"We can now begin to
treat the cause of the problem instead of the symptoms"
ROCHESTER, MINN. -- Mayo
Clinic researchers say they have found the cause of most chronic sinus
infections -- an immune system response to fungus. They say this discovery
opens the door to the first effective treatment for this problem, the most
common chronic disease in the United States.
An estimated 37 million people in the United States
suffer from chronic sinusitis, an inflammation of the membranes of the
nose and sinus cavity. Its incidence has been increasing steadily over the last
decade. Common symptoms are runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of smell and
headaches. Frequently the chronic inflammation leads to polyps, small growths
in the nasal passages which hinder breathing.
"Up to now, the
cause of chronic sinusitis has not been known," say the Mayo researchers:
Drs. David Sherris, Eugene Kern and Jens Ponikau , Mayo Clinic ear, nose and
throat specialists. Their report appears in the September issue of the journal
Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
"Fungus allergy was
thought to be involved in less than ten percent of cases," says Dr.
Sherris. "Our studies indicate that, in fact, fungus is likely the cause
of nearly all of these problems. And it is not an allergic reaction, but an
The researchers studied
210 patients with chronic sinusitis. Using new methods of collecting and
testing mucus from the nose,
they discovered fungus in 96 percent of the patients' mucus. They
identified a total of 40 different kinds of fungi in these patients, with an
average of 2.7 kinds per patient.
In a subset of 101
patients who had surgery to remove nasal polyps, the researchers found
eosinophils (a type of white blood cell activated by the body's immune system)
in the nasal tissue and mucus of 96 percent of the patients.
The results, the
researchers say, clearly portray a disease process in which, in sensitive
individuals, the body's immune system sends eosinophils to attack fungi and the
eosinophils irritate the membranes in the nose. As long as fungi remain, so
will the irritation.
a potential breakthrough that offers great hope for the millions of people who
suffer from this problem," says Dr. Kern. "We can now begin to treat
the cause of the problem instead of the symptoms."
More research is underway
at Mayo Clinic to confirm that the immune response to the fungus is the cause
of the sinus inflammation. The researchers are also working with pharmaceutical
companies to set up trials to test medications to control the fungus. They
estimate that it will be at least two years before a treatment will be widely
distinguish chronic sinusitis -- sinusitis that lasts three months or longer --
from acute sinusitis, which lasts a month or less. They say that the cause of
the acute condition is usually a bacterial infection.
Antibiotics and over-the-counter decongestants are widely
used to treat chronic sinusitis. In most cases, antibiotics are not effective
for chronic sinusitis because they target bacteria, not fungi. The
over-the-counter drugs may offer some relief of symptoms, but they have no
effect on the inflammation. Medications haven't worked for chronic
sinusitis because we didn't know what the because of the problem was,"
says Dr. Ponikau. "Finally we are on the trail of a treatment that may
Thousands of kinds of
single-cell fungi (molds and yeasts) are found everywhere in the world. Fungal
spores (the reproductive part of the organism) become airborne like pollen.
Some people develop allergies to fungi. The new evidence from the Mayo study
suggests that many people also develop a different kind of immune system
The above post is
reprinted from Mayo Clinics
provided by Q.A.C. Kevin GriffisMayo
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Mayo Clinic. "Mayo Clinic Study
Implicates Fungus As Cause Of Chronic Sinusitis." Science Daily. Science
Daily, 10 September 1999.
You need to be treated by a physic an that understands this. Not antibiotics and steroid nasal sprays.......Q.A.C.
ATLANTA –Now, finally the regular HVAC techs are going to have to learn, study, and understand mold, bacteria, off-gassing, and all the contaminants that are created in the HVAC systems (The Environmental side of the HVAC). ASHRAE- the head HVAC Organization over the HVAC Industry and the
Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) have agreedin principle to join forces, combining resources to improve
indoor air quality in the builtenvironment.Pending a three to six-month
period of due diligence, IAQA will become a part of theASHRAE organization while maintaining its own brand and Board
of Directors. IAQA will operateindependently
within ASHRAE’s organizational
structure. Plans call for IAQA headquarters to relocate fromRockville, Md., to Atlanta, Ga.,
home of ASHRAE’s international
headquarters. The agreement wasreached
between the leadership of both associations and confirmed at ASHRAE’s 2014
Annual Conferencethat concluded
earlier this month in Seattle,Wash.“This merger is beneficial to both ASHRAE and IAQA in that it
strengthens the programs and servicesof
both organizations,” Tom Phoenix,
ASHRAE president, said. “The work of IAQA complements the workof ASHRAE in its standards,
research, publications and educational offerings. We now combineour resources to ensure the industry
receives the best indoor air quality technical guidance andeducational programs possible, which means improved indoor air quality for the
Among ASHRAE’s major indoor air quality offerings are Standard 62.1, Ventilation for AcceptableIndoor Air Quality, and Standard 62.2,
Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air
Quality in Low-RiseResidential
Buildings, and publications such as the Indoor
Air Quality Guide: Best Practices for Design,Construction and Commissioning.
