Category

Indoor Air Quality

Aspergillosis in Dogs

By | Indoor Air Quality, Mold | No Comments

You may have just seen the Aspergillus info card we posted last Wednesday. So, you may know that Aspergillus is a common mold in the environment. While we know mold affects humans, you may not have known that it affects your dogs as well.

Aspergillosis is an opportunistic fungal infection.

The two types of Aspergillus infections are nasal and disseminated. The nasal version is most common in dogs with a more elongated snout such as a German Shepherd.

The nasal version occurs when a dog sniffs an area where the spores of Aspergillus is present.

Symptoms of the nasal version include:

  • Sneezing
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Ulcers at the tip of the nose
  • Pawing at or rubbing the nose
  • Swollen nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Long-term nasal discharge from the nose
    • Can contain mucus, blood or pus

Fungal infections commonly go to the lungs.

Disseminated aspergillosis is when the infection spreads from the nasal cavity into the rest of the body.

These symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Spinal pain and lameness
    • This can cause inflammation of the dog’s bones and bone marrow.

Dogs with immunodeficiency are at higher risk.

An Invisible Cause of Lung Cancer

By | Baxter Group, Inc., Indoor Air Quality, Radon | No Comments

A cancer-causing radioactive gas that comes from the soil and can seep into any type of building- house, office, school, hospital, etc.…It can get in through cracks in solid floors and walls, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors and around service pipes, cavities inside walls and even in the water supply.

It is found all over the United States, but areas are broken into three zones measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L).

  • Zone 1 Highest Potential (greater than 4 pCi/L)
  • Zone 2 Moderate Potential (from 2 to 4 pCi/L)
  • Zone 3 Low Potential (less than 2 pCi/L)

No level of radon is safe, but anything above 4 pCi/L needs to be mitigated. Franklin County, PA and the immediate surrounding counties are all in Zone 1 meaning those counties have the highest radon exposure risk.

 

However, if your next-door neighbor’s house tests at 27 pCi/L, your home could test at 36 pCi/L or it could test 2 pCi/L. Many factors play a part in radon levels. The building structure, the wind, how much uranium is in the soil, rocks or water etc…

 

Just because the surrounding area tests high doesn’t mean your house will test high.

 

But the only way to know is to test.

The P2000 Air Purifier – Scientifically Proven to Maintain Healthy Air

By | Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

Have you already had mold remediation and looking for preventative maintenance?

Or would you like to just clean up your indoor air?

 

The P2000 air purifiers by Airfree was tested by EMSL Analytical (one of the leading testing laboratories in the U.S.) for its effectiveness at killing bacteria and mold in an office room.

 

The Study

Samples were collected twice a week at the same time for the first two weeks to determine baseline fungi and bacteria counts. After two weeks, the Airfree P2000 air purifier was turned on and ran continually for four weeks. During this time, samples were similarly collected. Once the last sample was collected, the air purifier was turned off and air samples were continued to be collected for two more weeks.

 

The Results

After this eight-week scientific analysis, their conclusion was that the P2000 air purifier reduced bacteria by 85% and fungi by 69.64% for the four weeks it was turned on.

With exclusive Thermodynamic TSS Technology, Airfree applies the same concept as boiling water by using heat to destroy microorganisms and attains 100% efficiency at the Airfree air outlet, destroying mold, dust mites, bacteria, viruses, pollens, pet dander, tobacco, other organic allergens, and reduces indoor harmful ozone levels. The device is completely silent and does not require any filters or maintenance.

Product Information:

  • Recommended room size: 550 ft²
  • Filterless technology: No extra costs with replacement filters
  • Adjustable night light
  • Low energy consumption: 48 W
  • Independently tested in ISO laboratories around the world
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Small and portable with awarded design
  • Dimensions: height: 10.4 in | diameter: 8.4 in

The P2000 Air Purifier

Other Models

Legal Implications of a Sick Building

By | Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

Fines and Lawsuits.

In 1988, the Wall Street Journal reported that “sick buildings leave builders and others facing a wave of lawsuits. More office workers are filing lawsuits, claiming they were made ill by indoor air pollution from such things as insect sprays, cigarette smoke, industrial cleaners, and fumes from new carpeting, furniture, draperies and copiers.”

Litigation is a serious risk for building owners and managers. Some causes of action can be negligence, constructive eviction, workers’ compensation, and more.

The 1979 trial of Prudential Property Insurance Company vs William H. Cole determined that the building owner was responsible for and liable for negative health effects experienced by a tenant.

