Indoor Air Quality at Work

July 19, 2009

What Building Facility Managers Can Do to Promote Good Indoor Air Quality

Most of us work in an office and spend 8 hours a day in an environment that we have little or no control of.  Which leads us to ask the question “Who” is in control of the indoor environment where we work?

As an occupant of an office building, understanding the role of the building management in maintaining a healthy and comfortable indoor environment is an important step in understanding how you can fit into the picture. EPA and NIOSH recommend that every building manager obtain and use the Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers.  The guide provides practical suggestions on preventing, identifying, and resolving indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in public and commercial buildings.

The guide helps building managers:

  1. Designate an Indoor Air Quality Representative, who serves as the contact for indoor environment issues. The IAQ representative should be accountable for the quality of the indoor environment and should have the authority, knowledge, and training to oversee or carry out the following steps in a good indoor air quality management plan:
  2. 2.      Assess the current condition of the indoor air in the building by:
    1. identifying and reviewing records pertaining to the HVAC design and operation
    2. developing an indoor air profile of the building, identifying potential pollutant sources, if feasible
  3. Address any existing and potential indoor air quality problems.
  4. 4.      Educate building staff about indoor air quality management by:
    1. providing training opportunities
    2. establishing clear pollutant source management policies
  5. 5.      Operate and maintain the building and ventilation system for good indoor air by:
    1. establishing or reinforcing standard operating and maintenance procedures
    2. responding quickly to leaks, floods, and other accidents that occur in buildings to prevent indoor air quality problems from developing
  6. 6.      Manage potential pollutant sources such as:
    1. smoking
    2. remodeling and renovation materials and furnishings
    3. housekeeping and pest control products
    4. exhaust fumes from loading docks or garages
  7. Communicate with tenants and occupants about their roles in maintaining good indoor air quality.
  8. Establish clear procedures for responding to indoor air-related complaints.
  9. Keep a record of reported health complaints to aid in solving indoor air-related problems. This will help improve the chances of correctly diagnosing and then fixing problems, especially if a pattern in complaints can be detected.

You can download the guide at the EPA web site by following the link below.

Microshield can help you with the implementation of the guide and provide the necessary training to successfully provide a healthy work environment.

Microshield IAQ and the American Indoor Air Quality Council

July 17, 2009

The American Indoor Air Quality Council promotes awareness, education and certification in the field of indoor air quality.  Our mission is to establish credible certifications that provide value to certificants, their clients and the public.  It is their goal to serve the public interest with integrity as an independent certifying body.

As the Council grew, so did interest in starting similar organizations in other states. In 1998, the corporation changed its name to the American Indoor Air Quality Council, and began to grow nationally.  By September 2000, the Council had grown to over 500 members with 23 corporate sponsors.  By 2002, the IAQ Council had reached approximately 3000 members, 200 corporate sponsors and had 46 local chapters in 26 states and several international locations.

On January 1, 2006, a major event changed the scope of the Council’s activities. As part of a unification agreement with the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) and the Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO), the Council no longer offers membership services, but instead focuses exclusively on certification programs.  At the end of 2006, the IAQ Council had 5351 certificants in nine disciplines related to IAQ consulting, investigation, remediation and administration.  Governance of the IAQ Council, The operations and governance of the IAQ Council function at three levels. Final executive authority is vested in a Board of Directors by the Council’s bylaws.

The Board of Directors in turn appoints a National Advisory Board to assist them in their decisions. The National Advisory Board is composed of both IAQ professionals and members of the public sector, and offers the Directors an independent perspective on issues facing the IAQ industry. The National Advisory Board also oversees the implementation of basic certification and operational guidelines common to all Council  certification programs.

Finally, each Council certification program is operated by a separate Certification Board, which presides over the awarding of certifications in its category. Certification Boards are composed of experts who have field experience in the values required for eh certification, and each of them holds the certification that he or she votes to award. Certification Board members develop and approve all examination materials and eligibility requirements, and review all application materials. They approve the awarding of certifications by unanimous vote.

What to Look For in an IAQ Professional

July 17, 2009

What to look for when Hiring an IAQ Consultant

Most of us spend 90% of our time in indoor environments. Indoor air quality (IAQ) issues impact the lives of people across the globe. Problems with poor air quality in buildings and homes can result in health concerns, liability issue, lost productivity, and decreased property values.

IAQ problems in non-industrial buildings such as homes, schools and offices are often caused by complex, inter-related issues. Diagnosing and fixing the sources of poor IAQ may require the professional expertise of one or more consultants or contractors. It is important that individuals be highly qualified to fully investigate, identify and/or mitigate the total problem according to recognized industry standards and guidelines. Verification of contracting or remediation work, if requested, should be conducted by an equally qualified third-party consultant.

Many firms are available today to help find solutions to IAQ problems. However, in most parts of the country the IAQ industry is not regulated. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you utilize a qualified professional.

The good news is, there is an easy way to make sure that only qualified individuals and firms deal with these complex problems. The largest organization of trades and professionals dealing with IAQ issues is the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). Since 1995, IAQA has delivered the industry’s most prestigious and respected IAQ and mold training programs. Many IAQA course alumni with sufficient experience and knowledge have also become certified by the American Indoor Air Quality Council (AmIAQ), prestigious, independent certification body for the industry. These trained and certified professionals are available to resolve your IAQ issues.

Contact Microshield Environmental Services Today.

Microshield Environmental Services, LLC & John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
The most trusted names in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Beware of the “Free Mold Inspection”

July 17, 2009

Like any other industry, the mold remediation and inspection business has its share of scams, cons, and rip off artists who seek to profit from your lack of knowledge about mold.  

The worst perpetrators of mold scams are mold removal/remediation contractors who also offer mold inspections and mold testing services.  Their scam is creating non-existent mold problems and charging you thousands of dollars to fix them.

If you encounter a mold inspector who also does mold removal/remediation, (or visa-versa) Just Say NO! There are plenty of quality contractors available that don’t do both.

And especially watch out for contractors who offer “FREE MOLD inspections”. That’s a major red flag!

Many contractors offer “FREE” clearance testing also, (which is equivalent to grading their own test). Don’t fall for it! Clearance testing is crucial to the mold remediation process and should never be performed by a mold removal contractor waiting to get paid for his work.

The best way to avoid getting scammed is to avoid using mold removal/remediation contractors for mold inspections.  A certified inspector that is not in the mold removal business will have no vested interest in how your inspection and testing comes out.  The inspector’s position should always be unbiased, neutral, and without conflict of interest.  Be sure whoever you do choose isn’t looking for remediation work for their own company.  Sadly may unscrupulous companies use the “FREE MOLD INSPECTION” as a tool to justify their inflated remediation proposals.  These contractors play on your fear of mold and use their testing and inspection to foster and justify this fear.

If you have any questions or feel you may have a mold problem visit us at

Florida Mold Law; Senate Bill 2234

July 17, 2009

Florida Senate Bill 2234 was. This law will prevent conflicts of interest; require education and licensing amongst other requirements for mold inspectors and removal companies alike.   This law was designed to protect the consumers.    The law will be effective in 2010; until then there are no requirements.  “Caveat Emptor”  “Let the Buyer Beware” when hiring a mold inspection company.

These few basic tips and information can help you avoid getting scammed and ensure that your mold issues are handled ethically, honestly and professionally. Take the time to read it. If you have any questions, please call us.

1.    Make sure your mold inspector is not in the mold removal/remediation business.

We believe it’s a serious conflict of interest for the company you pay to “inspect” for mold also profits from the “removal” of mold. There are plenty of companies out there that do both, the question is; how can you ever truly be sure that they are not creating more work for themselves – work that doesn’t really need to be done? The opportunity for corruption is far too great. The only way to know for sure that you’re not being “set up” and scammed into spending thousands of dollars you don’t need to spend is to make sure the person you hire for mold inspections has no affiliation with any mold removal contractor.

2.    Check your mold removal/remediation contractor’s experienced and references.

AND CALL THE REFERENCES! Don’t take anyone’s word for it when it comes to shelling out thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars for remediation work. Ask for references for jobs that are at least 10 to 12 months old. Why? Because every mold remediation job looks great as soon as it’s finished. But if remediation work is not done correctly, it can take several months to realize it.  As a rule, if mold does not reoccur in that time, then the work was done correctly. A remediation contractor, who has nothing to hide, has no problem giving you references. If a contractor gets offend by your request, say Good-Bye!