ASHRAE also recently announced the
formation of the IndoorEnvironmental
Quality Global Alliance, which included IAQA as a charter member. ASHRAE also
has a strongresearchprogram related to indoor air quality
with 10 current projects totaling $2.8 million, representing23 percent of ASHRAE’s researchbudget.
“This merger allows IAQA to maintain its
own brand while also providingits
members with enhanced benefits and services,” Kent Rawhouser, president of
IAQA, said. “Ourstrong history
of programs and products is expected to not only continue, but to grow as the
merger allowsusto take advantage of the resources and
programs overseen by ASHRAE. Members of IAQA andASHRAE will work collaboratively to strengthen indoor air
quality programs for the industry, andmostimportantly,
for the people who occupy homes and buildings around theworld.”IAQA provides continuing
education, conferences and expositions, certification programs,monthly webinars, technical publications
and funds indoor air quality related research. IAQA subsidiary,Indoor Environmental Standards
Organization (IESO), is an American National Standards Institute(ANSI) accredited standards developing
organization focused on indoor air quality assessment,remediation and management of indoorenvironments.
ASHRAE and IAQA programs will be
aligned to create high-impact resources for buildingprofessionals around theglobe.“Indoor air quality is vitally important
to the health and welfare of people worldwide,” Phoenix said.“Air quality systems must work
harmoniously with other systems in homes and buildings to ensure ahealthy and sustainable builtenvironment.”The Indoor Air Quality
Association (IAQA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringingpractitioners together to prevent and
solve indoor environmental problems for the benefit of customers andthe public. IAQA was established in 1995
and is the nation’s largest indoor air quality trade associationwith over 2,600 members and more than 20
local chapters across the United States and Canada.Moreinformation is
available at IAGA.org and
atIESO.org.ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is
a global society advancing human well-being throughsustainable technologyforthebuiltenvironment.TheSocietyanditsmorethan50,000membersworldwidefocusonbuilding systems, energy efficiency,
indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Throughresearch, standards writing, publishing,
certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’sbuilt environment today. More information
can be found atwww.ashrae.org/news.
Continuous Maintenance and
Studies Under theASHRAE/IAQA
Standards and Guidelines Under Continuous Maintenance ASHRAE Guideline 0, The CommissioningProcessASHRAE Guideline 10, Interactions Affecting the Achievement of
Acceptable IndoorEnvironments ASHRAE
Guideline 20, Documenting HVAC&R Work
Processes and Data ExchangeRequirements
ANSI/ASHRAE 52.2, Method of Testing
General Ventilation Air Cleaning Devices for Removal EfficiencybyParticleSizeANSI/ASHRAE 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for HumanOccupancyANSI/ASHRAE 62.1, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor AirQuality*ANSI/ASHRAE 62.2, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air
Quality in Low-Rise ResidentialBuildings
ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1, Energy Standard
for Buildings, Except Low-Rise ResidentialBuildings ANSI/ASHRAE 90.2, Energy
Efficient Design of Low-Rise ResidentialBuildingsANSI/ASHRAE 140, Standard Method of Test for the Evaluation
of Building Energy AnalysisComputer
ProgramsANSI/ASHRAE 145.2, Laboratory Test Method for Assessing the
Performance of Gas-Phase AirCleaning
Systems: Air CleaningDevicesANSI/ASHRAE 147, Reducing the Release of Halogenated
Refrigerants from Refrigerating andAir-
Conditioning Equipment andSystemsANSI/ASHRAE 154, Ventilation for Commercial CookingOperations ANSI/ASHRAE 160, Criteria for Moisture-Control Design
Analysis inBuildings ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE
170, Ventilation of Health CareFacilitiesANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES 189.1, Standards for the Design of High-Performance
Green BuildingsExceptLow-Rise ResidentialBuildiASHRAE Guideline 10, Interactions
Affecting the Achievement of Acceptable IndoorEnvironments Education
Courses: IAQA offers training courses for workers, technicians and
investigations, microbial remediation and more. To ensure the highest quality
training providers are extensively vetted by IAQA’s EducationCommittee.Course
curriculum is based on the very latest research, standards andscience.