In 2003, Ed McMahon received over $7 million from a lawsuit alleging that toxic mold throughout his house killed his dog, and caused him and his wife to become ill.

Another case awarded a family $32 million against their insurance carrier for mold issues in their residence.

Attorneys urge professionals to reduce their indoor air quality (IAQ) liabilities by advising contractors to incorporate beneficial IAQ designs into new building construction so that IAQ isn’t an afterthought. Something as simple as proper placement of ventilation could ward off any IAQ problems.

For the building owners, a routine preventative maintenance plan can save money over time, keep building occupants healthy, and avoid issues with lawsuits and OSHA complaints.

For more information on preventative maintenance plans, please contact the Indoor Environmental Quality Division of Baxter Group, Inc.

Indoor Environmental Assessments

By | Indoor Air Quality, Indoor Environmental Quality | No Comments

Strange Odor? Building Occupants Fatigued in the Afternoon?

Proper building operations and routine maintenance are critical to ensuring healthy indoor air quality (IAQ). Building managers are often the first person building occupants turn to with a problem. The top three sources of IAQ problems are inadequate ventilation, contamination from inside the building, and contamination from outside the building.

Improve the balance between facility energy efficiency and occupant health, comfort and productivity. With an Indoor Environmental Quality Assessment, potential IAQ issues can be identified before they become problems.

An Indoor Environmental Quality Assessment includes comprehensive testing for elevated levels of mold spores, radon gas, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), as well as much more!

Our Assessment also includes readings of your facility’s relative humidity which is one of the largest contributing factors to poor health!

This testing is simultaneous measurement of IAQ indicators meaning it can be done in one day.

Sustaining Healthy Indoor Air Quality During Emergencies

By | Indoor Air Quality, Safety | No Comments

Summer has rolled in and for those of us in a region of hot and humid summers, thunder is rolling as well. While a big booming thunderstorm can be fun to watch, it’s not so fun when the power goes out. It goes dark, you can’t cook, the air conditioning is off and the food in the refrigerator might spoil. The EPA provides information about how to keep your indoor air quality healthy during an emergency.

Lighting:

Use flashlights or batter powered lanterns if possible.

If you do use candles, make sure the area is ventilated. Candles emit combustion products and can be a fire hazard.

Portable Generators that use fuels such as gasoline, natural gas or kerosene give off toxic fumes that are hazardous and could kill you in minutes if not used correctly.

Do Not:

  • Do not use portable generators inside your house, garage, on balconies, near doors, vents or windows. Do not use portable generators near where you or family are sleeping.

Do:

  • Use portable generators outside, and far away from your home or buildings.
  • Consider a rechargeable power source such as solar powered generators or batteries.

Cooking:

 

Do Not:

  • Do not use barbecues, hibachis, camp stoves, or any other non-vented combustion appliances to cook indoors. Combustion appliances produce toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide.

Do:

  • Use a vented fireplace or a vented wood or other fuel burning stove, if it is set up for cooking.

Air Quality & the Most Polluted Cities

By | Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

The Air Quality Index (pictured above), or AQI, is the system used to warn the public when air pollution is dangerous. The AQI tracks ozone (smog) and particle pollution (particles from ash, vehicle exhaust, soil dust, pollen, other pollution), and more.

Ozone is a colorless gas that can be good or bad, depending on the quantity and where it is. For example, the Ozone layer in the stratosphere is good because it absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The depletion of this Ozone will allow more UV rays to reach the earth, thus causing more skin cancers, sunburns, and premature aging of the skin.

High concentrations of ozone at ground level is bad because it can harm human health as we breathe it in.

Franklin county, PA and Washington county, MD have a color code of orange. This means the air is unhealthy to sensitive groups of people such as older adults, children, teenagers, people who are active outdoors, and those with respiratory diseases such as asthma.

Frederick county, MD has a color code of purple. This means the air is very unhealthy. Children, active adults, and people with respiratory diseases should avoid outdoor exertion. Others should limit their outdoor exertion.

If the quality of air affects you:

  • Reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion, and take more breaks.
  • Watch for symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath.
  • Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower.

How to Reduce the Harmful Ozone & Other Contaminants at Ground Level?

  • Turn off lights you are not using.
  • Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, bike or walk.
  • Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle.
  • When refueling: stop when the pump shuts off, avoid spilling fuel, and tighten your gas cap.
  • Inflate tires to the recommended pressure.
  • Use low-VOC paints, cleaning products, and seal and store them so they can’t evaporate.