Don Weekes, CIH, CSP – IEQ Current Events Discussion

Air Date: 9-7-2018|Episode 515

This week’s IAQradio+ visits with an old friend of the show and one of our most active guests over the years Don Weekes, CIH, CSP. Don is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Safety Professional who has recently retired from InAIR Environmental which is based in Ottawa, ON. He is a Past President of IAQA, as well as Past President of the Ottawa Valley Chapter for ASHRAE. Mr. Weekes is currently the President of the Indoor Environmental Quality – Global Alliance (IEQ-GA), and he also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist (ACGIH).

Don has also been involved with the following professional organizations; American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), International Society of Indoor Air Quality (ISIAQ), and Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). He is the past Chair of American Industrial of Hygiene Association (AIHA) Indoor Environmental Quality Committee and a Fellow of the Association. He is a four-time recipient of the AIHA’s Best Seller award for the ‘Report of the Microbial Task Force’ in 2001 and 2002, the ‘Assessment, Remediation and Post-Remediation Verification of Mold in Buildings’ publication in 2004, and the Green Book, aka ‘Recognition, Evaluation and Control of Indoor Mold, book in 2008. LEARN MORE this week on IAQradio+.

Z-man’s Blog:

Don Weekes, IAQradio Guest Emeritus

Don Weekes, CIH, CSP was our guest on this week’s episode of IAQradio+. Historically, Don has been one of our most frequent guests. Don is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Safety Professional. He is a Past President of IAQA, as well as Past President of the Ottawa Valley Chapter for ASHRAE.  Mr. Weekes is currently the President of the Indoor Environmental Quality – Global Alliance (IEQ-GA), and he also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist (ACGIH).

Nuggets mined from today’s show:

Market conditions for IAQ consulting firms? – Some local markets are strong. There is a huge growth overseas for IAQ consulting, especially in Asia (China; India; etc.). North American firms that can also operate in Asia are in demand.

InAIR- Don decided it was time for him to move on with his life. He and his partner and wife, Lan Chi Nguyen Weekes, worked for 18 months selling his business InAIR Environmental, Ltd to Miriton, a Mechanical Engineering firm for whom the business acquisition was a good fit and with whom he had worked previously. Lawyers dictated the timetable for the sale which was completed on August 1st, 2018. Rather than using a business broker or investment banker, the Weekes’ handled the sale of the business themselves. His business was a good fit for Miriton, and for InAIR.

Don recommends not trying to approach competitors who have their own methods of doing things and feel they’ll wait you out and take over the clients with no acquisition costs.

IA 2018- Diverse group of attendees from 45-50 different countries. There were 881 presentations and posters. Some highlights to illustrate the diversity of IAQ research: Cultural approach to heating in the Navaho Indian Nation. Effects of water pipe smoking on IEQ. Rich Corsi’s-Reduction of air particles during sleep. On the Corsi presentation, Don noted that we spend 26 years of our life sleeping during which particulate levels vary seasonably, and vary due to cleaning techniques and frequency. Don also noted the benefits of filtration to help reduce particle levels in bedrooms.

Summer Camp 2018 presentation highlights:

Brett Singer – Better provisions for ventilation incorporated into new residual construction such as operable windows and kitchen exhaust aren’t being used. Singer advises to cook on the back burner. Thumbs down on unvented fireplaces and heaters. Quoted the Corsi code: average lifespan is 79 years of which: 69 years is spent indoors, 54 years spent in the home, 26 years in bed, 4.3 years spent in vehicles and 6 years outdoors.

John Straub – Condensed a semester of moisture physics into a couple hours. Porous versus permeable. Different natures of water and materials. Water deposits in layers. How wood reacts to moisture. Paint peeling and cracking is attributable to wood’s dimensional (swelling and shrinkage) response to moisture.

Jack Springston – Biofilm formation on showerheads. Legionella: 65% caused by process failure, 52% attributable to human error, with the remainder attributable to inoperable equipment.

ACGIH– has been developing and publishing TLVs since the 1930’s. In 1972, OSHA started, and OSHA adopted the TLV’s as PEL’s. ACGIH’s updates the TLV’s annually, so the 2018 TLV’s are more current than OSHA’s PEL’s. In addition to ACGIH’s registry of 400 TLVs covering contaminants, there is a list chemicals & physical and biological substances under review. The TLV book and Industrial Ventilation Courses (both classroom and online) are major fundraising sources for ACGIH. ACGIH is discussing organizing a committee to update the Bioaerosols book in 2-3 years. [Don is an ACGIH board member].

Green Book Update? – J. David Miller, PhD expects to complete his diligent 10th anniversary update of AIHA’s publication: “Recognition, Evaluation and Control of Indoor Mold” AKA the “Green Book” in 2020. It is expected that there will be an increased emphasis on dampness and the health effects associated with it.

What do you recommend for PRV of mold projects?   Opines: Visual inspection and spore trap air-sampling with Air-O-Cell cassettes. Comparison of indoor versus outdoor air samples. Particle counters are useful along the perimeter of containment during remediation to monitor for breaks in containment. As negative pressure draws particles into containment from external sources, particle counters inside containments don’t provide information of value.

Phil Morey Scholarship – Don and his wife Lan Chi started a scholarship fundraiser for the Morey Scholarship by pledging $10K in matching funds from May to July, 2018. Don admired Phil Morey with whom he did volunteer work at AIHA. Don describes Phil as being: kind, gracious and soft spoken. Phil’s presentations on the work he was doing on mold and guidance had a lifechanging effect on Don’s life. Currently the fund exceeds $25K. The money will be invested and $1K scholarships will be given on an annual basis.

Link to Phil Morey interview on IAQradio:

How has IAQ changed over the past 25 years?  Energy crisis in the US in 1973 and 1978 changed the way we think about and design buildings. Buildings were tightened to save energy without consideration of potential consequences, including poor IAQ. There is a movement back to operable windows and natural ventilation. There is also a focus worldwide on PM 2.5 levels and their effect on human health.

Hot topics and the future of IAQ?  Interest in IAQ is growing globally. In India alone, cooking on primitive stoves indoors is responsible for 2.5 million deaths annually. Don is president of a Global Alliance of groups interested in IAQ.

Sewage intrusion? “The plumbing knows when you are away on vacation!” Its most important to determine where did the sewage go? Follow the water. Be aware of voids and reservoirs. Start cleaning immediately. PRV- visual inspection. Lab results can vary by +/- 120%. Prefers spore trap sampling over ATP. Sampling methods have inherent weaknesses. How hazardous is it to leave sewage residue behind?

AIHA conferences have a continuity of topics with renewed emphasis. Current occupational exposures in industrial facilities in Southeast Asia are similar to the US exposures of the 1950s and 1960s. With a loss of manufacturing jobs in the US there is a shift in focus on office exposure. There are problems in new buildings. A study found that the average building life in new buildings in urban areas is 16 years. Problems in new buildings include: tightness, poor IAQ and sunlight (glare and thermal comfort). Legionella is a major problem in North America and Europe. Water features in buildings are invitations to trouble.

Final word: Recognized IAQradio for contribution to IAQA

Z-man signing off

Trivia Question:

What is the formal name of the book edited by: Bradley Prezant, Don Weekes and J. David Miller nicknamed the “green book”?

Answer: Recognition, Evaluation and Control of Indoor Mold