Missouri Maps and Reports Radon Testing in Public Schools

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services provides radon information for the public, including data on radon testing in public schools. Most of the state’s counties are in Zone 2, the USEPA classification, where predicted average indoor radon screening levels would be from 2 to 4 pCi/L. Eleven counties are in Zone 1, where predicted average indoor radon screening levels greater than 4 pCi/L, the recommended USEPA action level.

Interactive mapping of radon testing in public schools allows filtering by county and school name in order to zoom to results or statewide data can be viewed of all counties and districts. Selections include public schools and districts tested. Map background may be chosen.https://ogi.oa.mo.gov/DHSS/EPHT_radonSchool/index.html

Tabular data breaks out data per the school year (August through May). The data are available from the department’s Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology, Indoor Air Quality Database.

For the school year 2013-2014, elevated levels of radon were reported in 13.79% of the 145 structures tested. The number of school districts tested was 28, with 107 schools being tested. Classrooms tested equaled 3050 and of those 82 had elevated results. The estimated number of people potentially exposed, which includes students, teachers and others, was 114,402. During the school year 2014-2015 the number of potentially exposed dropped to 91,962.

For more information about radon in Missouri, contact:
Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology
Telephone: 573-751-6102 or (toll-free) 866-628-9891
Email: info@health.mo.gov

Article Source: http://www.radonleaders.org/node/21693

Air Quality Visibly Bad From Brush Fires Burning In Ventura, Sylmar

VENTURA (CBSLA) — With two large brush fires burning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, air quality was visibly bad Tuesday, even with strong winds blowing much of the smoke out onto the ocean.

Our radar picking up smoke from the – poor air quality… blaze has now burned 45,000 acres with zero containment

A large bank of smoke from the Thomas Fire was visible from SKY2 over Ventura, Santa Paula and Ojai. The strong winds that are pushing flames west are similarly scattering plumes of gray smoke out over the region.

Further inland, the Creek Fire burning over Sylmar is giving an apocalyptic hue to the morning commute along the 5 Freeway.

 

Horrible air quality in the valley this morning due to the as viewed from Mulholland Drive. Most of the valley can’t be seen from up here.

Further inland, the Creek Fire burning over Sylmar is giving an apocalyptic hue to the morning commute along the 5 Freeway.

SMOKE ADVISORY: the near and is affecting our air quality:

A smoke advisory issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District says that wind-blown smoke is making the air most hazardous in the San Fernando Valley and Malibu areas. The agency says everyone in these areas should avoid vigorous outdoor or indoor exercise, and people with respiratory or heart disease, pregnant women, seniors, and children were urged to remain indoors.

More than 50 miles away, officials from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District said that even though classes are in session, students are being kept indoors due to smoky conditions.

“School is in session; however, we will be running on an indoor schedule today, including for physical education, lunch and recess,” a statement from Superintendent Ben Drati posted on the district’s website said.

The Thomas Fire also forced the Getty Center to close to the public “to protect collections from smoke from fires in the region,” according to Getty officials. The Villa in Pacific Palisades is also closed, per its usual Tuesday schedule.

Southern California is enduring its second day of destructive Santa Ana winds that are being blamed for whipping up flames from both brush fires and sending embers beyond fire lines to start new fires.

Red Flag warnings, signifying the risk of wildfires, remain in effect across most of Los Angeles County and down south into Orange County. Tuesday’s warnings are scheduled to expire at 6 p.m., but forecasters say Santa Ana winds could persist into Friday or Saturday.

The gusty winds also have the potential to bring down trees and power lines, and already brought down several big rig trucks along the 210 Freeway in Fontana.

Article Source: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/12/05/air-quality-ventura-sylmar-brush-fires/

 

42 Lenox Hill Cooling Towers Tested Positive For Legionella Bacteria, City Says

42 Lenox Hill Cooling Towers Tested Positive For Legionella Bacteria, City Says

LENOX HILL, NY — After testing every cooling tower in the Lenox Hill neighborhood following a June outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, the city Department of Health found that more than 40 towers tested positive for trace amounts of Legionella bacteria, a department spokesman told Patch.

The city tested the neighborhood’s 116 cooling towers and found that 42 towers had trace amounts of the bacteria, the Department of Health spokesman said. Of those 42 towers that tested positive, 24 had levels that could cause the disease to spread to humans, according to the spokesman The city has ordered buildings to fully clean and disinfect the towers that tested positive, but has not identified where the towers that tested positive are located.”During the field investigation, disease detectives closely monitored laboratory reports for any additional cases while water ecologists sampled every cooling tower in the cluster area,” the spokesman said in a statement sent to Patch.