3.    Never allow a contractor to provide clearance testing for his own remediation.

Many remediation contractors will offer to provide FREE clearance testing after they’re work is complete. Nice gesture, but don’t fall for it. The reason they do that is so they pass their own work and get paid. Also, they more than likely quoted you a firm price in order to get the work in the first place and if a third party inspector fails his post-remediation clearance test, he has to keep coming back until he gets it right. A “free clearance test” from a contractor offering to pass his own work is not a good deal for you. Always insist on an independent third party post-remediation clearance testing and make sure your agreement with the contractor states that he will come back and correct his work if it fails.  And don’t settle the account until you see the clearance report in writing and be sure to have a post-remediation clearance test that CLEARS       your home before you pay your remediation contractor. If you agree to make progress payments, make sure the final payment is a significant percentage of the total job price so the contractor is motivated to finish the job correctly.

4.   Ensure your contractor is a Florida Licensed Contractor.

Anyone can print “Licensed and Insured” on a business card but not everyone can actually pass the Florida Licensing Exam.  Many remediation contractors will tell you that they don’t need to be licensed but the truth is that each governing body of each Florida municipality has different requirements.  Some municipalities require that you be licensed if your remediation work involves any other licensed contractor such as an electrician, plumber or Air Conditioning Contractor.  Not many remediation jobs won’t involve an electrician or plumber.  Other municipalities require no license for those only conducting “repair” work or the removal and replacement of wallboard and cabinets.  Regardless of the current status of any Florida municipality Governor Crist has recognized the need to provide Florida citizens a law that requires the licensing of all mold inspectors and remediation contractors and will no longer allow a remediation contractor to conduct his own testing or clearance.  Senate Bill 2234 signed into law on June 28, 2007 effective 2010.

Are you working in a Healthy Indoor Air Quality Environment?

July 17, 2009

Microshield IAQ For Buildings and Property Managers

Microshield Environmental Services specializes in providing Indoor Air Quality solutions that work. We take into consideration the whole picture, and then provide you as the property owner, options that greatly improve the air quality in your property.

According to the World Health Organization, 30% of buildings experience some form of sick building syndrome. Problems involving mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria, stale air, poor ventilation, odors, and microbes are commonplace.

For these problems, Microshield has the solution: a proactive, IAQ and HVAC Management Program.

Many commercial and industrial facilities are faced with the problem of Poor Indoor Air Quality, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). In many cases, poor ventilation, mold and bacteria, or excessive emissions lead to employee complaints of headaches, nausea, and general respiratory tract irritation, leading to decreased productivity. Sick building syndrome has recently received much media attention, and has been brought to the forefront of workplace safety concerns.

Microshield Environmental Services site inspections include:

  • Inspection of the structure inside and out with emphasis on ventilation system, building layout, and structures condition
  • Thorough inspection and evaluation of ventilation systems, and air flow patterns
  • Employee interviews and review of health records
  • Inspections for hazardous chemical usage and storage
  • Air sampling for biological aerosols, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and other irritants and pollutants
  • Evaluation of the moisture content of building materials and HVAC system throughout the building
  • Indoor Air Quality Home / Building Test

Based on the findings of our investigation, Microshield will recommend corrective actions, if necessary, as well as assist your organization in achieving environmental conditions that will provide optimum health and comfort for your employees. If a potentially serious indoor air quality problem is documented, Microshield can provide the following services:

  • Write specifications for, and oversee implementation of, required corrective actions.
  • Expert witness testimony during litigation.
  • Supply required Right-to-Know information to employees.
  • Expert Investigation services.

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What do you do if you have mold growing in your new home during construction?

July 17, 2009

In an industry choked with energy efficient, high capacity, low E, variable speed, high seer, energy saving, cost effective, options its easy to see why it quickly becomes overwhelming for the new home buyer to narrow their selection when it comes to builder options.

Homes are most definitely built more efficient and structurally sound as was evident in last years hurricane season. And yes Builders have successfully developed new building techniques and continually improved upon their design, function, and efficiency of the homes they build. But still many of the things builders can and should include in their homes they just don’t.

They continue to overlook many of the major issues confronting today’s home buyer. Primarily mold. Yes Mold. What exactly is available to today’s home builder or more importantly today’s home buyer? And why aren’t we more aware of these options?

Mold pretreatment is available. Its just that mold pretreatment is marketed directly to the builder. Its left up to the Buyer to ensure that their home has been mold pretreated.

I researched many new home mold pretreatment programs and found quite a few out there in web world. I found chat boards full of talk about this mold pretreatment or that. Talk about whether or not EPA registration was necessary.

