High concentrations of chemicals can be present when carrying out the following activities:
Particulates are present in the air no matter what you do. They tend to increase in concentration if work is carried out in a closed environment. The breathing rate is also increased along with most physical activities, so it is important to wear some level of protection to maintain a good sense of well being.
- Liquid cleaning around the home
- Car work
- Garden spraying
- Nail polish removal
High concentrations of particulates can be present when carrying out the following activities:
High levels of particulates can be found in the following residential environments:
- Garden spraying
If you are in doubt as to the nature of chemical agent and feel the need to wear a mask, then it would be sensible to acquire a product with a sub-micron particulate layer and a DACC™ layer, like the Aero mask with chemical filter, or the Techno mask.
The following list of agents have been tested using DACC™:
KEY TO FILTRATION PROPERTIES
E = EXCELLENT
G = GOOD
M = MODERATE
P = POOR
The list is not exhaustive and other chemicals may well be absorbed by DACC™ but have yet to tested.
- Cigarette smoke - M
- Camphor - E
- Degreasing solvents - E
- Deodorisers - E
- Detergents - E
- Perfumes - M
- Poultry odours - E
- Rancid oils & fats - E
- Resins - E
- Rubber - E
- Stale odours - E
- Tar odours - E
- Turpentine - E
- Wood alcohol - E
- Nitrogen - P
The following text is from George Kosch:
Why should we be concerned with Indoor Pollution?
Because we spend 90% of our time indoors. Also a recent EPA report ranked indoor pollution at the top of the list of environmental risks Americans face.
What is Indoor Air Pollution?
Smoke, odors, mildew, mold and dust are some of the indoor pollutants that are easy to see and smell. Others, like gases, certain chemicals, bacteria, pollen and static electricity are harder to detect. Formaldehyde is one example of an invisible pollutant. It enters the air from synthetic materials such as carpeting, upholstery and wall paneling.
The average home collects 40 pounds of dust a year, which plays host to 15 species of mites that live in beds, pillows, stuffed furniture, etc. These almost invisible critters live about 45 days, but 42,000 of them can survive in one ounce of mattress dust. Dust mites alone send asthmatics to hospital rooms more than 200,000 times a year with allergic reactions to their sheddings, according to researchers at the University of Virginia.
Why is it such a problem?
During the energy crisis we began to insulate and seal our buildings more thoroughly. This saved energy, but caused pollutants to be trapped indoors. We get very little fresh air into these structures. We keep concentrating the pollutants in our sealed up homes and offices. The variety of chemicals used in our modern day building materials is a big offender. We also pollute indoor air with toxins in household products and furnishings.
How serious is this?
Indoor air pollution can be far worse than outdoor pollutants. EPA's study found some chemicals 100 times higher than outdoor levels.
What medical problem can it cause?
Breathing problems are most common. Some people report dizziness, headaches, burning eyes, aching throats or loss of energy-symptoms often mistaken for colds or viruses, but disappear when victims leave the building. Allergies, depression and chronic illness may also be a result.
Who's most vulnerable?
Generally children and the elderly - and anyone occupying a newly constructed home, office or building.
What can be done about it?
It's always wise to eliminate the cause of the problem, by using nontoxic cleaning products, furnishings and building materials. Nontoxic paints and sealant will seal in toxic vapors from walls, floors, particle board and linoleum. Make sure you have adequate ventilation. Spray and wick products, basically perfumes, are pollutants themselves. Most air filters are only partially effective.
What is Ozone?
Ozone, a three atom form of activated oxygen, is a normal trace element in the earth's atmosphere. Because gaseous ozone is highly reactive, it readily oxidizes organic matter and kills bacteria and molds.
How is Ozone produced?
Nature creates ozone, which purifies the air, by electrical discharges or by lightning. In other words, ozone is created by electrical energy in air space. Now, technology has created ozone generators.
Why use Ozone?
Ozone actually purifies the air through the process of oxidation. Ozone is a form of oxygen which has been electrically energized. The energy makes ozone more chemically active than oxygen. Most odoriferous substances ( indoor air pollutants) are unsaturated which means their molecular structure is not closed and will readily breakdown with oxygen. Ozone actually breaks down odor-causing molecules such as hydrocarbons (HC) into water vapor (H20). An ozone generator does not mask odors with perfume or chemicals. It oxidizes (changes the substance of) odor molecules.
What are negative ions?
Ions are electrically - charged particles, either positive or negative, generated by the natural radiation from the earth and the sun, and by waterspray and lightning. A negative ion is formed when as electron attaches itself to an oxygen molecule. Negative ions revitalize and freshen air. Fresh country air has a natural ion balance of 1,000 to 4,000 ions per cubic centimeter, with a ratio of 5 positive ions to 4 negative. Negative ions, like ozone, are also created as a result of nature's lightning storms and assist in purifying air.
Why do we need negative ions?
Ions are short-lived and thus need constant replenishing from nature. In our artificial environments, the ion balance is critically upset. Central heating and air conditioning systems cause negative ions to disappear from friction. Once air is inside an office or home with windows closed, it has little chance of being re-ionized. In cities where the ground is paved over and ionization from the earth cannot take place, this balance is greatly aggravated.
Article from USA TODAY
The EPA states that you're more likely to get sick from pollution in your home or office than from pollution outdoors. "Everyone is exposed to some form of indoor air pollution. We believe indoor pollution is a serious problem"
The EPA studied 10 office buildings, schools and nursing homes for five years. At least 500 harmful chemicals turned up in each of the four buildings. Main sources: fumes from room dividers, telephone cables, paint and carpeting.
Formaldehyde gas can provoke asthma attacks and cause memory loss, depression and gynecological problems. The EPA lists formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. It is used as a bonding agent in thousands of products: car bodies, counter tops, deodorants, electronic equipment, particleboard, plywood and fiberboard are even bigger sources. Problems arise when formaldehyde seeps from furniture, carpeting and other products, especially when they are new.
Organic volatile gases are found in many household products, including dry cleaned clothing, paints, solvents (cleaners and degreasers), wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, air fresheners, stored fuels, hobby supplies, disinfectants, repellents and automotive products. One example, methylene chloride, which can cause cancer in animals, is widely used in paint removers and as a propellant in aerosol spray paint. One half billion pounds go into consumer products annually.
Such biological pollutants as mold, pollen, dust mites and dander affect 25 million people, contributing to asthma, hay fever and headaches. Air conditioners and humidifiers provide the condition in which they breed.
Asbestos was used in ceilings from 1945 to 1975, as an insulation on hot water and steam pipes from 1920 to 1972 and as wall and ceiling insulation from 1930 to 1950. When loose asbestos fibers are inhaled they can cause cancer.
Gas, Wood & Coal
These fuels and kerosene stoves emit carbon monoxide and nitrogen which can cause breathing problems. High levels of CO can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea.
> Work Place - There are countless environments where specific or non-specific pollution may occur and it is next to impossible to evaluate all possibilities and suggest one or other of our mask. Click to read more.
> Fire Services - The Health and Safety at Work (1974) Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations specify that companies have a legal responsibility to provide appropriate protection, for their employees, against identified hazards. Click to read more.
> Urban Environment - Working in the urban environment subjects its occupants to almost the same levels of pollution as a cyclist. Anybody, working for continuous or consistent periods of time in the urban environment where high levels of pollution occur, should use respiratory protection. Click to read more.
> Home Environment - If you are concerned about chemical agents being present when working at home, then it is always best to find information on the packaging of any product that should state the chemical agent's nature (poisonous or caustic or other) and what type of protection is required if appropriate. Click to read more.