ROCIS News & Events
February 2018
Insights on Particles
Selected Briefings to Expand Your Understanding
For our February Newsletter, the ROCIS team has curated some essential educational materials on particles and health. Get the science on how particles can affect the health of toddlers, protections offered by building characteristics, the consequences of power plant pollution on public health, and much more.
Living in a Material World: How the Surfaces that Surround You Affect What You Breathe

Guest Lecture by Richard Corsi University of Texas – Austin

Corsi's presentation describes pollutant emissions and removal by buildings and their contents (including people). He touches on how resuspended particles can have a different and more dangerous chemical content than those particles had before they landed. He also talks about which room contents (carpets, furnishings, occupants) have the greatest effects on particle and gas adsorption and re-emission. The vulnerability of infants and toddlers who spend time on the floor, carpeted or not, is sobering.

Editorial: The Particles Around Us
“If air pollutants were animals, then PM would be not just a single species, but a major class, like all mammals.”…“The broad message is that the physiologic response to PM exposure, even with respect to internal exposures and doses, is complex, nuanced, and can involve much more than just the respiratory tract.”

William W. Nazaroff
Indoor Air Journal: 2018; 28:215-217

In this editorial, William W. Nazaroff, the IAQ guru for decades, provides a summary of different sources of particles, indoor exposure to outdoor particles, and an explanation of variation in protection offered in response to building characteristics. This introduction to airborne particles is foundational for anyone with an interest in the topic.

Saving Energy, Saving Lives: The Health Impacts of Avoiding Power Plant Pollution with Energy Efficiency

February 21, 2018; ACEEE & PSR (Physicians For Social Responsibility)

Pollution from power plants harms public health, contributing to heart attacks, respiratory conditions, asthma attacks, and premature death. Energy efficiency can benefit health by reducing power plant pollution.

This report estimates the health and environmental benefits that would come from a nationwide 15% reduction in annual electric consumption. The savings that result from avoided health harms is estimated to be $20 billion per year. Pittsburgh, PA ranks first with the highest per capita benefit of $210 per year. Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio rank highest in terms of statewide avoided health harms.

The Influence of Lifestyle on Airborne Particle Surface Area Doses Received by Different Western Populations
This five-city pilot study of adults in Europe and Australia measured personal exposures to submicron particles. IAQ, and in particular cooking and eating activities, was the main influencing factor in terms of exposure to particle surface area (and thus dose) of the population; outdoor particle counts were relatively low and varied only by an order of magnitude.

This is a small but important study on personal particle exposure and dose in the different micro-environments experienced across the day. Of the five cities tested, Lund in Sweden had by far the best outdoor air. The low outdoor particle count in Lund contributed to the low particle exposure in all tested environments, but good mechanical ventilation of the home was a likely factor as well.

Related research: Pacitto et al., (Mar. 2018) conducted a similar study in primary schools, but added PAH measurements and estimates of lung cancer risk.

ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project (LCMP)
Do you want to learn more about how Pittsburgh’s outdoor air quality affects the indoor air quality of where you live and work?

Are you a motivated individual that wants to learn more about how their behavior indoors affects their air quality?

Consider signing up for the Low-Cost Monitoring Project. Through this project, we provide monitoring kits loaned for a month-long cohort so folks measure particles, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, radon, temperature, and humidity.
Upcoming LCMP Cohorts

Cohort 28
Kick-off Meeting : Friday, Mar 23
Check-in Meeting : Week of Mar 26
Wrap-up Meeting : Thursday, Apr 19

Cohort 29
Kick-off Meeting : Friday, Apr 27
Check-in Meeting : Week of Apr 30
Wrap-up Meeting : Thursday, May 24

Note that participation in the LCM Project is time intensive. Attendance to the Kick-off and Wrap-up meeting is required.

Rob Busher, ROCIS Air Quality Fellow & Kacy McGill, ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Program Coordinator
Past Presentations by ROCIS Team Members
Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality (CIAQ)
February 14, 2018
Discussion Topic: Low-cost IAQ monitors for Particulate Matter Indoors
"ROCIS: Low-Cost Particle Monitoring Insights & Interventions"
Check  CIAQ website  for additional information
Dry Climate Forum on Home Performance
February 5-7, 2018, Yosemite, CA
"Reducing Indoor Particles with Filtration: Opportunities & Challenges"
Redwood Energy's 4th Zero Net Carbon Retreat
January 29, 2018, Arcata, CA
"Range Hoods: Best Design Practices for Safe Indoor Air" 
Coming Events & Presentations by ROCIS
2018 HPC National Home Performance Conference
April 23-26, 2018,
Philadelphia, PA
Our Presentations: High MERV Filters in Central Air Handlers: Opportunities & Challenges with Linda Wigington, ROCIS, Rhett Major, The Energy Doctor / ROCIS, & Iain Walker, LBNL
What Can You Do With a Consumer IAQ Monitor? with Brett Singer, LBNL & Linda Wigington, ROCIS
Coming Regional & National Events
Healthy Heart - Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health Webinar
EPA, Million Hearts, and Healthy Heart in collaboration with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
February 28, 2018 (12:00 PM - 1 PM EST)
Remote Session Online

One Health One Planet
Health Impacts and Chemicals of Concern in the Environment
March 8, 2018 (8 AM - 5 PM EST)
Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, PA

EPA IAQ Knowledge to Action Webinar
From Roof to Curb: Taking a Comprehensive Approach to IAQ Management Through Preventive Maintenance
March 8, 2018 (1-2:30 PM EST)

2018 Maine Indoor Air Quality & Energy Conference
May 1-2, 2018 (All Day)
In person or online from Portland, ME
Hosted by Maine Indoor Air Quality Council / Cost Varies

American Lung Association LungForce Expo
June 7, 2018 (7:30 AM-3:30 PM EST)
Cranberry, PA

Air Sensors International Conference
September 12-14, 2018; abstracts due April 23, 2018
Oakland, CA; Sponsors: UC Davis, CARB, & EPA

2018 Conference on Health, Environment and Energy (CHEE)
December 3 -5, 2018; Call for Presenters to open March 8
New Orleans, LA; Hosted by ACEEE
Thanks to The Heinz Endowments for support of the ROCIS initiative. 
(Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces)