Indoor Air Quality and ChatGPT by OpenAI

This is the first Artificial Intelligent (AI) written article on Indoor Air Quality. I was interested to see if technology understands the issue. I have done zero corrections. What do you think?

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important but often overlooked aspect of a home’s environment. Poor IAQ can lead to a variety of health issues, such as asthma, allergies, headaches, and other respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Given the health risks associated with poor IAQ, it’s important to understand the sources of indoor air pollutants, the measures you can take to reduce them, and the steps you should take if you suspect your home has a IAQ issue.

Indoor air pollutants come from a variety of sources, including mold, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, chemicals, and building materials. These pollutants can enter your home through open windows, ventilation systems, and other pathways. Poor maintenance of these sources can lead to an increase in the amount of pollutants in the air. For example, failing to regularly clean carpets and filters can lead to an accumulation of dust and other contaminants.

One source of indoor air pollution that is often dismissed is wood burning. Wood burning can produce both direct and indirect air pollutants, such as smoke, soot, and other particulate matter. The smoke can contain a variety of hazardous compounds, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde. In addition, the smoke from wood burning can also contain other pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). All of these pollutants can be hazardous to human health, particularly if the exposure is prolonged.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to reduce the levels of indoor air pollutants and improve the quality of your home’s air. Regularly cleaning carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces can help reduce the amount of dust and other allergens in the air. Additionally, regularly changing the air filters in your air conditioning and heating systems can help reduce the amount of dust and other particles in the air. Finally, using an air purifier can also help reduce the amount of indoor air pollutants.

If you suspect your home has a IAQ issue, it’s important to take steps to investigate and address the problem. The first step is to identify the source of the problem. This can involve hiring professionals to assess the air quality in your home, as well as conducting tests to identify the specific pollutants in the air. Once the source of the problem has been identified, you can then take steps to address it, such as improving ventilation, cleaning regularly, and using air purifiers.

In conclusion, poor IAQ can lead to a variety of health issues, including asthma, allergies, headaches, and other respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Therefore, it’s important to understand the sources of indoor air pollutants, the measures you can take to reduce them, and the steps you should take if you suspect your home has a IAQ issue. By taking steps to reduce indoor air pollutants and address the sources of IAQ issues, you can help ensure your home’s air quality is as healthy as possible.

Indoor Air Quality Do’s and Don’ts

When it comes to indoor air we have to be very careful because common activities can deteriorate the air quality very fast. Apart from the fact that we spend a lot of time indoors, an indoor environment needs more time to recover once air pollution become present because houses tend to be very tight and don’t allow the dilution of pollutants as fast as ambient air.

Even people that are very conscious, like myself, commit mistakes. The other day, for example, I was preparing caramel syrup for a holiday dessert, and as I wasn’t paying attention to the caramel (because I was multitasking), the caramel burnt. In a matter of seconds, IAQ dropped significantly. VOCs and PMx concentrations rose. At that moment and based on the outdoor conditions, I decided that it was more appropriate to open all windows in order to dilute the pollutants fast. Cross ventilation to the rescue!

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Webinar – IAQ from A to Z

Join my webinar on January 11th 2022 at 10:00 AM EST as I discusses Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) from A to Z. Effective measurement of IAQ reduces the health risks associated with poor indoor air, creating a safer, more harmonious environment for people to thrive.

We spend up to 87% of our time indoors. In some cases, exposure to indoor air pollution can lead to acute and chronic respiratory illnesses, including asthma, lung cancer, pneumonia, systemic hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Finally, I will discuss the common sources and pollutants indoors, international IAQ standards, and many more.

Register here ⬇️⬇️⬇️

https://forms.gle/isUyLHwykGNXE61G9

2022: Year in Review – See The Air

2022 was a year full of air quality news. Lots of scientific research and publications on how air pollution influences the health of individuals, but also the same bad patterns; wildfires, traffic, wood burning, crop burning, industrial malpractices, etc. For reference, kids who breathe polluted air can fall behind in school link, air pollution linked to a million stillbirths a year link, tiny particles in the air can cause sudden heart attacks link, air pollution during pregnancy and neurodevelopment in children link, and unfortunately many many more.

