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– What We Don’t Know but Should Know
about the Air We Breathe –

Part 2 - What Don't We Know?

IAQ Overview - Table of Contents
IAQ Overview - Part 1 - Is There a Problem?
IAQ Overview - Part 2 - What Don't We Know?
IAQ Overview - Part 3 - What Do We Need to Know?
IAQ Overview - Part 4 - Which Technology Works the Best?
IAQ Overview - Part 5 - What are the Major Differences in the Technologies?
IAQ Overview - Part 6 - What IAQ Issues Need to be Considered and Addressed?
IAQ Overview - Full Article without Section Divisions

B. What don't we know?

What don't we know?

Kwick Facts

Not to scare you, but the problem is worse than you realize.

1. In 1930, 80% of Americans lived on farms and spent the majority of their time outdoors. Asthma, and a host of other respiratory ailments, were relatively uncommon.
Rural 1930's
2. 50 years ago, the primary cause for health issues from air pollution was polluted OUTDOOR air.
50 years ago, SBS (“Sick Building Syndrome”) did not exist.

1970's gas lines

Our current problem began with the oil embargo of the 1970's.

The response of the market place --
  • Reduced maximum speed limits to 55 mph; Adjusted thermostats to 65o F in the winter and 78o F in the summer;
  • Passed stringent building codes demanding more energy efficient homes; and
  • Substantially increased the number and types of synthetic building materials which both raised the level of VOC's and lowered the amount of air infiltration.
Don't breathe the air! 6.
The result in the market place --
  • Sick Building Syndrome emerged in the 1980's. It is estimated that at least ONE in THREE buildings is now SICK.
  • Additionally, ONE in TWO homes is thought to have a MOLD PROBLEM, but the occupants may not be aware of it. Which one do you work/live in?
  • 15 million+ Americans now have asthma, (up 80%) and the number is climbing.
  • 28 million+ Americans suffer from hay fever and allergies, and THAT number is climbing. 
  • Air pollution contributes to lung disease, including respiratory tract infections, asthma, and lung cancer.
7. By 1980, at least 80% of Americans have been living in urban environments. Since 1980, incidence of ASTHMA is UP 80%. Coincidence?


We Americans spend 90% - 95% of our time INDOORS
. Over the average lifetime, that is 65 YEARS of breathing INDOOR air.
Smell the flowers or the floral scent?


U.S. EPA studies have shown that the levels of many airborne pollutants may be 25 to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. Is there a cause/effect thing here?


80%-90% of most people’s exposure to pesticides occurs indoors.

Not exactly "Green Acres" anymore 11. Sadly, we have come to expect industrial and mining workers to get sick because of the nature of their work exposure, yet 35 - 60 million of America’s NON-INDUSTRIAL workers are ILL per WEEK.

Do we all eat at the same restaurant?

Or do we all breathe the same kind of air?

50% of ALL ILLNESSES are either caused or exacerbated by poor IAQ.

Take a breath and wonder why medical insurance is so high.

13. The EPA, the United States House of Representatives, and the World Health Organization rank INDOOR air pollution as THE Number One environmental health problem.
National awareness
14. The AIA (American Institute of Architects) rates Indoor Air Quality issues as the number one issue to be addressed by architects, engineers, and contractors at least until the year 2010.

15. Productivity losses from Sick Building Syndrome symptoms are estimated to be around 2 percent among office workers, costing an estimated $50 billion annually.
16. U.S. Department of Energy studies suggest that improving buildings and indoor environments could reduce health-care costs and sick leave and increase worker performance, resulting in an estimated productivity gain of $30 to $150 billion annually.
The DOE further estimated that the potential decreases in adverse health effects from improvements in indoor environments to be 10 to 30 percent for infectious respiratory disease and allergy and asthma symptoms and 20 to 50 percent for Sick Building Syndrome symptoms.
In addition, the potential direct increase in office workers' performance was estimated to range between 0.5 and 5 percent. For the U.S., the corresponding annual health-care savings plus productivity gains are --
  • $6 to $19 billion from reduced respiratory disease;
  • $1 to $4 billion from reduced allergies and asthma;
  • $10 to $20 billion from reduced Sick Building Syndrome symptoms, and
  • $12 to $125 billion from direct improvements in worker performance that are unrelated to health.
Ever wonder what happened to that Christmas bonus you were wishing for?


90,000 to 100,000 American patients DIE each year from nosocomial infections they acquire in HOSPITALS and HEALTH CARE FACILITIES while under medical care.
Millions more just get sick. Some face a lifetime of chronic problems and follow up care. It’s a national disgrace. Where should they go for treatment? And who should pay for it?

