1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

July 6, 2008

:188 Purification Media

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:188 EcoTip: A variety of types of purification media are available for portable air purifiers. Some people find they must use an alternative media because they do not tolerate the standard type of activated carbon, which is usually made from coconut shells.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested review: :179, :180, :181, :182, :183, :184, :185, :186, :187      

Available activated carbon alternatives include: wood carbon, lignite and zeolite. Some types of activated carbon are treated to help increase their ability to adsorb chemicals and odors. If you find you are not tolerating your air purification unit, try the you can try the following scientific approach to figuring out the problem by testing one thing at a time. (Caution, if you are severely sensitive (MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, EI, environmentally ill …) – you should consult with your physician before trying the following):

1). You may want to do this outside and wearing old clothes and gloves since the activated carbon can leave black marks.

2). Remove and set the filters aside on a clean surface. If the unit is used, then this is a good time to plan on replacing filters and their media. If you want to reuse the filters make sure you note which way they came out so they can be reinstalled in the same way.   

3). Make sure the inside of the purifier is clean.

4). Close the unit – with the filters out – and smell it to see if it is okay. If it has an odor, or you don’t react to it well, then trying different media probably won’t help. You may want to try a different purifier.

5). If the unit smelled okay when it was turned off, then try turning it on and operating it without the filters. If it still seems okay, then trying different media may help.

6). Before inserting any of the media or filters – try smelling each of them to see if they are okay. If they aren’t okay outside of the unit, they won’t be okay inside the unit when it is running.

7). Insert the filters one at a time. Turn the unit on and see how it is. If it is okay add the next filter. Keep doing this unit you find a filter that is not acceptable for you. Remove the offensive filter and keep adding the rest until the unit is operating with filters you tolerate.

8). Decide what substitute filters to try base on which ones are not acceptable for you.

Allermed is a manufacturer of a variety of air purification devices for people with chemical sensitivities. They have a variety of types of filters, activated carbon and zeolite available. They also have stainless steel purifiers for those that don’t tolerate plastic housings.

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June 27, 2008

:179 Well-Tuned Home

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:179 EcoTip: The well-tuned home can help exclude elevated levels of outdoor contaminants when conditions are bad.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :039, :040, :041, :042, :043, :044, :045  

This week it has become apparent how important a well-tuned home is when adverse outdoor conditions are present. There are over 800 wildfires burning throughout California. The smoke today was so bad the sun could barely be seen through the haze. The nearest fire is about 20 miles away, but the weather conditions seem to be concentrating the smoke at ground level throughout the entire valley. Even being outside for a few seconds is quite uncomfortable. We’ve been keeping our home’s doors and windows closed and that seems to be doing a good job at keeping the smoke out.

Homes that aren’t as well-tuned will tend to have greater problems with smoke or other contaminants entering or infiltrating from the outside. This is because they will tend to be depressurized causing them to suck outdoor air into the building through available pathways. A major source of depressurization would be caused by leaking duct-work and an unbalanced ventilation system. The low level of chemical out-gassing we have from our furniture and indoor finishings means we can also keep our house more closed up during the times when it becomes necessary.

It may seem like sealing the home would be more important, but sealing isn’t enough. The EcoTips listed above in the suggested review are some of the main tips that can help balance a home to keep outdoor contaminants like smoke from entering. Science

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