Healthy Indoors Magazine - USA Edition

HI August 2017

Healthy Indoors Magazine

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Page 22 of 49

Healthy Indoors 23 Refer to my books for more guidance on improving indoor air quality in your home and office (available on amazon; author Jeffrey C. May). Check out the books' website: www.myhouseis lation, joint compound with fungicide, and wide- spread mold growth in a basement, can be ex- pensive to eradicate. Other sources can be easier to get rid of, such as cleaning out a sink overflow or wiping a smelly conference table with some neutralizing agent. As I often tell my clients, don't throw a solu- tion at a problem until you know what the problem is. With building odors, the first step is to identify the building-odor source. This can sometimes re- quire using your common sense, but sometimes, it proves necessary to hire an indoor air quality professional to investigate. Jeffrey C. May, CIAQP (Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional), combines his education as an organic chemist (B.A. Columbia College; M.A. Harvard University) and his twenty-five plus years of experience as a building consul-tant to specialize in residential indoor air quality. He is founder of May Indoor Air Investigations LLC, located in Tyngsborough, MA; is a former Adjunct Professor in the Department of Work Environ- ment at U MA Lowell; and author or co-author of four books on indoor air quality, all published by The Johns Hopkins University Press: My House is Killing Me! The Home Guide for Families with Allergies and Asthma; The Mold Survival Guide: For Your Home and for Your Health; My Office is Killing Me! The Sick Building Survival Guide, and Jeff May's Healthy Home Tips. A nationally recognized speaker and author, Jeff is a mem- ber of the American Chemical Society, the New England Chapter of the American Industrial Hy- giene Association, the Association of Energy En- gineers, the Indoor Air Quality Association, and the Pan-American Aerobiology Association. He is also a former member of the AAFA national board and a current Board member of the Massachusetts As- sociation of the Chemically Injured (MACI). Jeff is a Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional (Associ- ation of Energy Engineers) and a Council-Certi- fied Microbial Consultant (American Council for Accredited Certification). He holds a B.A. from Columbia in chemistry and an M.A. from Harvard in organic chemistry. A smelly conference table. I was called in to figure out why a conference room in a law office smelled like vomit (a situation not conducive to meetings!). At some point in the past, perhaps after a lun- cheon meeting in the room, a "stinky" sponge (contaminated with bacterial growth) had been used to wipe the conference table. The sponge smelled like butyric acid: a component in vomit. The fix was easy: wipe the table with a dilute solu- tion of ammonia (a base) which neutralized the acid and eliminated the smell. Identify the source of the problem Some sources of building odors, like SPF insu- Decomposed plastic lamp base May Indoor Air Investigations LLC Burned tape on furnace exhaust pipe May Indoor Air Investigations LLC

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