Hospital acquired pneumonia
Bucket of trouble

Numerous studies conducted by the EPA over the last 25 years have shown measurable levels of over 107 known carcinogens in modern offices and homes.
21. Each year, over 1000 NEW CHEMICALS are approved to be used and released into our air. How long term have been the safety studies? How do they interact with what is already or soon to be out there? How many are our bodies supposed to be able to handle?

Inhalent allergens

Bronchial comparisons

The shoes you wear outside and with which you walk inside carry, among other things, FECAL MATTER, BACTERIA, and MOLD which are deposited on the flooring, carpeting, furniture, and bedding. Hey! Let’s all get down on the floor and play with the kids!


Portions of that same FECAL MATTER, BACTERIA, and MOLD are sucked up into the average vacuum cleaner where they incubate and reproduce. Any idea what happens the next time the vacuum is used?
Is asthma treatment our only option?


1 ounce of household dust contains about 43,000 dust mites and their FECES. After six months, it is estimated that 60% of your pillow’s weight is dust mites and their FECES. Dare you guess how many millions are in your mattress?
Dust mites


Exposure to dust mites, cat saliva, animal dander, and mold, is estimated to cause at least 200,000 emergency room visits by asthma patients each year. Care to join them?


And, as if these concerns were not enough, we now face the real threat of airborne biological weapons. Are we absolutely sure that "the government" is going to be able to protect us? Is there something we can and should be doing for ourselves? Does the name "Katrina" bring to  mind any lessons we should have learned about taking personal responsibility?
Airborne biological weapons

It seems pretty ironic.

As necessary as breathing is,
it is almost an endangerment to one's health to do so.

Is anyone paying attention?

Are there any real answers to these out of control problems?

There's More!

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Overview Topics

Is There a Problem?

A. Is There a Problem?

An introduction to indoor air quality issues.

What Don't We Know

B. What Don't We Know?

The problem is worse than we


Need to Know

C. What Do We Need to Know?

Sorting out the info and charting a course to follow.


What Are We Breathing?

D. What are We Breathing?

Unwelcome guests we receive every time we breathe.



1. Particulates.

Airborne pieces of a lot of stuff we should not be breathing.


Fields of Potential Allergens

2. Allergens.

The body’s “hit list” of alien invaders.



3. Pathogens. 

The bacteria, viruses, and germs which reproduce in the human body and try to stage a takeover.


One of kazillions of Odor Sources in a home or building

4. Odors.

Things have odors for a reason, but why?
Can the problem be corrected rather than merely masked or covered up?


VOC's on Demand

5. Chemicals/Smoke/VOC's.
Are we possibly drowning in a toxic soup?



6. Mold.

Is what we see dangerous?
And is what we don't see
perhaps more dangerous than what we do see?  


Which Technology?

E. Which Technology Works the Best?

Are the technologies pretty much equal, or is their a large disparity among them?


Passive Technology

1. Passive Technology.

The pollution finds the solution.
(Or so we hope!)


Active Technology

2. Active Technology.

The solution finds the pollution -
even where it is hiding!



a. Stage One --
Dual Ionization (Particulate Removal)


Quad Oxidizing Plasma Generator
b. Stage Two -- Quad Oxidizing Plasmas


Radical Hydroxyls

c. Stage Three -- Advanced Oxidation


RCI Technology
d. Combo Effect -- The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts.


Apples and Oranges

3. Major Differences.

Things that are not the same
are not equal.


Out of this world

a. Literally out of this world.

The technology which produces
"the purest air on the planet"
actually comes from
out of this world.


Overall air purity

b. Overall Air Purity.

By what standard do you certify the actual purity of air?


Lab tech

c. Too Clean to Test for Purity?

"Without dirt in the air,
we cannot tell you
how pure the air is."
Does that strike anybody as odd?


Where's the dirt?
d. Where's the Dirt?

(Where is Clara Peller
when you need her?)


What to do?

e. What to do? 

Anybody can see that it’s clean except the career bureaucrats.


Where are the germs?

f. Where are the Germs?

Hint: One place they are not is
"Blowin' in the Wind".


Who gets to clean the conventional filter?

g. Filtration rates vs. Kill rates.

In the war against pathogens,
would you like your germs
captured and contained
or killed "graveyard dead"?


Odor abatement/removal

h. Odor Abatement/Removal.

The same thing that RCITM
does to particulates and germs it does also to smoke, dust, and sources of odors.


What must be considered?

F. What IAQ issues must be considered and addressed?

Head to head comparison of the technologies - very revealing.


Medical considerations

G. Are there medical considerations?

Obligatory disclaimers and the practical realities of what happens when a sick body can actually catch its breath.


Legal considerations

H. Are there legal and other considerations?

What happens if we just ignore the problem or fail to investigate it fully?


When is timing an issue?

I. When is Timing an Issue?

If the mold or other air quality problem doesn't seem to be spreading or getting any worse, so we really have to pay it any attention?