Semi Volatile Organic Compounds – An IAQA Tech Tip Video


Semi volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) may not be as well known as more ordinary VOCs, but they include many pesticides and plasticizers. In this video you’ll learn that SVOCs are common, deleterious to health and difficult to measure.
If you cannot view the video above go to: http://youtu.be/F6KsCexg5qQ

Position Statements & White Papers

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month.  The excerpt below was originally published in the March 2014 newsletter.

“Gray areas” seem to have a home in the field of indoor air quality. Pick any contentious topic and one could argue both sides with equal fervor. Where can you turn to get a balanced view?

One resource is the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).  They have developed over 30 position statements and white papers on a wide range of topics, many applicable to indoor air quality.

Position statements and white papers are typically developed by an AIHA technical committee and approved by their board of directors.  Although they may not hold as much weight as a consensus-based ANSI standard, they are to be highly regarded due to the stature and reputation of AIHA.

I thought the following documents might interest you:

To view a list of all 30+ documents, visit this month’s featured website: AIHA Position Statements and White Papers.

To subscribe to this newsletter click the following link: IAQ Website of the Month.

Attached Garages – An IAQA Tech Tip Video


In this IAQA Tech Tip video, you’ll learn 5 quick tips on minimizing the air quality impact of attached garages.
If you cannot view the video above go to: http://youtu.be/SvXRYg4kYiI

Environmental Allergens

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month.  The excerpt below was originally published in the February 2014 newsletter.

Sometimes I feel sorry for dust mites. How would you like it if your picture was used to sell vacuums, filters and carpet cleaning services? Does vacuuming and air cleaning even control dust mites?

This month’s featured website is an authoritative resource for all things related to environmental allergens.  The site is called Allergy Practice Parameters and comes from a joint task force of AAAAIACAAI.  The joint task force develops Practice Parameters, which are to be used by practicing physicians.  It can be time consuming to wade through all the new research and marketing propaganda to figure out the current state of the art.  The practice parameters act as a collective review of relevant and evidence-based information.

Currently there are four practice parameters on environmental allergy:

What I love about these practice parameters is that they have a scale for strength of evidence and strength of recommendation. Back to our question about vacuuming and air cleaning for dust mites. The following are found in the Dust Mite Allergy Practice Parameter:

  • Recommend regular vacuuming using cleaners that have high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration… [Recommendation: Strong]
  • HEPA filtration alone is of uncertain benefit for patients with mite allergy… [Recommendation: Weak]

I recommend you read the whole practice parameter to get the full context of these sound bites.

To visit this month’s featured website, visit: AAAAI/ACAAI Allergy Practice Parameters 

To subscribe to this newsletter click the following link: IAQ Website of the Month.

Individual Sensitivities – An IAQA Tech Tip Video

If you cannot view the video above go to: http://youtu.be/GvzxG47D0z8

It’s Alive!

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month.  The excerpt below was originally published in the November 2013 newsletter.

You might know that a grain of pollen is bigger than a mold spore, which is bigger than a bacterium, which in turn is bigger than a virus.  But have you ever seen them all side-by-side?

This month’s featured website, “Cells Alive”, includes animations and interactive tools to help you get a better perspective on things too small to see with the naked eye.

The best part of the website is the “How Big?” tool.  Zoom in to see the relative difference in size between a dust mite and a rhinovirus.

Other worthwhile pages on the site include:

To learn more about microbiology, visit this month’s featured website: Cells Alive.

To subscribe to this newsletter click the following link: IAQ Website of the Month.

Sewage Testing, Part 2 – An IAQA Tech Tip Video


If you cannot view the video above go to: http://youtu.be/SKcHZeUQmv8?list=UUGBK7T-q97a7Bd2rSYxO_lA

Sewage Testing, Part 1 – An IAQA Tech Tip Video


If you cannot view the video above go to: http://youtu.be/xlCYRnsszpU

Occupational Exposure Limits

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month.  The excerpt below was originally published in the October 2013 newsletter.

OSHA uses Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) to regulate worker exposure to airborne contaminants. Many of its PELs are “outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health”.  That’s a quote from OSHA itself, not some opinionated blogger!

Most of the current PELs are state of the art… for 1968.  Admittedly, it’s hard to jump through all the hoops required to update PELs.  The lack of updates hasn’t hindered other organizations from incorporating the latest research, technology and experience.  OSHA has now created a list of its “outdated” PELs with side-by-side comparisons to the following occupational exposure limits:

  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs)
  • California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)

Now you don’t need to thumb through four different publications to see the various occupational exposure limits.  The coolest part? In the past, you needed to purchase the TLVs® each year from the ACGIH®.  Now OSHA gives them to you for free.

Note the difference between occupational exposure limits for two common IAQ contaminants:

Formaldehyde

  • OSHA PEL: none
  • ACGIH® TLV®: 0.3 ppm ceiling
  • NIOSH REL: 0.016 ppm up to 10-hour TWA (carcinogen), 0.1 ppm 15-minute ceiling
  • Cal/OSHA PEL: 0.75 ppm 8-hour TWA, 2 ppm short term

Carbon monoxide

  • OSHA PEL: 50 ppm 8-hour TWA
  • ACGIH® TLV®: 25 ppm 8-hour TWA
  • NIOSH REL: 35 ppm Up to 10-hour TWA, 200 ppm ceiling
  • Cal/OSHA PEL: 25 ppm 8-hour TWA, 200 ppm ceiling

To view the entire list of chemicals, visit this month’s featured website: OSHA’s Annotated PELs.

Please note: occupational exposure limits are not designed to be protective of the entire population.  In our classes you will learn about other, more protective exposure guidelines.

New Connections

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month.  The excerpt below was originally published in the September 2013 newsletter.

On my bookshelf, I have a tall and dusty stack of Indoor Environment CONNECTIONS newspapers that I have read through the years.   If you’re not familiar with the publication, it is “The Newspaper for the IAQ Industry.”  Whereas other publications on my shelf focus on research, IE CONNECTIONS has always targeted the practice of indoor air quality.

A few months ago, the publication went to an online-only format with articles being posted on a regular basis. That’s good because I am running out of room on my bookshelves!

With the new format, you need to visit the website regularly to check out updated content.  My tip: use iGoogle to manage feeds from IE CONNECTIONS and all your other favorite websites and blogs.

To give you a flavor of the content on the website, here are some articles I thought you would enjoy:

Do you want more?  Read old print issues dating pack to 1999 in their Archive.

To view this months featured website, visit Indoor Environment CONNECTIONS.

To subscribe to this newsletter click the following link: IAQ Website of the Month. To consult with Ian on a mold issue visit the following link Mold Inspection.

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