It took me some time. I did my homework. I spoke to many builders and buyers. Talked with a lot of company brass. I even spent a lot of time discussing antimicrobials with many different chemists. But I kept coming full circle to Microshield Environmental Services.

So you have to ask yourself if its there, affordable, and effective, why aren’t they all using it.

Well I have to believe its us. The buying public. Today’s savvy home buyer. Yes that’s right. In today’s market if you want it you have to ask for it. So get out there and demand that your home that was exposed to the elements during construction be mold pretreated with Microshield.

I truly believe that in the very near future all homes will require a mold pretreatment just like they require a termite pretreatment. When it comes time to sell your home this may very well become an issue. So find a pro-active builder that cares about the homes they build and get a Microshielded home.

The research is easy you can just search the web for mold pretreatment or go straight to the Microshield Environmental Services website at

Do you have good Indoor Air Quality?

July 17, 2009

Indoor Air Quality

Good indoor air quality enhances resident health and comfort and should be an essential goal for any home or building. A high quality indoor environment requires careful design, construction, and choice of materials.  Indoor air quality requires design that incorporates adequate air exchanges, well designed ventilation and avoidance of mold through moisture control, all of which complement a strategy that achieves energy efficiency and building durability.

The most effective way to reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants is to keep residents away from sources of pollution.  Ventilation design provides for adequate exchanges of fresh air. A well-designed building envelope keeps moisture and mold at bay. Clean construction practices and smart materials specifications reduce dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Attentive maintenance emphasizes non-toxic solutions.

To maintain your Indoor Air Quality you first need to know what your Indoor Air Quality is.  MicroShield can help you by providing the IAQ Healthy Home or Healthy Building Certification Test that measures 7 different Indoor Air Quality parameters.

  • Particle Allergens such as dust, dirt and pet dander. 
  • Chemical Pollutants
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Temperature
  • Relative Humidity
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Radon

By measuring these parameters over 3 days you can determine just how Healthy your Home is and what you need to do to improve your home or buildings IAQ. 

To attain the IAQ Healthy Home or IAQ Healthy Building Certification your homes or building must test with in the acceptable Indoor Air Quality Standard based on scientific literature produced by ASHRAE, UK Dept. of Health, World Health Organization, California Air Resourced Board, Indoor Air Quality Association, LEED, Lars Molhave, Indoor Air Quality Association, Health Canada and EPA.

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Why is Indoor Air Quality Important?

July 17, 2009

Indoor air quality is a major concern to businesses, building managers, tenants, and employees because it can impact the health, comfort, well being, and productivity of building occupants.

Most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors and many spend most of their working hours in an office environment. Studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others show that indoor environments sometimes can have levels of pollutants that are actually higher than levels found outside.

Pollutants in our indoor environment can increase the risk of illness. Several studies by EPA, states, and independent scientific panels have consistently ranked indoor air pollution as an important environmental health problem. While most buildings do not have severe indoor air quality problems, even well-run buildings can sometimes experience episodes of poor indoor air quality.

A 1989 EPA Report to Congress concluded that improved indoor air quality can result in higher productivity and fewer lost work days. EPA estimates that poor indoor air may cost the nation tens of billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and medical care.

A great article to read regarding our indoor air quality can be read by following the link below.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Fact Sheet #9: Asthma and its Environmental Triggers: Scientists Take a Practical New Look at a Familiar Illness

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Take Control of Your Indoor Air?

July 16, 2009

Take Control of Your Indoor Air?

By John P. Lapotaire, CIEC

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a hot topic today as more of us are acquiring allergies.  We seem to be inundated with allergy statistics graphs and charts reminding us that we can only expect more of the same.  So what can we do to create our own little safe house or sanctuary?  We can take control of the Indoor Air of our homes.  The outdoor Air Quality will change with the seasons and we will need to adjust to the varying allergens introduced into the air.  But when you get home you can relax and enjoy your Indoor Air Quality if you follow a few simple housekeeping suggestions.

We should first understand that Indoor Air Quality is the effect the air inside your home has on you and your family.  Good IAQ means the air in your home has no unwanted gases or particulates at concentrations that could negatively affect you and your family.  That leaves us with poor IAQ which occurs when gasses or particulates are present at an excessive concentration in your home and affects the satisfaction or health of you and your family. 

