California Interagency Working Group on Indoor
Air Resources Board, Sacramento, CA
AGENCY REPORTS ON CURRENT IAQ ACTIVITIES
American Lung Association of Los Angeles County (ALA-LAC) --
David Berger ()
Tools for Schools Mentors. The ALA-LAC has recruited 15 professionals
from the Southern California Section of the AIHA to mentor Los Angeles
County schools implementing the U.S. EPA's IAQ Tools for Schools Action
Kit. Planning is underway to train the volunteers to serve as IAQ Mentors
for a one year period. See Attachment A.
Responding to Media Coverage on Public Health Issues. David Berger
presented a promotional video developed as an Alpine Independent Contractor
sales tools. The video contained a recent local news segment (KCOP, Channel
13, L.A.) on mold. The news report presented a very dramatic angle on the
dangers from mold exposure. The typical public air quality concern handled
by ALA-LAC has to do with residential indoor air issues. The nature of
calls ranges from residential air filtration devices to biologicals and
allergens and less occasionally asbestos and radon. When KCOP-TV ran a
series of reports on mold, our office was inundated with over 600 calls
in a few days. Clearly, this indicated to us that there is a unfulfilled
public demand for information on IAQ. However, there needs to be a more
proactive and less "sensational" method of dissemination.
California Air Resources Board / Indoor Air Quality & Personal Exposure
Assessment Program -- Peggy Jenkins (
ALA Clean Air Summit. ALA-LAC is participating in the planning of
ALA of California's Clean Air Summit, scheduled in San Diego during August,
Indoor Cooking Emissions Study. CARB is in the process of contracting
with Arcadis, Geraghty, and Miller (previously Accurex) for
a study of indoor residential cooking emissions and the potential exposures
of house occupants to those emissions. The principal investigator, Dr.
Roy Fortman, will measure particles of all sizes up to 10 m, carbon monoxide,
nitrogen dioxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, trace elements and
fatty acids (as markers) that are emitted during various cooking activities
such as frying, broiling, baking, and microwaving. They will measure the
pollutants very near the stove and in several other areas of the house
such as the kitchen and the main living area. They will also measure the
cook's personal exposures, and will test the effectiveness of various mitigation
measures in reducing air concentrations and exposures.
Indoor Standards and Guidelines Tables. Indoor Program staff are
compiling tables of existing indoor air quality standards and guidelines
for many indoor pollutants, both for general use and for use by the Indoor
Air Quality Technical Committee convened by Underwriters Laboratories,
Inc. to develop indoor air quality-related standards for products and materials
used indoors. The tables include personal exposure standards and guidelines
as well. The tables will serve as a valuable quick reference for such standards
and guidelines, and refer the reader to many additional, original sources
of information. We would appreciate review of the tables by all interested
CIWG members, both to check the accuracy of the numerical values in them
and to provide comments on how they might be made more useful to other
Underwriters Laboratories' Indoor Product Standard Progress. UL's
General Standard Workgroup met this spring and continues to make progress
toward developing indoor air quality standards for indoor products and
materials. The General Workgroup is compiling definitions, exposure and
risk assessment information, measurement methods, and other relevant information
and compiling it into a general guidance document for other UL workgroups
to use as they develop standards for specific products. The Indoor Air
Cleaners Workgroup has made considerable progress, but the vacuum cleaners
workgroup is stymied by opposition from some vacuum cleaner manufacturers.
UL's Technical Committee will re-convene this coming fall to hear updates
on progress of the three workgroups and to grapple with some of the difficult
issues that have arisen in the workgroups' endeavors.
Final Reports on Research Projects. A final report on a modeling
study of Californians' exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in
environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the and the late has been
completed and should be available this fall. Dr. Bill Nazaroff and his
students examined the exposures of California nonsmokers to a number of
VOCs listed as toxic air contaminants that are emitted in ETS. When they
considered the impact of AB13 (which prohibits smoking in nearly all workplaces
in California), the decrease in smoking prevalence in the state over the
last decade, and other societal changes, they found that California adults'
exposures to those VOCs from ETS had dropped considerably, and that children's
exposures had also decreased, but to a lessor extent. Final reports are
expected to be completed by the end of the year on CARB's study of pollutant
levels inside vehicles driven on California roadways and on a study of
emissions from carpets, vinyl flooring, and paints.
California Department of Health Service / Indoor Air Quality Section
-- Jed Waldman ()
Toxic Air Contaminants. At their July Board meeting, the Air Resources
Board will consider diesel exhaust for identification as a toxic air contaminant.