1. What's all the fuss about "indoor"
airpollution? I always thought "outdoor" air
pollution wasthe mainproblem?Scientific evidence indicates
the air within homes and other buildings can be two to five timesmore polluted than the outdoor air, and
in some cases 1,000 times more polluted. Today people arespending nearly90%oftheirtimeindoors,agreatincreaseasopposedto twentyyearsago.Thus,the"dose"(i.e.
the concentration of pollutants multiplied by the time in that environment) is
typically greaterindoors than
outdoors. This results in a greater health risk due to exposure to air
pollution indoorsthan outdoors.
2. Are some individuals at greater risk to
indoor air pollution thanothers?Yes,
individuals who spend the longest periods of time indoors are often those most
susceptible tothe adverse effects
of indoor air pollution. Such groups include babies, the elderly, the infirm orbedridden, and those with chronic
illnesses, such as respiratory or cardiovasculardisease.Top ofPage
3. What causes indoor air qualityproblems?Two mainitems:1. Pollutant
sources: building materials and furnishings; biologicals; products for janitorial
cleaning, personal care, or activities used in offices; no IAQA maintenance of central
heating and cooling systems and humidification devices and older duct work and
improper return plenums;pesticides; past roof and plumbing leaks or other types of
water intrusion, high condensation, and dew points.
2. Poor ventilation: If too little outdoor air enters a
building, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and discomfort problems. Indoor air quality
began to decline in the 1970's after the "energy
crisis" prompted the building of "tight" houses and office
buildings. Spaces around doors and windows where outside air might previously
have leaked through are now often sealed by caulking and weather- stripping. The introduction of fresh
"makeup" air through air handling systems many times is reduced or even eliminated to save the cost of
the energy to heat or cool this fresh air. Indoor air pollutants cannot easily escape these tightly
4. How does indoor air pollution affect yourhealth?Health effects can include
irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, fatigue,and allergy-type symptoms. Usually these
symptoms are short-term, and disappear when the person isaway from the source. More serious
symptoms such as asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, andhumidifier fever can also affect some
individuals after exposure to certain indoor air pollutants. There isa tremendous amount of variation in the
sensitivity among individuals to indoor air pollutants.Some people may never experience any symptoms while others may
truly suffer. Because manysymptoms
may be difficult to distinguish from viruses, or allergies; care mustbe taken to determine if symptoms are
worse while in a particular building versus outside, or whetherthey dissipate when a person is away for
severaldays.Top of Page
5. What are some of the major indoor air pollutants
that might be found in a home or office building?Typical pollutantsinclude:
Biologicals: Bacteria, mold and
mildew, viruses, animal dander, pollen, dust mites. These are morelikely to be a problem in buildings with
high humidity, or water-damage and
non-maintained HVAC Systems.
Past building design issues,
vapor barriers, condensation issues, unbalanced air-flow patterns, and design.
Sewer gases: from blocked traps,
dry cut off traps, changes in remodeling and plumbing, non-working vent pipes
for methane and other sewer gases in older buildings.
Carbon Monoxide: From unvented gas heaters; leaking
chimneys or furnaces; gas stoves;automobile
exhaust. Low levels can cause headaches, flu-like symptoms. High levels can befatal.
Gases: From janitorial and construction products including: paints, paint
strippers, and other solvents;wood
preservatives; aerosol sprays; cleansers and disinfectants; moth repellents and
air fresheners;stored fuels and
automotive products; hobby supplies; dry-cleanedclothing.
Formaldehyde: Usually from pressed wood products
(hardwood plywood paneling, particleboard,
fiberboard) and furniture made with pressed wood products; or urea-formaldehyde
Detecting and Eliminating Causes of Coil Corrosion and all Bio-Growth
“Providing Solutions for a Healthy Indoor Environment”
Quality Air Consultants – EPA Certified
Parts of Blog; by Alan H. Brothers, Ph.D. and Q.A.C. and
by Kevin Griffis CIAQ, CIE, EPA Certified in Safe HVAC Environmental
Techniques, and the recent Techniques and products for proper maintenance and efficacy,
and longevity, of you HVAC and promoting good Indoor Air Quality Controls.
External coil corrosion appears to be on the rise. While
the possible causes of coil corrosion can stem from poorly manufactured copper,
as the prices of copper went up, the manufactures made the copper tubing
thinner and less longevity, chemical residue from coil manufacturing, and other
problems that initiate the corrosion process long before the coils arrive on a job-site, the majority of problems occur when environmental acids corrode coils
from the outside in.
On the coastal areas which also means 100 -150 miles
inward the spoil is full of sulfides, such as hydrogen sulfide, acids, which is
corrosive to copper, these elements rise from the ground as gasses and enter
the condensation produced by the coils and fins and the water becomes
corrosive. Also you have salt in the air, a corrosive, acid rain; everyone has
seen the rust and corrosion along coastal areas. This rusting, deterioration,
and corrosion is happening in every air handler in the area and by the time we
get to look at units it is already in a heavy process along the coils and no
service or maintenance has done any prevention for this problem; which by the
way is the number “1” effect that causes and will determine the live of a HVAC system.
