM Florida Indoor Air Quality Solutions, IAQS





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EPISODE 542: Eugene C. Cole, DrPH – Research to Practice: Water Damage, Sewage, Mold & Public Health
This week we look forward to our interview with Eugene C. Cole DrPH. Dr. Gene Cole is Director of Research for LRC Indoor Testing & Research, Cary, NC; and formerly Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. He has 35 years of research experience, with a primary focus on the ecology of indoor and work environments, with special emphasis on identification and reduction of pollutant reservoirs and sources, bioaerosols, human exposure assessment and control, product evaluation, cleaning and restoration, mold and sewage remediation, and biocides. Since 2000, he has continued to conduct research on the relationship between the use of antibacterial cleaning and hygiene products in the home, and antibiotic resistance; as well as on the effectiveness of cleaning to reduce the transmission of disease agents in schools. He has also worked with national and international organizations to address environmental health and infectious disease concerns such as medical waste management in Central Europe and South East Asia, hygiene promotion in Africa, and healthy homes and buildings in the U.S. and Asia. Dr. Cole is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI), and a Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. He holds a Master of Science in Public Health Microbiology and a Doctor of Public Health in Biohazard Science and Occupational Health, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 13:00:00 -0400


EPISODE 541: Jim Harris, Sr. – Chairman & Founder Concepts4 & Janitronics Co-founder & Chairman of CIRI – Cleaning, Success & Science
This week we look forward to our interview with Jim Harris, Sr., a consultant, trainer, corporate executive, and entrepreneur. Jim has had a productive and successful career in the cleaning industry for 45 years. Jim started Janitronics Facility Services in 1972 as a local cleaning service. The company has since evolved into a seven branch, comprehensive cleaning, maintenance and management service, but has a new approach: Thinking small; they specialize in creating, and sustaining a healthy indoor environment utilizing state of the art, effective ‘cleaning systems’ based on validated cleaning science research. Mr. Harris is also co-founder and chairman of the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI). CIRI is the clearinghouse for unbiased, peer-reviewed technical information and research about the science of cleaning or restoration of the indoor environment. Jim Harris has done what others have only dreamed of while building a profitable company. His company was built first and foremost on the science of cleaning. The company uses state-of-the-art equipment and processes to clean for health. To increase productivity, Janitronics developed its’ SysteamCleaning (TM) concept, utilizing state of the art workflow based on systems thinking and high performance standards. In 2000 the leadership of the company completed a succession transition to Jim Harris, Jr. and is headquartered in Albany, N.Y. They are not just dumping wastebaskets and cleaning restrooms. They pride themselves on cleaning a work environment to maintain a high health standard; focused on properly removing bio-contaminants and airborne particles. Janitronics has been successful in transforming cleaning into a science.

Fri, 05 Apr 2019 16:56:00 -0400


EPISODE 541: Jim Harris, Sr. – Chairman & Founder Concepts4 & Janitronics Co-founder & Chairman of CIRI – Cleaning, Success & Science
This week we look forward to our interview with Jim Harris, Sr., a consultant, trainer, corporate executive, and entrepreneur. Jim has had a productive and successful career in the cleaning industry for 45 years. Jim started Janitronics Facility Services in 1972 as a local cleaning service. The company has since evolved into a seven branch, comprehensive cleaning, maintenance and management service, but has a new approach: Thinking small; they specialize in creating, and sustaining a healthy indoor environment utilizing state of the art, effective ‘cleaning systems’ based on validated cleaning science research. Mr. Harris is also co-founder and chairman of the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI). CIRI is the clearinghouse for unbiased, peer-reviewed technical information and research about the science of cleaning or restoration of the indoor environment. Jim Harris has done what others have only dreamed of while building a profitable company. His company was built first and foremost on the science of cleaning. The company uses state-of-the-art equipment and processes to clean for health. To increase productivity, Janitronics developed its’ SysteamCleaning (TM) concept, utilizing state of the art workflow based on systems thinking and high performance standards. In 2000 the leadership of the company completed a succession transition to Jim Harris, Jr. and is headquartered in Albany, N.Y. They are not just dumping wastebaskets and cleaning restrooms. They pride themselves on cleaning a work environment to maintain a high health standard; focused on properly removing bio-contaminants and airborne particles. Janitronics has been successful in transforming cleaning into a science.

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EPISODE 540: Rachel Adams, PhD – Research Scientist at UC Berkeley & California Department of Public Health Research to Practice – Moisture Measurement and Mold
This week we look forward to another Research to Practice presentation from one of the leading IAQ researchers in the world Rachel Adams, PhD. Dr. Adams is a microbiologist with a deep curiosity for how microbes work and how microbial interactions shape the environment around them, including our homes and our health. She is a Microbiologist with the California Department of Public Health and a Project Scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology. Dr. Adams has expertise in using sequence-based technology to study microbial exposures in indoor environments, has developed methods to improve the identification of microbes, and has interest in understanding the consequences of indoor microbial exposures on human health. Dr. Adams holds a B.S. from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University and is a member of the Mycological Society of America and the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ).