IAQ isn’t that hard to understand or identify.  We can all tell the difference between a cool mountain meadow and a city landfill. Good IAQ, Poor IAQ.  Everything else lies somewhere between the two.  What separates the good from the bad are 3 basic areas of indoor air pollutants described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as Particulates, Bioaerosols and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).  What makes up the air in your home are varying amounts of these three pollutants.

The CDC describes the three pollutants as; Particulates are common indoor air particulates including dirt, dust, fibers, tobacco smoke, and fireplace or wood stove soot. These airborne particles can range from 0.1 microns in size to 100 microns in size.  Bioaerosols are microorganisms or particles, gases, vapors, or fragments of biological origin (i.e., alive or released from a living organism) that are in the air. Bioaerosols are everywhere in the environment. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. Some VOC’s have odors other VOC’s have none. Odor does not indicate the level of risk. There are thousands of different VOC’s produced and used in our daily lives.

To take control of these three pollutants that can create poor indoor air quality in your home I have created 4 primary areas that you can address that will have an immediate impact on the homes indoor air quality.

  1. Particulates
  2. Humidity
  3. Filtration
  4. House Keeping.

Let’s start with Particulates. Particulates accumulate in the home from both inside and outside sources that can include:  Some of the common Indoor Particulate Sources include:

  • Pet dander
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Perfume
  • House Plants
  • Fungal spores
  • Pollen
  • Tobacco smoke

These sources can be controlled and or eliminated from a home by controlling the source.  That means no smoking in the home.  No air fresheners, candles or incense, these introduce particulates to the home and mask air quality issues that should be addressed directly, not hidden by air fresheners.  I would minimize house plants including plastic and silk.  Live plants live in nice damp soil that is a breeding ground for fungus and mold which can lead to the introduction of spores and plastic and silk plants can hold onto particulate releasing them each time they are disturbed.  Unfortunately these plastic and silk plants are rarely cleaned and the amount of particulates they can introduce when disturbed is substantial.

Next you’ll need to keep a healthy level of humidity in your home.  Dust mites and mold love moisture so keeping humidity around 30%-50% will help keep dust mites and other allergens under control.  The addition of a humidistat and dehumidifier can greatly improve the indoor air quality of your home.  The humidistat turns on the homes air conditioning when the humidity reaches the set relative humidity (preferably not higher than 55%rh) just as the thermostat activates the homes air conditioning when the temperature reaches a set temperature (preferably not higher than 76°F). 

Maintaining the proper humidity level helps reduce moisture in the indoor air and can effectively control allergens.   

High humidity levels in Florida can produce musty odor and/or a clammy feeling to the air in the summer and condensation on windows in the winter.

Often the principal source of higher humidity in a home is a family’s living habits. One person’s breathing produces 1/4 cup of water per hour, cooking for a family of four produces approximately five pints of water in 24 hours, showering puts 1/2 pint of water into the air.  Bathing puts 1/8 pint of water into the air.  Adding only four to six pints of water to the air raises the relative humidity in a 1,000 square foot home from 15 to 60 percent, assuming the temperature is constant.

Next on our list is Filtration.   Each time the air conditioning system cycles air into the home, armies of particulates are propelled through the supply ducts and discharged throughout your home into the air your family breathes.  More specifically the air you breathe is filled with the particulates allowed to pass through your air conditioning filter.  The filtration you choose has a tremendous affect on your indoor air quality so you should use the highest level of filtration that your system allows.

There are many filters available on the market today.  The most common are the one inch filters found in supermarkets, hardware stores and home supply retailers. All these filters guarantee a percentage of effectiveness, but that can be misleading.  

Standard throwaway filters are only designed to protect the air handler. And have little or no capability of collecting fine particles.  Washable Filters are very restrictive to airflow and are difficult to clean thoroughly and are rarely maintained at the proper level.  Electronic Air Cleaners are 95% efficient at .3 microns when new and clean. They reduce in efficiency very quickly as they load with particles and are difficult to clean thoroughly.  Many home owners just don’t take the time to properly clean these clean these filters on a regular basis, so they rarely works at the efficiency they were designed for.  Large 4 to 5 Inch Media Filters have a large amount of filter surface and allow for good air flow.  They can collect a large amount of dust and particles above one micron in size and most don’t have to be replaced for 6 to 12 months.  These filters are typically MERV rated at 8 to 11. 