With the cost of copper rising and the HVAC manufacture’s
stretching and thinning of the copper used to save cost, and the fact of no preventatives
being applied during maintenance, you HVAC does not have any thing preventing
this deterioration inside the air handler. Consumer activist groups have found
the expected time before a Freon leak due to corrosion is in the first 5 years;
and needing new fins and coils about the same.
These units properly maintained for the environmental
issues of the HVAC would last 15-20 years with a micro-shield type sealant that
is applied every year to coat all metal, copper, aluminum components of the air
handler and it is mold proof and prevents rust as it is a UV Teflon mold-proof,
moisture proof coating.
*Remember as the activist groups quickly found out the manufacture’s
goal is to sell you a new unit every 7 ½ years.
We recommend to person buying a new unit or building a
home to have the units sealed with all the environmental sealants before installation.
There is also a product called a “fin-saver” that
attaches to the copper line, outside or near unit as it is one continuous
copper line that runs from the outside compressor into the air-handler through
the fins and back out to compressor. This device has diodes in it that wrap
around the copper pipe and change the molecular structure of the copper that does
makes it corrosive and stops the main corrosion from happening. This is a
no-fail device as it is not electric or mechanical in anyway, needs no maintenance,
So with a shield approved by EPA – Safe Environmental
HVAC techniques and a fin saver installed, and maintenance once a year with the
sealant, you unit could go back to the 20 year longevity it should have.
A case in point is For example, a rooftop unit in a
coastal area could be corroded from ocean salt. Household bleaches, aerosol
sprays, high humidity, and other prevalent factors found in every home can
damage an indoor residential unit coil. An abundance of fertilizers, industrial
plant processes, pollution, or acid rain can corrode outdoor condensing coils.
The following list illustrates sources of coil corrosion
that could be overlooked by service technicians on commercial HVAC systems:
fermenting yeast (lactic acid from milk) in a
bakery walk-in cooler
chlorine from an indoor swimming pool or aquatic
urine (ammonia) from dead animals in meat
processing plant coolers
sulfur from well water used in cleaning coils or
rooms with coils
fertilizer (ammonia) in agricultural building evaporation coolers
Two Types of
The two most common forms of coil corrosion are pitting
and formicary. These two corrosive processes can occur in as little as a few
weeks after installation. More typically, corrosion will begin appearing within
a one-to-four-year period. The ability to distinguish between pitting and
formicary corrosion might help detect and eliminate the cause. For example,
pitting is typically caused by the presence of chlorides or fluorides.
Chlorides are found in numerous items such as snow-melting crystals, toilet
bowl/tile cleaners, dishwasher detergents, fabric softeners, vinyl fabrics,
carpeting, paint strippers, etc. Fluorides are used in many municipal water
treatment plants. Pitting, which appears on the exterior of the copper tube, is
usually visible to the naked eye. It is caused by an aggressive attack of an
anion, which is a negative-charged chemical species. The anions search for
positive-charged species called cations, which are abundant in copper. Pitting
will eventually break through to the inside of the tubing and create a leaking
Formicary corrosion is associated with pinholes in the
copper tube walls. Although this type of pinhole corrosion is not usually
visible to the naked eye, some black or blue-gray deposits often can be seen on
the surface. Formicary corrosion also exhibits a subsurface network of
microscopic corroded tunnels within the tubing wall that resemble ant nest-type
structures, immensely larger than the surface pinholes above them. Formicary
corrosion is caused by organic acids such as acetic and formic acids. Acetic
acids or the derivative acetate are abundant in numerous household products
such as adhesives, paneling, particle board, silicone caulking, cleaning
solvents, vinegar, foam insulation, and dozens of other commonly found products
in the home or commercial/industrial workplace. Formic acid can be found in
cosmetics, disinfectants, tobacco and wood smoke, latex paints, plywood, and
dozens of other materials.
Given these common products containing organic acids
attack copper, it is not surprising that coil corrosion occurs at alarming
rates. The rise in corrosion the last 20 years might also be aggravated by the
trend in tighter building construction methods, which allows less outside air
induction to dilute or clear away these corrosive, indoor buildups. Even so,
both pitting and formicary corrosions need two additional ingredients—oxygen
and water. While oxygen is nearly unavoidable, limiting moisture might help the
service technician fight or decelerate the problem.
This is a two headed problem as too much condensation
inside the air-handler and it sitting in the condensation tray or pan cause corrosion
and fungal and bacterial growth. Yes, this does include the toxic molds and
air-borne spores that are called “mycotoxins” that are inhaled by the occupant;
there are also air borne organisms of bacteria.