An important good piece of news was the new ‘Ella Bill’ to enshrine right to clean air. Thank you Rosamund Adoo Kissi Debrah.

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Wood Burning Patterns!

I live in an area where wood burning is an unfortunate “cozy” habit for the people around me. So, I decided to see if patterns appear after monitoring the ambient air quality for 30 days in order to identify if there is any window that will allow me to open the windows and get some fresh & clean air. For the sake of simplicity, I will use only PM2.5 values.

I don’t mind if I have to wake up at 3:00 AM in order to allow some outdoor air to come inside and dilute some VOC and CO2 that build up. Indoors, PM2.5 concentrations are kept well under 5μg/m3 because I run the air purifiers 24/7. By the way in a recent, poster the position of the air purifier inside the house plays an important role in how well particles are captured.

Anyway, let’s jump into the data I collected and analyzed.

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How to Eliminate Odors from Indoor Spaces

Let me tell you from the beginning it is not an easy task. Odors are VOCs, sulfur-containing compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds. In most cases, odors come from rotten food inside the garbage bin or off-gassing materials that are new and of a low-quality like furniture, paint, and flooring.

Sulfur-containing compounds like hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs smell), dimethyl sulfide (rotten cabbage smell), etc are produced during the anaerobic breakdown of food waste. They have a low odor threshold, which means that we can smell them even in only very small amounts.

Nitrogen-containing compounds like putrescine (rotting meat smell), trimethylamine (fishy smell), etc have a low odor threshold. Unlike ammonia (pungent smell) which is produced in large quantities, it has a higher odor threshold, so doesn’t contribute to indoor smell as much.

Another source of unpleasant odor indoors is the combustion of cigarettes/wood as the chemicals released from the burning biomass can infuse inside the walls and textiles. They call it thirdhand smoke as the residual contamination from smoke lingers indoors, and the cancer-causing substances such as formaldehyde can harm us.

What NOT to do!

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Real Life Experiment – Indoor vs Outdoor Air Quality

There are countless times that I stretch the importance of monitoring and managing indoor air quality by keeping an eye on the outdoor air quality/conditions.

In this experiment, I want to demonstrate that it is hard to manage indoor air. I want to state that indoor spaces should be subject to 24/7 monitoring and not a periodic inspection.

The graph below demonstrated that indoor AQ gets influenced by outdoor air and on top of that, the polluted air lingers for a longer time indoors unless there is a mitigation plan (aka filtration) in place.

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Ban Wood Smoke – Stickers

In my effort to help clean air communities to raise awareness (I am not only words), I decided to design three simple circular stickers which I will distribute to the communities once the poll is closed and you have selected the best sticker.

Choose one between the three of them and apply to get stickers once the poll is closed. You can apply for the winning sticker via the contact page. Thank you!

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Size Matters: Why is important to know the Particle Size Distribution?

In a constant effort to educate the community, I highly recommend you to attend my upcoming webinar “Size Matters: Why is important to know the Particle Size Distribution“. The webinar is scheduled for the16th of November, 2022 at 8am EST.

Although it is a business oriented webinar, I will also try to educate in simple terms the attendees on what is PM2.5 and why it falls short as it doesn’t reveal in detail the make up of air pollution.

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The Dark Side of the Wood Stove Industry

You probably have seen “cozy” images of fireplaces or wood stoves with happy people, a blanket around them, and a hot beverage and you may have thought that’s something very appealing, I want that! Well, I would suggest thinking twice before taking that decision and if you have already taken it, maybe it’s time to undo your mistake.

You see, people get sick thanks to these “cozy” elements in houses. It’s very hard to undo the brain wash the wood stove industry has done all of these years but we have to realize that wood burning is neither sustainable nor healthy.

Many claims that biomass is sustainable but this is a myth. A story designed to push people into spending money for status or simple ineffective heating. You see, clean energy (wind, solar, etc) doesn’t require the user to buy fuel, logs, or pellets every season. It is there for us but doesn’t generate constant revenue for the companies.

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