Carl Grimes & Don Weekes, CIH, CSP -ISIAQ Healthy Buildings 2012

Air Date: 8-3-2012| Episode: 254

In addition to being sought after IAQ consultants, Carl Grimes and Don Weekes, CIH, CSP are the outgoing and incoming President of the Indoor Air Quality Association...

Full Description:

In addition to being sought after IAQ consultants, Carl Grimes and Don Weekes, CIH, CSP are the outgoing and incoming President of the Indoor Air Quality Association. Carl also serves on the International Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) Board of Directors. Both gentlemen recently returned from the ISIAQ Healthy Buildings 2012 conference in Australia. Healthy Buildings is a gathering of world renowned researchers and practitioners where the most recent research and news on IAQ issues is the topic. Carl and Don have agreed to join us and fill in listeners on what they learned from attending this event.

Z-Man’s Blog:

Grimes & Weekes on ISIAQ Healthy Buildings 2012

Indoor air quality consultants Carl Grimes and Don Weeks were the guests on today’s episode of IAQradio. Both Carl and Don are just back from Brisbane, Australia where they both attended the Healthy Buildings 2012 Conference.

The interview strategy for today’s show was to have the guests comment on their takeaways from the event.

Nuggets mined from today’s show: (DW= Don Weeks) (CG= Carl Grimes)

· (DW) Presentations were primarily of a scientific nature. Attendees get a preview of “what’s around the corner.” (CG) The challenge of how to use research in the field.

· (DW) Phthalates and SVOCs (semi-volatile organic compounds) are pollutants of growing concern. Phthalates are commonly used as flame retardants in plastics, building materials and clothing. Flame retardants prevent one problem fire and are a hazard due to exposure to emissions when materials degrade. Chronic exposure to phthalates may damage lungs and liver. Phthalates and SVOCs are commonly found within the built environment as dusts.

· (DW) Smart phones as a tool for measuring and correcting indoor air quality problems is being researched by Professors Robert Steele & Andrew Clarke of the University of Sydney. Smart phones are in widespread use globally. 50% of people in developing countries carry their phones 7/24/365. Smart phones can be used to sample, track health problems and trigger corrective measures such as increasing ventilation. (CG) Smart phones can “allow determination of what I’m exposed to.”

· (CG) Dr. Charles Wechsler known for his research on ozone is also researching human skin as a boundary layer. In addition to inhalation exposure an additional 40% exposure can occur through skin. The skin of infants and the elderly is more vulnerable to chemical penetration.

· (CG) Challenges of data correlation. Citing asthma rates within age groups as an example, different hemispheres gather information differently and from different age groups making it difficult to correlate the data.

· (CG) Citing examples of digitization of medicine and human genome, the increasing and important role of digitization.

· (CG) Aussies are less “mold-centric” than North Americans.

· (CG & DW) The public needs accurate guidance. The “question shouldn’t be what is it, the question should be what is happening to me?”

· (DW) Articles in the Chicago Tribune and NY Times about senators concerns over flame retardants. Z-Man expressed concern over accuracy in journalism.

· (CG) According to Dr. James Scott, PhD there are 10X more mold and bacteria on our bodies than there are cells in our bodies. How do we know things are here, need larger and well mixed samples and test small samples of that.

· (DW) IAQ problems caused by cooking and heating indoors with unvented appliances. Over 1.5 billion people have homes heated with those appliances, with women most at risk.

· (CG) Europe focused on studying Net 0 buildings and IAQ problems with Green Buildings.

· (DW) Researches look forward and practitioners look backward. Radio Joe commented that the public is behind the practitioner.

· Microwave ovens less popular in Europe.

· (DW) HEPA vacuuming and other remedial methods are effective on phthalates and SVOCs, like with mold remediation we must address the source.


· No practical way to protect the hypersensitive.

· Concerned about plastics

· Monitoring IAQ is a good use for cell phones.

· From an exposure standpoint, exposure via ingestion and skin contact are easier to protect against than inhalation, you gotta breathe.

Today’s music: Waltzing Matilda by Vienna State Opera Orchestra

Z-Man signing off