So the answer would
be; to eliminate the most of the condensation in the unit, get it out as
fast as possible when running, and also not let it sit in the trays while unit
is off and water is stagnate.
EPA Safe Environmental Techniques and QAC have a end of
the line “Trap pump” which works as your trap in condensation line and keeps
the condensation water primed like a water pump.
- The trap being
installed at the end can let the water line be straight coming out of unit
instead of a normal “U” shaped trap right outside unit (within a foot of unit);
which is the major cause of stoppage and clogged lines that causes flooding of
the HVAC. Your trap pump works the same except at the end of line in which is
does not allow the sludge and bacteria/fungal build-up to be large enough to
block and get caught in trap right outside unit. By the time debris runs all
the way through line it is broken up and dissolved and will not clog the pump.
- The pump captures
the negative air flow that helps push the water out of unit and keep it primed
so more than 30% more water is expelled while unit is running.* In mid-summer
time a 3 ton unit will produce 7-9 pounds of water per hour!
- The pump has a
seal in it that when the unit shuts off; cycles as we call it, the pump will
seal the line and hold the water in line, even in a 4-5 hundred foot long line;
otherwise in a normal line with just an open end, the water is pulled back up
line and into unit and sits until the unit cycles on again. So the pump
promises the water is primed and held in line the moment the unit cycles, and
no water will recede into the unit and fill trays with stagnate water.
- Also with a
normal open end line outside, the unit then cycles on and we have timed it
taking up to 45 minutes before the first drops of water come out of
condensation line. It has to prime itself every time it cycles. This is
eliminated by the pump which you can at anytime go out and take the top off and
lift the seal, and see the “tap clean” water sitting in the pump, ready to go.
- This is also a “no-fail” component; no electricity, no mechanical.
In summary, you are stopping chances of a clogged trap
and flooding, you are keeping the water out of unit that grows mold and
bacteria, you are expelling 30 % more water out of unit, and also holding the
water in the line ready primed to immediately start coming out of line when
unit cycles on; instead of having to prime itself. Maintenance would be taking
top off and cleaning once a year as to grass clippings, debris from yard,
shrubs, and weeds, etc.
In our now “Go-Green world” we have put the water you are
manufacturing in your unit to work, as having the pump in a flower garden or
herb area to water them during day, as the pump sometime can get going so fast
it is like a small sprinkler.
And no forgetting stopping corrosion as water is not
again sitting in unit and puddling in bottom of casing, or insulation siding on
the doors or floor of the unit inside and being blown around by the blower fan.
When two dissimilar metals, such as copper tubing and
aluminum fins, are in contact with each other, a "galvanic couple" is
formed, and the phenomenon of galvanic corrosion occurs. In this galvanic
couple, the metal that corrodes and the metal that is protected depend on their
relative positions in the galvanic series. Moisture is again a key factor in
this corrosive process because it acts as the electrolyte needed in the
reaction. Sea water accelerates the galvanic reaction because of its higher
conductivity than fresh water and because salts can destroy the protective
barriers on metal surfaces. The potential for galvanic corrosion is always
present between two dissimilar metals. But how quickly galvanic corrosion
results in system damage depends on variables like the electrolyte
conductivity, the amount of oxygen present and relative surface areas of each
metal. The preventatives and fin savers prevent this corrosion from taking place;
it does not let the water reach the metal surfaces or copper surfaces as it is
coated with the UV Teflon microbial sealant.
Clean to Fight Corrosion and Fungal /Bacteria Growth
Outdoor condensing coils can best fight corrosion with
periodic cleaning. Water is suitable, but existing corrosion and buildup
typically are removed more completely with a coil cleaner. Numerous Eco-Friendly
acid-based and alkaline-based coil cleaners are available. However, proper
rinsing is important to avoid the coil cleaner chemical residue that could
initiate the corrosion process. Some alkaline cleaners tout the fact that they
are "non-acid" to capitalize on the belief that acids cause corrosion.
However, alkaline cleaners also need to be rinsed thoroughly just like
acid-based cleaners because alkaline residues can also corrode aluminum and
Outdoor coils located in areas where corrosives are
prevalent, such as heavy industrial areas with acid rain or coastal areas where
ocean salt is a factor, should have frequently scheduled, periodic cleanings.
the Manufacturing Process
While no available statistics reveal the extent of
environmental corrosion, it may cause the majority of coil corrosion problems.
However, the manufacturing process itself can also initiate coil corrosion
prior to installation. Manufacturing problems can be related to anything from
poorly constructed copper tubing or lubricants coil manufactures use at their
Replacing coils corroded during the manufacturing process
or using substandard copper may not alleviate corrosion because the problem may
be inherent in the product. This is where environmental investigation comes in
and it is determined the best action to take, and a protocol set for the
maintenance of the particular unit.
