Air Quality in the News
More Advances in Green Building
The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Green Building Conference recently took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hot topics in sustainable building include more efficient HVAC systems, environmentally friendly materials, solar energy panels that can be concealed inside rooftops, thicker walls for better insulation and low-flow toilets. Innovative builders are looking toward the area’s indigenous peoples for building practices that take advantage of nature. Ray Tonjes, chairman of the NAHB, and local designer Armando Cobo point to indigenous homes built from adobe bricks positioned to take advantage of the sun’s rays. Other indigenous homes were built into mountain slopes to protect them from the north wind. The number of homes built according to green practices has increased fivefold since 2002.
Homes not built according to green practices may significantly improve indoor air quality through the use of AllerAir air filtration systems, air cleaners, air purifiers.
From an article in The Chief Engineer online at chiefengineer.org
Indoor Air Quality in the Arts
The Balzer Theatre of Atlanta, Georgia has been awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first theatre in the United States to earn it. Theatre management, thrilled with the designation, point to the many advantages of having a healthy building, such as knowing that allergic and sensitive clients will be as comfortable as possible, and ensuring that the audience “doesn’t get oxygen-deprived and sleepy in act two.” Theatres in older buildings may achieve similar effects with AllerAir air filtration systems, air cleaners, air purifiers installed.
From an article by Linda M. Eberle at gbj.com.
The Dangers of Radon
Radon, a colorless, odorless and invisible gas, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The naturally-occurring gas results from the decay of uranium in rock, water and soil. Previously considered a danger only to miners working deep inside the earth, radon is now known to occur above ground, and it is increasingly found in people’s homes. Radon breaks down into radioactive particles inside the lungs, increasing the risk for developing lung cancer by 11 to 21 percent. The same goes for Canada: on April 24 of this year, Health Canada introduced a proposal for new guidelines on indoor radon gas that are
four times more stringent than the previous ones. "Poor indoor air quality can pose significant health risks. This recommended guideline is an important step in informing Canadians about the number one cause of lung cancer after smoking,” said Tony Clement, the Health Minister.
Radon gas can be reduced with air filtration systems, air cleaners, air purifiers, equipped with HEPA Filter and activated carbon / charcoal filters.
VOC Regulations affect Mainstream Manufacturers
Indoor air quality is increasingly on the agendas of state lawmakers. In January, 2005, VOC restrictions were imposed in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to the Benjamin Moore website. The manufacturer of household paint now makes low VOC products of its own. Low and no-VOC products were previously the domain of marginal companies catering to a limited clientele. Now that more and more customers, and lawmakers, are becoming aware of indoor air quality issues, even mainstream companies are forced to take notice.
AllerAir air filtration systems, air cleaners, air purifiers are equipped to address most VOC concerns, including formaldehyde.
From pages at benjaminmoore.com.
Indoor Air Quality near Forest Fires and Wildfires
People living in regions affected by wildfire and forest fires should pay close attention to the quality of their indoor air. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) specifically recommends air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters to keep indoor air as clean as possible. Those with respiratory disorders, allergies, asthma, and COPD will be particularly susceptible to respiratory discomfort due to the amount of smoke produced by burning plants and trees. Other air quality measures include refraining from: smoking, burning wood or candles, and vacuuming.
AllerAir HEPA filters are DOP tested for quality. They are capable of trapping 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns (1/233 the width of the average human hair), and their efficiency improves over time.
From an article at floridatoday.com.
Indoor Pool Fumes
Chlorine fumes at an Indiana indoor pool probably caused interstitial lung disease in a 55-year old volunteer. J.C. Davis, an airline pilot by profession, was likely exposed to toxic levels of fumes when he worked at a computer near a floor vent over the course of a four-day swim meet. His lawsuit cites chloramines, chlorine by-products that arise with heavy pool use, as a probable cause for his disease. The pool’s builder admits that chloramines have been a problem since state ventilation standards for indoor pools were adjusted in 1993. The new standards save money at the expense of indoor air quality, asserts a local veteran swim coach. While previous methods brought in fresh outdoor air at a rate of 100 percent day and night and exhausted pent-up fumes, the new standards dictated a combination of dehumidifiers and energy-conserving vents working together, reducing the rate of fresh air intake to just 20 percent during the day, and zero at night.
Mr. Davis’ doctors, after ruling out lung cancer, suspected chemical exposure as the likeliest cause of his disease, which may jeopardize his career.
Indoor pool management teams in Indiana have found success in reducing chloramines with the aid of UV light, a popular option available in most AllerAir air filtration system, air cleaner, air purifier models.
From an article by James A. Gillaspy at indystar.com.