Indoor Program staff used a population exposure model developed under contract
to estimate Californians' exposures to diesel exhaust particles. Substances
that may be reviewed in the next few years under the Toxic Air Contaminants
Program include methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), crystalline silica,
selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and styrene, and perhaps
a few others such as fine mineral fibers or ethyl acrylate. More Calls.
EHIB staff continue to field calls from members of the general public as
well a s county health departments concerning questions about indoor molds
and their possible health consequences. It appears that news media (particularly
TV news) is continuing to play up the issue of deadly molds in homes.
Unvented Gas-fired Heaters. In early June, IAQ staff held a technical
workshop, attended by health experts, appliance manufacturers, gas utilities,
and other stakeholders. The aim of the workshop was to review technical
issues that will affect the development standards. The 1½ day meeting
was organized around four topics: i) Health concerns of combustion appliances
and appropriate exposure limits for emissions; ii) Performance and exposures;
iii) Modeling & testing; and iv) Installation requirements. For each
of the topic, Greg Traynor (DHS contractor) summarized his progress on
the evaluation of relevant issues. The discussion among participants was
open and helped to identified areas of prime importance and potential contention
TRDRP Research Proposal Not Funded. We learned that our proposal
Evaluation of Office ETS Exposure in Relation to AB13
(Leon Alevantis, PI) was not be funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research
Program for the grant
Conference Presentation. Jed Waldman gave a presentation on IAQ
Health Effects at the
Indoor Environment '98 Conference in Washington
D.C. in April.
Presentations on ACGIH Bioaerosols. Janet Macher gave two
presentations on the forthcoming ACGIH book, Bioaerosols: Assessment
and Control, including a 4-h forum at the American Industrial Hygiene
Conference and Exhibit in May and a 2-h tutorial at the American Association
for Aerosol Research in June.
Richmond Laboratory Facility. The groundbreaking for the RLF Phase
I will occur sometime this summer. The Environmental Health Laboratory
Branch is to be included in Phase II. Because of delays, there is the possibility
that occupancy of the two phases will be merged, rather than have the staged
occupancy originally planned. All the DHS laboratory units are expected
to vacate 2151 Berkeley Way by the end of.
California Department of Health Service / Occupational Health Branch
--- Elizabeth Katz ()
Radon in Schools. The IAQS' report on annual radon concentration
measurements conducted by the California Radon Program (Dave Quinton et
al.) has been completed. It is undergoing Departmental review and is
expected to be release soon. As mentioned in the previous minutes, the
results indicate that approximately 1% of California elementary school
classrooms could be expected to be measured to have annual radon concentrations
above the EPA action level (4 picoCurie per liter). The estimate
is that 4.7% of schools statewide might be expected to have at least one
classroom above the action level.
California Department of Industrial Relations (Cal/OSHA) -- Les
The Hazard Evaluation System & Information Service (HESIS) has been
concentrating a great deal of effort on Medical Sharps, concerned
with preventing transmission of blood borne pathogens to health care workers.
The main item related to IAQ has been some work-in-progress about (outdoor)
dust contaminated with coccidiomycosis, and protection of construction
workers exposed to this dust. Because of the wet winter, parts of the Central
Valley are especially risky this year for cocci exposure. We plan
to have a fact sheet available on this hazard soon. HESIS is also involved
in investigating a food producer that apparently experienced a mass carbon
monoxide poisoning episode in February. Propane forklifts were used indoors
in a packing/shipping operation. The employer has changed to electrical
forklifts and instituted other controls to prevent a repeat of this type
California Energy Commission -- Obed Odoemelam ()
Meetings are being held on possible changes to state regulations on blood
borne pathogens and air contaminants. There have been recent revisions
in OSHA regulations on respirators and TB. See Attachment B (not on web).
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment / Indoor Air Risk Assessment
Group -- Richard Lam ()
The CEC is in the process of formulating requirements that would allow
for specific reductions in air leakage through the ducts and envelopes
of new residential buildings. Such air leakage reductions would lead to
air tightness above existing levels for new homes. Staff is in the process
of analyzing the related proposals for any significant impacts on occupant
health. Refer to the Proposed Negative Declaration on the revisions to
the Commission document entitled, "Alternative Calculation Methods Approval
Manual," which address compliance with our energy efficiency standards.
This can be found on our web site: .
U.S. EPA Region IX -- Barbara Spark ()
The Elihu Harris State Building Green Committee (GBC) met on the April
15 with DGS and contractors for the Elihu Harris State Building (EHSB),
Oakland, The GBC was informed that:
a. Work is ongoing to complete material installation/application in
b. Partitions and workstations were installed on only a few floors.
The GBC has studied the list of materials used during the building construction
and are concerned that the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
from these materials may cause health effects in sensitive individuals.