Protect Coils from Corrosion
Protective coatings are an option for new coils that are
destined for corrosive applications and for existing coils that have been
repeatedly replaced due to corrosion. Numerous coatings exist. However, most
coil coatings are composed of either silanes or polymers, but the best is a Teflon microbial coating. The advantage of
coatings is they make coils virtually corrosion-proof when properly applied and
maintained. Reducing corrosion can improve long-term performance and reduce
replacement costs. New coils with
coatings can be oversized to offset the heat transfer loss. Some coating
manufacturers actually claim an increase in heat transfer, due to the way in
which water condenses and drips off coated coils.
For existing coils, some coatings can be applied in the
field by QAC specialists who clean and then spray a coating on the coil. Other
coatings can be applied by service technicians in the field. Whether a field
application is possible depends mostly on the depth of the coil. Other coatings
require sending the coil to the coating manufacturer or a specially-trained
applicator. Probably the most difficult area to reach with a coating is the gap
between the fin and tube. There are two common types of coil coatings, and both
differ greatly in chemical make-up and performance: the best time to do this is
when a new unit is going to be installed, as the ducts, plenums, and the
air-handler can be sealed.
When preparing to make a service call concerning a
corroded coil, identify the type of corrosion then search for environmental
cause(s). If possible, eliminate the source of corrosion. For irretrievable
sources, coatings might be the only answer. Call an Environmentally trained
HVAC technician that is Certified in both the regular HVAC operations and the
environmental side of the HVAC as well.
Just recently the IAQA (Indoor Air Quality Assoc.) and
ASHRAE the HVAC technicians lead organization and oversee of HVAC procedures
have joined forces to enlighten the HVAC tech to the Environmental side of the
main culprit of poor Indoor Air Quality, Sick Building Syndrome, and the health
and illness’ that can be inhaled by occupants or employees as they inhale the “conditioned
air” in a home or building. The understanding and awareness has taken place to
understand the importance and severity of toxins being inhaled and ingested by
persons when an HVAC system has not been maintained by environmentally trained
All chemicals used in
Remediation or Maintenance of HVAC EPA approved and CDC Safe Eco-Friendly
Alan H. Brothers is a senior materials engineer for Mainstream Engineering,
Rockledge, Fla., a leading research & development company specializing in
thermal control and heat pump development. Brothers has a Bachelor's Degree in
Engineering and Applied Science from California Institute of Technology, and a
doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University.
Brothers continued his doctoral research on the processing and properties of light
metals under a Helmholtz Fellowship from the Hahn-Meitner Institute in Berlin.
Additionally he has researched the corrosion of aluminum in organic liquids and
the use of coatings to mitigate corrosion in aluminum and galvanized steel HVAC
components. He is the author or co-author of twelve peer-reviewed technical
publications and a number of conference presentations
Q.A.C. – Quality Air Consultants is the oldest and
original environmental company is the south GA. area for the consulting,
assessments, and Remediation and Maintaining of HVAC systems for a Quality
Indoor Air in Commercial or Residential Settings Offers maintenance Contracts
for companies and residential HVAC systems to ensure healthy and safe air Indoors.
Testing and Analysis is available also.
Building Syndrome is when a company or office building has contaminated and
poor Indoor Air quality, and complaints from employees.
have been done to prove when these type companies HVAC systems and indoor air
is environmentally maintained by Certified Company that absenteeism goes down rapidly,
Production goes up dramatically, and the overall well-being of workforce has
better work habits, attitudes improve, and office employee energy is improved.
News Letter on Research Provided To You By:
Quality Air Consultants
Indoor Mold Exposure Can Post Health Risk To Asthma
Dr. Richard Sharpe PhD
Study – Health and Housing
European Centre for Environment and Human Health
University of Exeter Medical school
Knowledge Spa, Royal Cornwall Hospital
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the
Dr. Sharpe: By systematically reviewing the findings from 17
studies across 8 different countries, we’ve found that increased levels of the
fungal species Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium can pose a
significant health risk to people with
The presence of these fungi in the home can worsen symptoms in both children
and adults.Recent indoor air testing shows an increase in these mold's and the airborne spores they produce which are inhaled and ingested by the occupants.
Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Sharpe: Dampness and fungal contamination
in the home has been consistently shown to increase the risk of asthma and the
severity of its symptoms. Fungi are ubiquitous in indoor and outdoor
environments, and most studies have focused on visible fungi and moldy odors or
on identifying fungi to the genera, but not on the type of species. This is
important to consider because there are many different allergenic fungal
species, but it is not clear how the diversity and indoor concentrations are
influenced by occupant behaviors, the built and outdoor environment. Majority
of the evidence reviewed focuses on the exacerbation of asthma symptoms, and
few assess their role in the development of asthma. So far Aspergillus and
Penicillium species have already been linked to an increase in the risk of
asthma development in children, but we know little about the effects of the
other species we considered.
