Dr. Alice Delia Laboratory Director – Prism Analytical Technologies

Air Date: 6-1-2012| Episode: 249


Dr. Alice Delia is Laboratory Director at Prism Analytical Technologies, Inc. in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She manages Prism’s Data Analysis Group and is the technical lead on all of Prism’s air testing products, as well as in the analysis and interpretation of all test data…

Full Description:

Dr. Alice Delia is Laboratory Director at Prism Analytical Technologies, Inc. in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She manages Prism’s Data Analysis Group and is the technical lead on all of Prism’s air testing products, as well as in the analysis and interpretation of all test data. Dr. Delia received her B.S. in Chemistry from Kalamazoo College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Colorado. She has extensive knowledge of atmospheric processes and their implications for air quality compliance and safety. In addition, she is proficient in the operation of Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) instruments and performing the chemical profile interpretation of the GS-MS data. During her six-year tenure at Prism, Dr. Delia has been responsible for the development and deployment of several new methodologies for air quality testing in homes. On June 19, 2012, Dr. Delia will be delivering a technical paper she co-authored at the American Industrial Hygiene Association Conference & Expo on the topic of tobacco smoke detection using VOC markers. In a previous position as an Environmental Analyst at ASE, Inc., a subsidiary of Booz-Allen-Hamilton, Dr. Delia wrote and presented several presentations to the DOD Environmental Cleanup Office and to the U.S. Congress.

 

Z-Man’s Blog:

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

“Be aware of your surroundings” was the closing advice given by Alice Delia, Ph.D at the conclusion of her interview on today’s episode of IAQradio. FYI, Dr. Delia is laboratory director at Prism Analytical Technologies, in Mt. Pleasant Michigan. Among other laboratory services, Prism provides residential occupants the opportunity to conduct do-it-yourself-sampling for most common and most hazardous chemicals in their homes.

Nuggets gleaned from today’s show.

· We don’t commonly think about what’s in the air we breathe.

· IAQ problems can be attributed to chemicals, biologicals, particulate and comfort qualities such as temperature and humidity.

· Occupants have varying sensitivity to pollutants and contaminates.

· Prism’s HomeAirCheck process uses air pumps, thermal desorption tubes to collect air samples on site and gas chromatography mass spectrometry and Fourier transform mass spectrometry at the lab to analyze the samples.

· HomeAirCheck has built-in interpretation specifically calibrated for homes and is nor designed for commercial environments.

· Do-it-yourself-sampling for most common and most hazardous chemicals can be a valuable tool to homeowners with concerns about IAQ.

· Test results help client prepare an action plan.

· Reasonable approach, finding an infinitesimal amount of a hazardous substance shouldn’t set off an alarm. Customers need to keep their internet research in proper perspective. Customers shouldn’t jump to conclusions or make their own dire IAQ diagnoses.

· 3 types of tobacco smoke: primary tobacco smoke, second hand smoke and 3rd hand smoke. 3rd hand smoke is the latent nuisance smoke residue residing on/in building materials and furnishings.

· Common sense sampling, if you are cooking with vodka and air sampling at the same time, expect to find higher than normal amounts of ethanol in the sample.

· For “eyes on” an IAQ problem hire a IEP

· Tips for removing VOCs for residences: Selection (choose low VOC products), eliminate sources (remove offending materials), contain sources (prevent emissions, dilution (use exhaust fans, especially in bathrooms and kitchens), run HVAC on fan.

· Paint and ozone horror story. Ozone used to abate paint off-gassing results in ozone breaking down bonding agents within paint and causing a big problem.

· Odors within drywall can leak out the back and enter the building through electrical outlets and other interstitial connections.

· Specific sampling options for: MoldScan technology focuses on MVOCs, Chinese Drywall indicator test & Tobacco Smoke Test focuses on latent chemicals.

Dieterisms: The 2 questions which need to be asked before sampling: why are we sampling and what will we do with the results? Fires have evolved, today’s firms have nylon, Teflon and other chemical blends. Benzene is a concern, fortunately less benzene is being used so there is less of it to be worried about.

Be aware of your surroundings is advice worth repeating.

Today’s music: Dexter’s Laboratory theme song

Z-Man signing off

 

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