To calculate an accurate flushout time for the building, it is necessary
to have information on the amount of materials used (those that emit VOCs),
and the time of their application. A flushout is normally performed after
the building is completed and all VOC-emitting materials are installed/applied.
In the case of the EHSB, the installation/application of materials is still
not completed in many floors and is continuing. As a result, the GBC felt
that a flushout time calculated from the limited data provided will be
at best be a rough estimate and compromised by uncertainties. The State
of Washington has building specifications that requires all newly constructed
public buildings be flushed out with fresh air at ambient temperature for
90 d prior to occupancy.
In a study done to evaluate the efficacy of such a flushout in a new
office building (6 floors, 339,000 sq ft.), changes in indoor air contaminants
levels over the flushout period were recorded (Burt et al.).
That building had many similarities to the EHSB but on a smaller scale.
Data from this study showed that total VOC and acetaldehyde concentrations
decreased to about baseline (outside) levels after 4 weeks of flushout.
For formaldehyde, the mean concentration decreased by about 50% after 4
weeks of flushout; this was probably due to its slow release from particle
board and other materials. The study also shows that addition of partitions
and new furniture to the floors (during the 5th and 7th week of flushout)
causes the levels of these contaminants to rise.
Based on Burt et al., the GBC recommends the flushout time of
at least 4 weeks for the EHSB. We have been in contact with DGS' Office
of Buildings and Grounds, Health and Safety Services concerning air sampling
for the flushout process. We will be working with Lance Lister, CIH, in
the flushout measurements. The following flushout conditions are recommended:
a. Flushout Period: 24 hours/day, for at least 4 weeks
b. Outside Air: 100%
c. Temperature: Ambient
d. Ventilation Rate: 3 air changes/ hour
It is important to know the limitations of this flushout process. The
flushout can only remove contaminants that are already emitted into the
indoor environment. It is most useful for removing chemical contaminants
that have high short-term (within days) emission factors such as in most
paints, adhesive and carpets. The 4-week flushout recommended (or the 90-d
flushout used by the State of Washington) will not completely remove formaldehyde
or other chemicals leaching from products such as particle board, as these
chemicals can take a long time to be completely released.
IAQ Tools for Schools. Region 9 participation in the roundtable
discussion of asthma in schools previously presented by the ALA of SF/San
Mateo for the Bayview/Hunters Point (BV/HP) area of SF continues to bear
fruit. All the schools in the neighborhood are eager to participate in
the EPA "six school" pilot project. (These pilot schools will benefit from
a "walk-through" by a highly-qualified IAQ professional.) The BV/HP community
has become a driving force within the SFUSD to encourage a more proactive
approach to IAQ. Shelly Rosenblum has been assisting the SFUSD in its drafting
of an IAQ Policy, which will be presented to the SF School Board on August
11th. Shelly notes that while the Policy is fuzzy in technical detail,
it is strong in that it clearly states that schools house a potentially
sensitive population and that the Board's goals will be to address the
needs of that population, not just a "healthy average" student or staff
member. The policy also states that it is the Board's or decision makers'
duty is to be aware of health implications of actions that in the past
were considered unrelated to health.
School IAQ/Grants. Region IX has awarded a small grant to the American
Lung Association of Los Angeles County (ALA-LAC) for their "IAQ Tools for
Schools" (IAQ TFS) Mentor Program. They are working with the Southern California
section of the AIHA to provide "mentor" assistance during the first year
of school site IAQ TFS program implementation. A "train the trainer" workshop
will be provided to AIHA volunteer mentors on August 25-26 in Los Angeles.
Additional funding was recently awarded by the R9 Regional Administrator,
bringing the total EPA contribution to $21K. ALA-LAC is matching the grant
with at least $14K, a testament to their commitment to this issue.
Healthy Homes Grant. The EPA Region IX Administrator is providing
$18K to the Alameda County Lead Program for the next step in its Healthy
Homes intervention project.
Child Health Champion Pilot Project. EPA HQ has awarded $135K to
the ALA-LAC to work with the Mothers of East LA and the LA City Dept. of
Environmental Management on KICK Asthma L.A., a project to address
environmental asthma triggers as well as asthma management in East Los
Angeles. A similarly-funded project in Nogales, AZ will focus on a variety
of environmental health issues for children. R9 is providing technical
Training. A series of training workshops was presented for R9 by
the U of Tulsa training center during the week of June 15-19. Included
was a pilot workshop on restoration from floods, sewage and mold, presented
by members of the Remediation business. This promises to be a very useful
workshop after some minor changes in the curriculum. Attendance at all
these workshops was smaller than some past "SRO" presentations, which presented
increased opportunities for Q & A and networking.