HVAC contamination has become one of the main contributors of these molds, as most I.A.Q. personnel have found the proper maintenance and sanitizing of the units have not been done and people are unaware to the environmental side of the HVAC's performance. If infected with these molds the units are blowing out toxic spores into the indoors; the "conditioned air" we now breathe if found with these spores is just cycling the air throughout the entire indoor air quality.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients
take away from your report?
Characterized by typically high
humidity, homes with poor heating and ventilation can be a haven for house dust
mites and mold. Dampness is one of the major factors affecting the growth of
mold inside homes – a problem which has been on the rise as aging houses are
sealed and retrofitted with new energy efficient technology. We currently know
very little about how people’s living habits can contribute to indoor air quality,
and ultimately affect their health. This study highlights the need for homes to
have adequate heating, ventilation and home maintenance – all factors that will
help to reduce the presence of mold and its effects on asthma
symptoms. Again have I.A.Q. personnel determine the climate in which you live and how to adjust the dew points, temperature inversions, and humidity's.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for
future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Sharpe: We recommend that future studies
should consider the adoption of a multidisciplinary approach using both
molecular and epidemiologic tools to accurately estimate the extent and timing
of exposures and reliably assess their potential health effects.
Richard A. Sharpe, Nick Bearman, Christopher R. Thornton,
Kerryn Husk, Nicholas J. Osborne. Indoor fungal diversity and asthma:
A meta-analysis and systematic review of risk factors. Journal of
Allergy and Clinical Immunology
, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.07.002
Physician in practice over 30 years.Editor of
MedicalResearch.com. All interviews conducted exclusively for
MedicalResearch.com by Marie Benz, MD.
Not Intended As Specific Medical
Material provided on this site is for background educational
use only. It is not intended as specific medical advice.
Please consult your primary care provider regarding your specific medical
In the event of an emergency, call 911.
Thank you for visiting MedicalResearch.com Editor, Marie
Benz MD Email MedicalResearch.com
Latest update: 5-9-2014 .
A recent U.S. study systematically surveyed 31 reports, giving a total of nearly 6,000 autopsies. Of these cases, anywhere from 6 to 100% showed evidence of misdiagnosis - indicating that the doctors diagnosed and then treated incorrectly, which presumably often contributed to death of their patients.
28% of all autopsies in the study revealed evidence of at least one missed diagnosis, and 8% evidence of a Class I (Goldman criteria) error which means that the misdiagnosis could have contributed to, or directly caused an unecessary death (the most common of which were heart attack, pulmonary embolism, artery blockage in the lungs, pneumonia and aspergillosis). Aspergillosis is a fungal infectious disease caused by toxic molds of the genus Aspergillus through inhalation or ingestion of the air-borne spores (mycotoxins) produced by the fungal growth.
This is clearly a serious issue, and one estimate given for the United States is that 40,500 deaths occur in Intensive Care Units every year as aresult of misdiagnosis. Given that aspergillus is one of the most common of these, (up to 30% of Class I Misdiagnosises - though the paper is not clear on this). Sadly, this could account for up to 13,000 potentially preventable deaths a year, had patients been properly diagnosed and then treated for the correct condition. For a rare infection such as aspergillosis, that number of deaths would represent a substantial increase in the number of recorded fatal infections per year.
This suggests several causes of underdiagnoseses, but the principle factor is suggested to be the lack of autopsies carried out to check Clinicians original diagnosis - the rate of autopsies carried out for this purpose has been steadily falling over many years, in many countries, including the United States and Europe.
Aspergillus is the most common toxic mold found in the Southeast US in Indoor Air Quality testing and could be directly related to any and all respiratory illness' and symptoms. If you or anyone in your family or business is experiencing respiratory symptoms it would be recommended to have your indoor air quality tested to determine if mycotoxins are present in your indoor environment as this may result in the re-evaluation of your treatment and diagnosis. From sinusitis to lung disease present in any home or dwelling; no matter the age, condition, or construction, it is strongly recommmended that you have the indoor air environment tested for your quality of treatment, providing all the evidence that may be affecting you, and to ensure a proper diagnosis so that all factors and causes have been taken into consideration in your care.