“Approximately 100 Health Department personnel were involved in the response as they sought to prevent additional cases and raise awareness. The Health Department has the most sophisticated disease monitoring system of any municipal health department in nation – every day, disease detectives monitor hospital emergency departments and laboratory reports for over 75 reportable diseases, and water ecologists quickly respond to environmental hazards related to Legionnaires’ and other diseases to keep New Yorkers safe.”The tests were conducted after the city identified a Legionnaires’ disease cluster in the Lenox Hill neighborhood in June. During the outbreak seven people were hospitalized after contracting the disease. Of those seven people, one person who was elderly and had “significant underlying health conditions” died, the Department of Health said in June.After the June 16 outbreak one more person who worked in the area became sick with Legionnaires’ disease and was hospitalized, but has recovered, a Department of Health spokesman said.The city has closed its investigation into the Legionnaires’ cluster even though it was unable to discover the source of the outbreak. The Department of Health is rarely able to match a patient’s DNA with the source of an outbreak such as a cooling tower, a department spokesman told Patch.Legionnaires’ symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion and diarrhea and generally surface two to 10 days after contact with the bacteria Legionella. Common culprits in the spread of the Legionella bacteria include cooling towers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems, the Department of Health said.The disease cannot be spread from one person to another, the Department of Health said in a statement.

Article Source: https://patch-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/patch.com/new-york/upper-east-side-nyc/amp/27169956/42-lenox-hill-cooling-towers-tested-positive-for-legionella-bacteria-city-says

Sick Building: Fungi Release Toxin Directly Into Air, Study Finds

Toxins from mold can aerosolize directly into the air, which may help explain one cause of sick building syndrome, French researchers said Friday.

Mold growing in buildings can make people sick, especially people who are allergic to various fungi. It’s also known that various molds and fungi produce mycotoxins — chemicals that can sicken and even kill people and animals.

What’s not been entirely clear is how mold growing in and on walls or elsewhere in buildings might make people sick.

Jean-Denis Bailly of the University of Toulouse in France and colleagues tested three common types of fungi that can grow inside buildings and found that their mycotoxins could and did disperse into the air until normal conditions.

“These toxins can subsequently be aerosolized, at least partly, from moldy material,” they wrote in their report in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, published by the American Society for Microbiology.

“This transfer to air requires air velocities that can be encountered in ‘real life conditions’ in buildings.

The three species they tested were Penicillium brevicompactum, Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys chartarum, all of which grew on wallpaper in their lab.

They all also produce mycotoxins.

Related: These diseases are a growing threat, U.N. says

“It is estimated that, in Northern Europe and North America, 20 percent to 40 percent of buildings display macroscopically visible (visible to the eye) fungal growth,” they wrote.

“For instance, Aspergillus versicolor, a potent producer of sterigmatocystin (STG), is one of the most frequent fungal contaminant of indoor environments that can be found together on building materials, in dust or in the air samples.”

 Here are unexpected places mold might be lurking in your home: Rossen Reports Update 4:44

The team first grew the three fungi on ordinary wallpaper, and then tested to see if the toxins they produce could get into the air without some sort of interference, such as tearing down walls.

Related: EPA workers say their building is a sick one

“We demonstrated that mycotoxins could be transferred from a moldy material to air, under conditions that may be encountered in buildings,” Bailly said in a statement.

The pieces were as small as or smaller than spores and “could be easily inhaled by occupants and deeply penetrate into (the) respiratory tract,” they wrote.

“It seems important to take these data in consideration for risk assessment related to fungal contamination of indoor environment and the possible toxicity associated to inhalation of these toxins.

Article Source : http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/sick-building-fungi-release-toxin-directly-air-study-finds-n776126

Allergy Sufferers…..Having a Hack of a Time!

Tampa, FL—Each Year the first Tuesday of May is dedicated as “World Asthma Day” to create awareness of the causes, symptoms and treatments for asthma. Cost of Student Absence in FLAsthma is one common respiratory disorder often characterized by difficulty in breathing, chest congestion, wheezing and coughing. Asthmatics, who suffer from this ailment, are diagnosed with narrow airways and inflamed lungs. The symptoms may be triggered or exacerbated due to allergens, infections, exercise, stress, chemical irritants and other environmental or clinical factors.

According to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, released in December 2016, there were 383,000 deaths due to asthma in 2015. Most of these deaths occurred in low and lower-middle income countries. Approximately 235 million people currently suffer from asthma and it is more common in children than others. According to the CDC, Vitalsigns™ May 2011, 1 in 12 people (about 25 million) have asthma and the numbers are increasing every year. The CDC National Current Asthma Prevalence (2015) estimated 24,633 individuals suffer from this chronic disease. The National Asthma Mortality (2015) rate is estimated at 10.3% per million. Asthma costs the US about $56 billion in medical costs, lost school, work days, and early deaths in 2007.

