Cashins & Associates Blog

Indoor Air Quality and Mold Sampling

Posted by Mike Cashins on Fri, May, 31, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

There is much confusion surrounding mold air sampling – when to do it, what it means, methodology, interpretation of results, and the like. This article is meant to shed a little light on when and how mold sampling should be conducted.

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Topics: indoor air quality

Infectious Control Safety and Health Risk Assessment

Posted by Mike Cashins on Fri, Apr, 26, 2013 @ 12:04 PM

In 2002, the Joint Commission implemented the 2001 AIA health care Guidelines as the required documents for the Infection Control compliance during construction. Below are a few key terms you should know.

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Topics: indoor air quality, Hospital

Indoor Air Quality - Is Carbon Dioxide Harmful?

Posted by Mike Cashins on Tue, Mar, 05, 2013 @ 09:03 AM

Carbon dioxide (CO2)is a gas that is exhaled by humans during the respiratory process.  This gas is measured during Indoor Air Quality studies because it provides a good indication if the ventilation system is bringing in enough fresh air for the amount of people utilizing the space.  It is typically measured not as a pollutant, but as an indicator as to whether other pollutants may be in the air.

In other words, whereas it is known that CO2 can cause some sleepiness at levels in the low thousands, it really isn't considered a big deal in and of itself.

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Topics: indoor air quality

Work Place Safety and Health - Flu Prevention

Posted by Mike Cashins on Wed, Jan, 09, 2013 @ 16:01 PM

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The illness can range from mild to severe, and in some cases can even cause death.  Certain people are at high risk to have serious flu complications.  These people are usually the elderly and young.  Being vaccinated is the best possible way to avoid getting the flu.  The CDC says that this year’s flu vaccine will protect against a few different types of influenza viruses.  The three most common this season are an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus and an influenza B virus. 

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Topics: health & safety, indoor air quality

Dirty Air Diffuser and Indoor Air Quality

Posted by Mike Cashins on Mon, Nov, 12, 2012 @ 17:11 PM

Oftentimes we will be asked about the fine black dust that is sometimes found on or around the metal blades on an HVAC diffuser. Is this a problem that will impact indoor air quality? The concern of occupants, naturally, is that this is an indication of how dirty the air is that is coming out of the vent. 

Many times, however, this is not the case. When air is pushed out of these diffusers, it creates turbulence, which picks up and deposits dust particles onto the ceiling as well as onto its own metal surface. The swirling air picks up dust particles already in the room and projects them into the ceiling and diffuser. The force of impact allows the particles to stick or embed on the surface.

In other words, it many times is not the air coming out of the diffuser, but objects or activities within the room that produce these fine particles.  Other variables that affect how much particulate clings to ceiling surfaces include relative humidity, diffuser air velocity, static electricity, and temperature.

In short, just because the particulate ends up on the vent, it doesn't mean the air coming out of it is the source.  However, just because it's not coming out of the vent, it doesn't mean that people are unaffected by the particulate.

If there are concerns regarding the buildup of particulate on or around a diffuser, it is recommended that an experienced and qualified Indoor Air Quality consultant be retained. These professionals are experts at identifying potential sources, assessing the quality of the indoor environment, and in making proper recommendations for indoor air quality improvement.
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Topics: indoor air quality

How You Can Improve Indoor Air Quality in 8 Easy Steps!

Posted by Mike Cashins on Thu, Oct, 11, 2012 @ 10:10 AM

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Topics: indoor air quality

Do Air Purifiers Improve Indoor Air Quality?

Posted by Mike Cashins on Wed, Oct, 03, 2012 @ 14:10 PM

We oftentimes will come across air purifying devices during our office Indoor Air Quality investigations. For the most part, people seem happy with them. They are silent, relatively small, and create a sense that something is being done to clean the air. This then begs the question: Do they work?

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Topics: indoor air quality

Granite Countertops and Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Posted by Mike Cashins on Mon, Oct, 01, 2012 @ 16:10 PM

The current trend for homeowners across the United States is to install granite countertops in the kitchen. There are a lot of benefits to granite as a kitchen countertop material. Of course granite is strong, it is appealing in looks, and there are various colors and patterns that can be selected.
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Topics: indoor air quality

Household Products and Indoor Air Quality

Posted by Mike Cashins on Mon, Aug, 27, 2012 @ 14:08 PM

We are routinely asked by family and friends about household products and how they may impact indoor air quality. We came across a study pertaining to the various fragrances that are now available in household cleaners, laundry products, etc. and wanted to share that with our followers.

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Topics: indoor air quality

Indoor Air Quality - VOCs, What are They?

Posted by Mike Cashins on Mon, Jun, 25, 2012 @ 11:06 AM

VOC Definition

There is currently a trend amongst building designers, builders, and even homeowners, to use products that are more environmentally friendly than some of their counterparts. One way such products have become more "green" is to say that it is "low VOC" or "zero VOC." This then begs the question: what are VOCs and why are they bad? What is their impact on indoor air quality?

To say that these compounds are organic means that they contain a carbon molecule. "Volatile" refers to the compound's potential to transform into a gaseous state at normal room temperature. We all know the smell of new paint as it is applied to walls, or that new car smell that lingers for a while and then dissipates, or the odor that comes along with the installation of new carpeting. These are all examples of organic molecules evaporating from the products and becoming airborne.

Sources

There are many potential indoor sources of VOCs. These include:

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Topics: indoor air quality, air testing

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