Aspergillus and Cladosporium are the two most common toxic molds detected upon testing by Quality Air Consultants in the interiors of both professional offices and residential homes. The Latest News from the the United States on the recent fungal mengitis outbreak is that 300 suspected cases have now been recorded (54 confirmed by the CDC), sadly with 23 deaths across 16 States. There are likely 14,000 patients who may have been exposed to the contaminated preparation of Methylprednisolone Acetate and 3 contaminating fungi have been detected: Exserohylium Rostratum, Aspergillus Fumigatus and Cladosporium. Additionally, there have been 3 cases of joint infection where the contaminated injectable solution was utilized. CDC current update: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have released complete lists of all customers supplied with the suspect batch of medication and a complete listing of all recalled drugs. Further vigilance by individuals is being encouraged, as the incubation period for Aspergillus infections can be as long as four weeks or longer.
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"Not another antibiotic," I complained to the doctor. "I've already taken two rounds without success. I really don't think it will do any good." As I sat in the fourth doctor's office in the past six months, I began to experience extreme frustration. Not only had I been sick for half a year, but every doctor I'd tried pronounced the same diagnosis, "chronic sinusitis", and prescribed the same treatment, antibiotics. Each time I proceeded with the suggested course of action, my symptoms would improve short term, only to return a few weeks later. It was abundantly clear to me that antibiotics were not the answer and neither were all of the natural therapies I had tried; however, I found it nearly impossible to convince any medical professional of this fact.
Feeling both disappointment and defeat, I began to realize that it was going to be up to me to determine the cause of my illness and also the remedy. After reading several books and web pages, I determined that my symptoms were all common to one specific culprit. My chronic sinusitis, sore throat, clogged ears, itchy skin, headaches, and fatigue could all be caused by...mold. To further support my conclusion, a Mayo Clinic research study designated fungus as the root cause of most cases of sinusitis.
How would I know if mold was making me sick? After skimming over an advertisement in the local newspaper one fateful day, I decided to give Quality Air Consultants a call. From the moment I spoke with owner Kevin Griffis, I felt a sense of relief. He knew and understood my situation thoroughly and was willing to do anything within his power to help. A few days after speaking with me, he air-tested my home for mold, and sure enough, the levels were astronomically high for a safe living environment. Kevin and his staff cleaned the HVAC system, fogged the building, and applied a special sealant to prevent further mold growth. Following the clean-up they did a repeat air test, which he copied to me, revealing that the mold infestation was abated.
Within days, my symptoms began to improve. My sinuses cleared and my energy began to increase. I felt as though I had my life back. Unlike most home renovation/remediation companies, Kevin closely monitored my progress through periodic emails and/or phone calls. Months later when my symptoms returned, he immediately came to my home for a repeat air test free of charge. When the test revealed mold levels had again started to rise, he searched high and low until he discovered a small, hidden box in the attic off the air system where mold continued to grow. Quality Air Consultants removed the box and fogged my home again free of charge.
Today I still struggle with mold exposure. As Kevin and I have discovered, I am unfortunately a highly sensitive individual where mold is concerned, and it can be difficult to convince employers of the severity and devastating effects of toxic mold exposure. However, I have been thoroughly impressed and grateful for Kevin's dedication and diligence in providing continuous mold remediation service for my living environment. He has demonstrated a care and concern for me as a customer and as a human being that is extremely rare in the business world. I now consider Kevin a life-long friend, and I truly believe me would do anything within his power to ensure my health is not adversely affected by mold exposure. I feel very confident in recommending Quality Air Consultants to anyone who is struggling with unexplained symptoms that not alleviated by conventional or holistic medical care. Perhaps it's the air that you innocently breath each day that's making you sick!
Over the last 30 years evidence has been accumulating that many people who develop severe asthma also show evidence of a fungus (mold) in their lungs called Aspergillus.
Many readers will be familiar with aspergillus as the fungal mold that can cause severe invasive infections in mostly immunocompromised people. High Risk, low immune; include children, elderly, patients with illness', and some medicines that can lower the immune system. But realize that Aspergillus at high levels can also effect persons who are completely healthy.
Chronic infections caused by Aspergillus are CPA which is "Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis", shows up in many patients with scarred airways or lung tissue due to previous infections. Once scarred the airways tend to lose their 'cleaning system' for that area, allowing infections to settle in.
Apart from these exceptions people who have healthy immune systems are pretty safe from infection by Aspergillus- except for asthma and Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA).
ABPA is a well described condition effecting some immunocompetant people who develop a chronic non-invasive infection in their lungs. People vulnerable to this include asthma and cystic fibrosis.
Asthmatics; around 25-50% have fungal sensitivity (SAFS), equating to about 1-3 million persons in the US. Some doctors are already treating SAFS with an anti-fungal medication with good success.
Good Indoor Air Quality can reduce and eliminate these aspergillus spores from the indoor environment, where for example children now spend well over 90% of their time.