The strongest risk factors for developing asthma are inhaled substances and particles that may provoke allergic reactions or irritate the airways. Medication can control asthma, but avoidance of allergens responsible for asthma triggering can also reduce or limit the asthmatic attack. Some commonly identified environmental allergens that may cause asthma are, but not limited to; molds, pollen grains, dust mites, cockroaches, rodents, pet dander, chemicals, dusts and other biogenic or abiogenic particulates besides environmental factors. These allergens are dispersed in our surroundings and one can be easily exposed to them. An adequate and appropriate management for preventing asthma due to the above allergens, apart from medical intervention, requires proper identification and prevalence.

To avoid suffering due to seasonal asthma, it is a good idea to know and understand the allergens perpetuating in the surroundings responsible for symptom exasperation. Asthmatics, may consider collecting air and surface samples using Do-It-Yourself screen tests and, with laboratory assistance on the collected samples, can reveal valuable information to strategize asthma managements including the available treatment options. A simple Building Health Check evaluation can also be performed to evaluate and mitigate the allergens that may initiate asthmatic symptoms.

Contact Dr. Rajiv Sahay, CIAQP, FIAS at (800) 422-7873, Ext. 304 for additional information.

EDLab - Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory
EDLab – Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory

Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab):

Alan Wozniak founded Pure Air Control Services, Inc. in 1984 as a small, mechanical, contracting firm and has since set the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis, environmental laboratory and remediation. Pure Air Control Services has serviced more than 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.

The Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) (established in 1992) at Pure Air Control Services (PACS) is an environmental lab offering complete and comprehensive indoor environmental microbiology laboratory services. They include: microbiology, aerobiology, chemistry, allergen assays and microscopy designed to meet all your indoor air needs. EDLab supports IAQ investigations by assisting with strategic sampling plan development and supplying media collection equipment while performing a wide range of environmental analyses.

Article Source: http://pureaircontrols.com/allergy-sufferers-hack-time/

Trees Exploding with Pollen? What’s in Your Air

Tampa, FL —  Pollen grains trigger allergenic reactions in tens of millions of people worldwide annually. Common symptoms of these allergies include, but are not limited to, asthma, rhinitis, hay fever, watery eyes, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, increased mucous, headaches, etc. Inhalation and contact are the most frequent means of exposure. Nose, nasal passage, mouth, eyes, and skin are primary sites that witness allergenic reactions. Pollen grains are fine, dust-like, biological particulates that may be yellow, white or other shades. Technically speaking, they are male reproductive units of flowering plants.

A number of methods are known for pollen transportation from plant to plant such as wind, insects, birds, other animals and water. Out of these methods, air dispersal of pollen grains is exceedingly important for allergy suffers. Diversity and density of these grains in air are highly variable and may be correlated with floristic composition, seasonality and other prevailing meteorological conditions in and around that specific place.

However, spring, summer and fall have been identified as distinct allergy seasons. Allergy symptoms may vary depending on an individual’s susceptibility apart from seasonality. It has been observed that geographical areas with hot, dry and windy days are more suitable for higher concentrations of pollen grains in air compared to others.

In absence of well-defined, universal therapeutics for pollen allergy, management and treatments for such ailments are important. Pollen season, ambient pollen load, pollen distribution patterns, as well as pollen release time are significant for clinical manifestation. To avoid the allergy symptoms due to seasonal pollen sprees, it is a good idea to know and understand the pollen counts e.g. Allergy & Asthma Alert -AAA in your surroundings.

Pollen allergy sufferers may consider collecting air and surface samples using Do-It-Yourself screen tests and with the help of a laboratory evaluation on the collected samples. This provides valuable information for their treatment options, which can be determined by an allergist/medical practitioner, choosing the best and right option in specific cases, including immunotherapy.

 

Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab):

Alan Wozniak founded Pure Air Control Services, Inc. in 1984 as a small, mechanical, contracting firm and has since set the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis, environmental laboratory and remediation. Pure Air Control Services has serviced more than 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.

The Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) (established in 1992) at Pure Air Control Services (PACS) is an environmental lab offering complete and comprehensive indoor environmental microbiology laboratory services. They include: microbiology, aerobiology, chemistry, allergen assays and microscopy designed to meet all your indoor air needs. EDLab supports IAQ investigations by assisting with strategic sampling plan development and supplying media collection equipment while performing a wide range of environmental analyses.

The company’s expanding client roster includes the General Services Administration (GSA); US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Allstate Insurance; Carrier Air Conditioning; US Naval Air Warfare Center, Orlando; and Naval Air Station – King’s Bay, Georgia, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air Control Services/EDLab the reliable industry leader in IAQ.

For more information on EDLab at Pure Air Services, Inc. please contact Dr. Rajiv Sahay, CIAQP, FIAS, at (800) 422-7873 x 304, or visit www.edlab.org.

Article Source: http://pureaircontrols.com/allergies-got-may-air/