So now a I know you are asking Who is Merv and should I trust him with my filter? Well Merv isn’t a “He” MERV is an industry standard.  A standard rating system that can be used to compare filters made by different companies.   The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of a filter describes the size of the holes in the filter that allow air to pass through.  In a nut shell the higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes in the filter, the higher the efficiency.  Residential filters commonly have MERV ratings of 1-11. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is, and the more particles it can filter.

  • A MERV rating of 6 means the filter is 35% to 50% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns.
  • A MERV rating of 7 means the filter is 50% to 70% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns.
  • A MERV rating of 8 means the filter is 70% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns.
  • A MERV rating of 11 means the filter is 85% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns.  

Now for the House keeping side of air quality improvement.   You first to reduce the humidity in the home by using your range, bathroom and cooking exhaust fans.  You should also ensure that they are vented to the outside.  You should check your dryer exhaust vent regularly to ensure it isn’t clogged.  Reduce the number of plants in the home and/or water them less so they release less water vapor.  And you can add a humidistat and mechanical dehumidifier to your air conditioning system.  So IAQ is a piece of cake.

Now you need to get rid of those pesky particulates. The key to that is to Collect and Remove.  You can collect and remove particles by using a HEPA vacuum.  Don’t forget to vacuum all porous surfaces including upholstered furniture. For best results, vacuum two or more times each week and change your HEPA filter regularly.  On tile floors you can collect and remove particles by mopping which will collect the dust that your HEPA vacuuming leaves behind. You can skip the soaps and cleaners and just use plain water to capture any lingering dust or allergens. There are also new microfiber mops that reportedly capture more dust and dirt than traditional mops and don’t require any cleaning solutions whatsoever.  Okay there may be a bit of an investment here for a HEPA vacuum, but I can assure you it will be worth it.

For the particle dust build up within the home you will need to collect and remove it as well.  For most people this means dusting using a simple feather duster, or a cloth of some kind, and some kind of dusting spray. This just relocates the dust particulates and introduces bioaerosols & VOC’s into the air.  Remember the key is to collect and remove not relocate.   I recommend using the new microfiber dust cloth that can capture more dust and dirt than traditional fibers and don’t require any cleaning solutions whatsoever.

To help prevent the particulates from entering the home, place large floor mats at every door. People track in all sorts of particles via the dirt on their shoes. A door mat reduces the amount of dirt, pesticides, and other pollutants from getting into your home. If the mat is big enough, even those who don’t wipe their shoes will leave most pollutants on the mat — not the floors in the home.

Don’t forget to change your air conditioning filters every 30 days or as prescribed by the Manufacturer.  Not maintaining your air conditioning filter is a major source of indoor air problems.  Some of the higher MERV rated media filters can be changed as infrequently as every 6 months.   While you are changing that filter check you’re A/C drain line and every 3 months flush it with an algae control cleaner to prevent clogging.

Remember to keep your home dry: Control humidity levels between 35% and 50% to prevent dust mites and an indoor environment that can lead to mold growth.  Fix any leaks you have in your home as soon as you find them.  If you have a flood, take immediate action and dry the area out, including all affected furnishings, within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. 

So when asked what you can do about the “Air You Breathe” you will have plenty to say because you know what is in the air you breathe.  And you know that Good IAQ for people already suffering from allergies can reduce the symptoms of those allergies, often reduce medications for allergies, and lead to more relaxing sleep.  You also know that Good Indoor Air Quality can have a substantial impact on our children by preventing allergies, delaying the occurrence of an allergy, or the reduction of allergy symptoms.

Now you can say “Healthier Air Starts Here!”

John P. Lapotaire, CIEC

Microshield Environmental Services, LLC


  1. American Lung Association. Epidemiology & statistics Unit, Research and Program Services. Trends in Asthma Morbidity and Mortality May 2005.
  2. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2002. Series 10, Number 221.2004-1549
  3. National Library of Medicine. Understanding Allergy and Asthma. National Institutes of Health.
  4. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Fact Sheet #9: Asthma and its Environmental Triggers: Scientists Take a Practical New Look at a Familiar Illness
  5. Centers for Disease Control. Surveillance for Asthma – United States, 1960-1995, MMWR. 1998; 47 (SS-1).
  6. Martinez FD, Wright AL, Taussig LM, et al.: Asthma and wheezing in the first six years of life,” N Engl J Med 1995; 332:133-138.

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