Mold. A Public Forum on molds and homes was presented in Roseville,
CA on June 20, and attended by over 240 people. This remarkable event was
initiated by a organizationally unaffiliated community member, Teresa Codina.
Ms. Codina had received past technical assistance from our program as well
as from Dr. Sandra McNeel of DHS-EHIB. Dr. McNeel and R9's Barbara Spark
were among the 7 speakers at the 3+ hour event. The Forum was announced
by the Sacramento Bee and covered by all Sacramento area television
stations. The follow-up Sac Bee article quoted Barbara "cautioning
people to educate themselves and not to overreact..." In a show of hands,
a very large proportion of the 240 people attending the meeting indicated
that they currently had mold problems in their homes, and a substantial
proportion of this group indicated that their doctors had said that their
health problems were mold-related. Our office continues to get a steady
stream of mold calls from the Sacramento area, primarily from homeowners
in tracts with apparent construction-related moisture problems.
Workshops on Mold Issues. On July 29th, a workshop entitled
The Sick Building: Coping With Health And Maintenance Issues From Mold,
Mildew And Fungus -Diagnoses And Cure will be presented at the Claremont
Hotel in Oakland by the State Bar Association and the Community Associations
Institute (a trade organization for developers, homeowners associations,
property managers, attorneys, and public officials). The program for this
two-hour evening program was assembled by a local attorney who has become
active in mold issues and is serving to raise awareness of mold/health
problems in the legal and private housing community. Barbara Spark will
introduce speakers James Craner, MD, Greg Raymond, CIH, and attorneys Marc
Fong and Dan Smith. There will be a fee charged. For information call ,
ask about the "July 29 program". It is likely that similar programs will
be provided in the Central Valley and southern California.
An unusual and rather affordable ($245/public officials) program
on Cleaning for Healthy Indoor Environments will be presented October
15-17, in Seattle, WA by the Mid-Atlantic Environmental Hygiene Resource
Center. For a brochure, call or visit
WORKING GROUP COMMITTEES
Outreach Presentations. Barbara Spark was the dinner speaker at
the March meeting of the Southern California section of the AIHA, on The
Mold Scare: Media Hype or Emerging Public Health Concern? The LA County
Dept. of Environmental Health took advantage of this S. Cal visit by organizing
a half-day workshop on Mold and requiring attendance by 35 middle-managers.
Dr. Sandra McNeel of DHS-EHIB joined Barbara on the program. Barbara also
raised the mold/health issue at the May 29th workshop on
Asthma in California.
Indoor Environmental Quality in Schools. -- Jed Waldman ()
Building Design and Operations -- Leon Alevantis ()
The committee has finalized its report entitled: Indoor Environmental
Quality in Schools: Critical Needs. The report is being submitted for
departmental approval by both DHS and OEHHA. Other member agencies may
be asked to sign off on the report.
On April 1, several members of the committee met with the state Department
of General Services' (DGS) Deputy Director of Real Estate Services Division
(Michael Courtney) and his staff. It was a productive meeting and provided
a forum to discuss IAQ issues and possible changes in current DGS policy
that might be worth attempting. The committee had prepared a list of preliminary
ideas (Attachment C). Mr Courtney explained that DGS is under mandate by
the legislature regarding building construction costs and that only low-cost
and no-cost changes to existing building design and material specifications
could be considered. The DGS is open to using the East Campus development
in Sacramento as a test case, and a Green Team has already been
formed for this project. Although the CIWG committee offered to provide
consultation on IAQ-related issues for the Green Team, Mr. Courtney
said that he would have his staff evaluate the likely costs of implementing
Ellen Aasletten - California Dept. of Education / School Facilities
Planning Division (CDE)
David Berger - American Lung Association of Los Angeles County (ALA-LAC)
Rachel Broadwin - Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
Jeff Hicks - GEOMATRIX, Inc.
Peggy Jenkins - California Air Resource Board (CARB)/ IAQ&PEP
John Kaschak - Department of General Services (DGS)/ Real Estate Services
Richard Lam - OEHHA
Sandy McNeel - Dept. of Health Services / Environmental Health Investigations
Obed Odoemelam - California Energy Commission (CEC)
Dennis Patzer - Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)
Tom Phillips - CARB / IAQ&PEP
Shelly Rosenblum - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / Region IX
Jim Sanborn - Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)
Rajinder Sandhu - Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
Norm Sorensen - Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
Kathy Vork - OEHHA
Jed M. Waldman - Dept. of Health Services / Indoor Air Quality Section
Alan Williams - DGS / Real Estate Services Division
Tony Wong - California Energy Commission
Jed M. Waldman chaired the meeting.
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