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This week we Flashback to one of our more popular shows with Christine Oliver, MD. Dr. Oliver joined us to discuss Odors and Chemical Sensitivities about 2 years ago. This was prior to our first YouTube videos so we are going to add some graphics and photos this week. Dr. Oliver is President of Occupational Health Initiatives, Inc. in Brookline, MA. She is an Associate Physician in the Department of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Division) at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Board certified in occupational medicine and in internal medicine. Dr. Oliver’s primary specialty is Occupational and Environmental Medicine, with an emphasis on occupational and environmental lung disease. At the MGH she evaluates and cares for patients with occupational and environmental illness and disease, including occupational asthma, interstitial lung disease, building-related health problems, and chemical sensitivities. Dr. Oliver has done research and published in the area of occupational lung disease and she has testified before the United States Congress with regard to work-related health issues and risks. For the past three decades an important focus of Dr. Oliver’s consulting work has been indoor air quality and related health effects. She has lectured and published on this subject and she has been actively involved in indoor air quality assessments in a variety of settings. These include health care facilities, courthouses and other government buildings, schools, and commercial office buildings. Together with industrial hygienists, engineers, and human systems specialists she has worked to identify, characterize, and resolve air quality problems and their related health effects. In 2009 she was a participant and presenter in the ASTM Johnson Conference on the standardization of mold response procedures. An important component of Dr. Oliver’s clinical work has been in the area of fragrances and their related health effects, including causation and/or exacerbation of chemical sensitivities. She has lectured on these topics, counseled patients and their families with regard to steps that can be taken to identify and remove fragranced products from their environment, and advocated for a fragrance-free policy in the clinic in which she works.

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 16:52:00 -0400


EPISODE 538: Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D. – Part 2 of our series with the Mold Warrior (Flashback Friday: Original Air Date 5-2-2008)
Radio Joe is on the road this week. On Iaqradio+ we will Flashback to Part 2 of our original series with Ritchie Shoemaker, MD. We will review key points from week one and get into more detail about Dr. Shoemakers research on sick building syndrome and water damaged buildings plus information on treatment options for patients and answers to questions sent in by our listeners.

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EPISODE 537: Parham Azimi, PhD – Research Associate Illinois Institute of Technology – New Research on Particulate Matter & Mortality
This week we welcome Parham Azimi, PhD to Iaqradio+. Dr Azimi is a research associate in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. Much of his research work has focused on fate, transport, and control of indoor aerosols of indoor and ambient origin, chronic health impacts of fine particles in various microenvironments, and energy performance of residential and commercial buildings. Parham is a member of ASHRAE Technical Committee 2.4, UL 2904 Standard Technical Panel, International Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) and American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). Dr. Azimi’s work came to our attention recently when we were sent a copy of a recent paper he worked on with Brent Stephens, PhD called “A framework for estimating the US mortality burden of fine particulate matter exposure attributable to indoor and outdoor microenvironments”. Dr. Stephens joined us on March 13, 2015 for a great show on The Intersection of Building Science, Energy Efficiency & IAQ.

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Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker first joined Iaqradio as a guest back in April of 2008. Since then we have welcomed him back once a year or so to update us on his research into Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Today we are going to replay our first show with Dr. Shoemaker and we hope to have him join us again soon for another update. Following his bio we have listed all our shows with him over the years. Ritchie Shoemaker, M. D., is a recognized leader in patient care, research and education pioneer in the field of biotoxin related illness. While illness acquired following exposure to the interior environment of water-damaged buildings (WDB) comprises the bulk of Shoemaker’s daily practice, other illnesses caused by exposure to biologically produced toxins are quite similar in their “final common pathway.” What this means is that while the illness might begin acutely with exposure to fungi, spirochetes, apicomplexans, dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria, for example, in its chronic form, each of these illnesses has similar symptoms, lab findings, and Visual Contrast Sensitivity findings. Taken together the inflammatory illness from each of these diverse sources is known as a Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. We do not have a blog for Dr. Shoemakers first few shows. He joined us before Cliff started doing a weekly blog. It may take a few time listening to make sense of everything he is proposing. It was very helpful when he sent me the Bio-toxin Pathway chart to follow. Print this out and have it handy while listening to his shows and it will help you immensely.

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EPISODE 534: Corbett Lunsford - The Home Performance Worskshop & The Worlds Highest Performance Tiny House on Wheels!
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EPISODE 533: Open Mic - Topics for this week include: Current Events, Certification, Standards, Training, Networking & Resources
Today we are going to try something new and if it works we will make it a regular part of the line up. We are going to throw out some topics, invite a few friends and have a discussion about IAQ, disaster restoration and building science. We also encourage listeners to text in your questions or comments. Today we expect to hear from Jay Stake, Eric Shapiro, Carl Grimes, John Downey and Pete Consigli. The topics we will throw out for discussion will come from the list in this week’s show title. We have some of the leaders of the industry join us every week so lets take advantage of that and start a conversation.

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EPISODE 533: Open Mic - Topics for this week include: Current Events, Certification, Standards, Training, Networking & Resources
Today we are going to try something new and if it works we will make it a regular part of the line up. We are going to throw out some topics, invite a few friends and have a discussion about IAQ, disaster restoration and building science. We also encourage listeners to text in your questions or comments. Today we expect to hear from Jay Stake, Eric Shapiro, Carl Grimes, John Downey and Pete Consigli. The topics we will throw out for discussion will come from the list in this week’s show title. We have some of the leaders of the industry join us every week so lets take advantage of that and start a conversation.

Thu, 07 Feb 2019 15:56:00 -0500
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