High-CARB Learning

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month.  The excerpt below was originally published in the March 2009 newsletter.

When people I meet discover that I’m an indoor air quality consultant, they love to tell me about their new air cleaner. I typically bore them with something technical about efficiency or ozone, then insult their expensive new purchase. As you can guess, I’m not a big hit at parties.

Over the past few years, there has been increased concern over the emission of harmful ozone from air cleaners. This month’s featured website provides standards for air cleaners and a list of units that have been certified to meet those standards. Learn more about air cleaner regulations on the website for the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

CARB carries out a non-regulatory IAQ program that includes sponsored research, exposure assessment, development of indoor air quality guidelines, and public education and outreach.

CARB has two great comprehensive papers that you should download and keep in your technical library. The first is Indoor Air Pollution in California, a great general overview of the topic of indoor air quality. The second is Indoor Air Chemistry, which delves into the impact that household cleaners have on indoor air quality.

Click any of the links above to go to those specific sections. Otherwise, click California Air Resources Board to visit CARB’s main indoor air quality page.

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

Learn more about indoor air quality by taking one of the indoor air nerd’s Certified Indoor Environmentalist courses.

Get your Ducts in a Row

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month.  The excerpt below was originally published in the June 2012 newsletter.

Air duct cleaning often gets a bad rap due to unscrupulous and unethical contractors. Abuses are often recorded on hidden camera, like this one from last year: Dateline NBC.

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) participated in the Dateline NBC exposée.  This association has some great resources, so I’m featuring them as the Website of the Month.
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Reducing VOCs

Yesterday I received a call from a homeowner concerned about volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  After using an epoxy resin (and other VOC-laden building materials), the odors in the home were very strong and his wife stared showing signs of sensitivities.  Fast forward a year and now his wife has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (although I prefer the term “toxicant-induced loss of tolerance or TILT).  They are trying to stay away from the home as much as possible, putting them in a very difficult position.

Here is my general advice:

#1. It’s always best to prevent the problem in the first place by using low VOC products.  These used to be very difficult to find, but now they everywhere.  You really have no excuse for using high emitting products.  For the homeowner’s situation, this advice didn’t help because he already installed all the materials and was unwilling to gut the place (I don’t blame him). Continue reading