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Part 3 – What We Don’t Know
but Should Know

about the Air We Breathe –

D. What Are We Breathing?
4. Odors


4. Odors.

Dangerous odor source!

Do something with the odor!
Things stink/smell/have an aroma for a reason. Whether it is pleasant, like the fragrance of a rose, or unpleasant, like vomit or fecal material, everything which gives off an odor is emitting tiny microscopic pieces of itself into the air. Those tiny pieces - in incredibly small amounts - are caught in the nasal passages where their DNA is read by the olfactory nerves and checked in the brain against a memory bank of some 10,000 substances to determine what the appropriate response should be. It is not by accident that substances which have a universally recognizable foul odor are known to be harmful to us. Their telltale odors are a fairly sure sign for us to avoid them.
How the sense of smell works

This emission of molecules by a substance is similar, by illustration, to the way that humans lose skin
cells. We do not lose our entire epidermis, at least not all at once, but shed instead those dead cells closest to the surface of our skins. In like manner, all things aromatic "slough off" or emit microscopic pieces of themselves throughout most, if not all, of their existences.

The rates at which this emission occurs from a substance is dependent upon the ability or lack of ability of the mass of the matter to retain those molecules furthest from the center of the mass and closest to Illustration of off-gassingthe surface - where they tend to break free of the chemical bonds which hold them together and take flight into the surrounding air. This phenomenon is called "off-gassing", and the measure of the rate at which it occurs is the measure of its "volatility". Depending upon the nature of the substance itself, the product of the off-gassing will be either benign or toxic. (See "VOC's" next.)

A further consideration is the fact that a substance en masse or as a solid may not pose a health risk, yet the emitted molecules may, because as a solid substance the product is not inhaled, but the gases or emitted molecules are.

Our response to offensive odors in our homes and workplaces is usually to cover them up by overwhelming our smell mechanisms with fragrances we prefer over those we do not. We use potpourri, scented candles, air sprays, carpet and upholstery sprays, closet hangers, outlet puffers, pet sprays, and a rising proliferation of room deodorizers and air fresheners of varying sophistication -
What stinks at your house?
to the tune of upwards of $3 billion annually.

Consider also that one can hardly take a bath or shower, shampoo the hair, wash the hands, wash the dishes, flush the toilets, clean house, or process the laundry without adding still 
more of these cover up perfumes. Unfortunately, tricking our noses into thinking that everything
smells pleasant does not do away with the fact that the sources for the unwanted odors remain active and productive and continue to cause harm to our bodies when they can. And the rising use of fragrance enhanced products is now causing people to develop perfume sensitivities and allergies for which many are seeking medical attention.

There's More!

What You Need to Know
(A brief Overview of Indoor Air Quality Issues)
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

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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?