NIEHS- Environmental Agent Pages

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

I was recently doing some research on endocrine disruptors and I came across a page on the NIEHS website.  It provided a nice summary and dozens of useful links.  As I dug around more on their website, I realized they have great summaries and useful links for several indoor air quality contaminants.

Who is the NIEHS?  According to their website, The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is one of 27 research institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The mission of the NIEHS is to discover how the environment affects people in order to promote healthier lives.

Here are some links to environmental agents that have dedicated pages:

To see all the environmental agents, visit this month’s featured website: NIEHS Environmental Agents.

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

Excellent Industrial Hygiene Blog

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

Each month I try to feature a website with broad appeal to our 4,000+ subscribers.  Although this month’s website has a more narrow focus and covers an advanced topic, I think you will thoroughly enjoy it.

The blog is titled, “Human Health Risk Assessment to Chemicals” and it is written by Mike Jayjock.  The blog is based on the principle that an occupational risk cannot be managed unless it is properly assessed.

Mr. Jayjock’s blog has a special focus on computer modeling to better assess risks.  For example, if you measure chemical exposures on a random day and the results are very close to exceeding a permissible exposure limit (PEL), what are the odds that the exposure will exceed the PEL on some other day?

Here are some blog posts that might interest you:

To visit this month’s featured website, click here: Human Health Risk Assessment to Chemicals.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

How the Experts Do It

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

How do you perform an indoor air quality assessment?  There is no single right answer. In fact, you find a wide range of quality and pricing when you compare the strategies of different consultants. Is there anyone we can emulate?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) performs government sponsored air quality assessments on certain properties.  These “health hazard evaluations” (HHEs) are performed at no cost to building owners or employers.  I love to read the reports from HHEs related to indoor air quality to sharpen my skills.

These reports uncover:

  • Equipment used by NIOSH researchers
  • Investigative procedures
  • Sample questionnaires
  • Recommendations based on the problems found
  • Pictures of common indoor air quality issues

Through the years, NIOSH has performed over a thousand health hazard evaluations. Because not all reports are related to indoor air quality issues, you’ll need to do some searching.  Below are links to recent reports related to indoor environmental quality:

To visit this month’s featured website, click NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations. If you would like to search reports for those related to indoor environmental quality, click IEQ and scroll toward the bottom of the page.

To subscribe to this newsletter click the following link: IAQ Website of the Month. To consult with Ian on an indoor air quality issue visit the following link Air Quality Testing.

Searchable Database of IAQ Articles

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month. The excerpt below was originally published in the October 2007 newsletter.

Many of you reading this newsletter receive the monthly publication, Indoor Environment Connections. But did you know they maintain a searchable database of select past articles? In fact, you don’t even need to subscribe in order to access the information!

The articles stretch back to November 1999 and cover a wide range of topics of interest to the indoor environmental professional. To find information on a specific topic, click on the “search” button on the left-hand side. Within moments you’ll have a list of articles ready to deepen your IAQ knowledge.

Not all monthly articles are published and, as you would expect, new issues do not get posted for about 3 months. Because of the delay you may not receive “hot off the press” news stories, but it’s a great database that includes some real gems. Be sure to check out the January 2000 article, “What will George Bush do for IAQ”!

www.ieconnections.com

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

Green Building Research

Each month we publish a newsletter titled IAQ Website of the Month. The excerpt below was originally published in the April 2008 newsletter.

In honor of this week’s Earth Day celebrations, we’ll feature a website that lists resources for “greening” buildings. Our goal should be to design buildings that are healthy for the indoor occupants and the outdoor environment.

This month’s featured website is the Research and Publication page of the US Green Building Council’s website. This page provides links to PDF files and helpful websites that will help you better understand sustainability, energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

Skeptics often ask, “Why should we spend all the extra money to go green?”. This month’s featured site has a section called “Economic Analysis” with links to publications that tackle that very issue.

To visit this month’s featured website, click on the following link:
USGBC Research & Publications

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