California Interagency Working Group on Indoor
DHS LABORATORY FACILITY, BERKELEY, CA
Indoor Environmental Quality and Sustainability, Are They Compatible?
By Hal Levin.
Hal Levin, a research architect in Santa Cruz, CA, gave an informative
and provocative presentation, discussing indoor environmental quality in
the larger context of building life cycle assessment (LCA). He started
with an examination of the definitions of "sustainable design" and "healthy
buildings." He presented a summary of data he developed on the overall
environmental impacts of buildings. He went on to discuss appropriate targets
for sustainability and looked at LCA as a method to evaluate building environmental
performance. His concluding remarks evaluated the need to integrate indoor
environmental quality and LCA of building materials. Presentation materials
from the presentation are available, and these can be obtained from Jed
Mr. Levin can be reached at .
AGENCY REPORTS ON CURRENT IAQ ACTIVITIES
1. American Lung Association of Los Angeles County (ALA-LAC)
-- David Berger ()
2. California Air Resources Board / Indoor Air Quality & Personal
Exposure Assessment Program -- Peggy Jenkins ()
Tools for Schools Mentor Workshop. ALA-LAC held a workshop on August
25-26 to train volunteers serving as IAQ Tools for School Mentor. The workshop
was attended by 22 persons, including 12 mentors who will serve with Los
Angeles County schools for 1 year period. U.S. EPA staff from DC &
Region IX conducted the training, while LAUSD provided the school site
for walkthrough training. School districts in El Segundo, Pasadena,
East Whittier, Long Beach, Lynnwood and LAUSD agreed to select pilot sites.
We are awaiting decisions from Montebello (Bell Gardens), Hawthorne, Rancho
Palos Verdes, Compton, Carson and Burbank.
ALA of California State Air Quality Conference. The ALA of California
held its annual conference in San Diego at the end of August. The four-day
annual meeting was attended by affiliates from around the state, as well
as the National ALA. On the first day, a Clean Air Summit was held
to develop recommendations for addressing the most important air quality
issues in California.
Toxic Air Contaminant Program. In August, the Board identified diesel
exhaust particulate matter as a Toxic Air Contaminant. ARB's Indoor Program
used the California Population Indoor Exposure Model, which includes activity
pattern data for Californians, to estimate Californians' indoor and total
exposure to diesel exhaust particles. Both the model and the activity pattern
data were developed under contracts to ARB.
Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Study Report. The draft final
report on the Carpet, Paint, and Vinyl Flooring Study by Al Hodgson
at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was submitted to ARB's external
Research Screening Committee for review in September. This study quantified
VOC emission rates for 24 consumer products in a small chamber. It also
measured the effectiveness of practical measures for reducing exposures
to high-emitting products, using a large, furnished test room under different
mitigation scenarios. This study's findings confirmed the importance of
selecting low-emitting products, including carpet pads, to reduce VOC emissions
and exposures of consumers during new home construction and remodeling.
In addition, airing out the carpet and pad before installation effectively
reduced VOC exposures. For VOCs from paint and carpet, ventilating the
room at high rates for as long as practical (at least several days) should
lower occupant exposures. A final report should be available in early.
In-Vehicle Study Report. A draft report on CARB's In-vehicle
Exposure Study was submitted by the contractor, Research Triangle Institute.
The Research Screening Committee review of this report has been postponed
until further revisions have been made. The final report is expected to
be available in the spring of.
3. California Department of General Services -- Larry Bellani ()
American Association of Aerosol Research Annual Conference. Tom
Phillips attended this conference in May 998?. The conference included
a special symposium on PM2.5 research needs identified in the recent National
Academy of Science report to Congress. The symposium featured several sessions
and plenary speakers that addressed the state of the art in health effects,
exposures, and monitoring and speciation of PM2.5. The NAS report listed
ten major recommendations for improving EPA's research plan to develop
supporting data for the national outdoor air standard for PM2.5 -- human
exposure measurement and assessment were included in several of the recommended
research priorities. The conference covered many rapidly developing areas.
Current health effects data indicated the association of PM2.5 with acute
and chronic health effects, but the mechanism of toxicity and critical
component of PM are still unknown. Several presentations on personal and
indoor PM s confirmed the importance of indoor sources such as cooking,
house dust, and other human activities. Presentations on newer monitoring
methods for real-time particle size and speciation indicated the explosive
growth in these powerful technologies, including even real-time quantification
of biological aerosols. .DNA technology is also becoming more widely used
in research studies, e.g., the unambiguous identification of mold particles
and of heritable traits for resistance to the health effects of ultrafine
PM (~0.1 microns and less). Biological pollutants drew some attention in
presentations. Endotoxins from bacteria were found to have a synergism
with the health effects of ultrafine PM. A Stanford study found enriched
cat allergens in PM10 vs. PM2.5. Karin Foarde at RTI found that the typical
remediation procedure of drying out a moldy area would actually stimulate
the mold to release spores.
4. California Department of Health Service / Environmental Health Investigations
Branch --- Sandra McNeel
Marilee Courtright of DGS Building and Property Management (EHSS) is retiring
in October, after 32 y of state service. (Editor: We wish her all the best!).
Training for Pediatricians. On June 11, Sandy McNeel and Debra Gilliss
gave a 30-minute presentation on toxic indoor molds to pediatricians at
an Alameda County hospital. Hospital physicians requested an update on
this topic after occurrence of water damage and mold contamination in several
classrooms of a local elementary school. Drs. McNeel and Gilliss briefly
discussed current knowledge of toxic fungal ecology, human health effects
with exposure and clinical diagnostic methods (or lack thereof).
Other Presentations. Sandy McNeel presented information on health
effects associated with many types of indoor air contamination as part
of the U.S. E.P.A.'s Orientation to Indoor Air Quality workshop in Los
Angeles on June 15. On June 20, Sandy McNeel participated in a panel discussion
of toxic indoor molds in Roseville, CA, which was organized by a private
citizen. Dr. McNeel described the current role of local and state health
departments in California in providing information and assistance to homeowners,
renters, office workers and schools with indoor biocontaminant problems.
Debra Gilliss will speak at the upcoming annual meeting of the California
Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (Sept. 22). This presentation
will discuss the roles of the local and state environmental health professionals
regarding indoor biocontaminants, particularly mold growth. Topics to be
covered include ways in which local agencies can best coordinate efforts
to assist all concerned citizens, especially those who rent their homes
and decision makers in local school districts.
5. California Department of Health Service / Indoor Air Quality Section
Jed Waldman ()
Moisture Intrusion Video. Sandy McNeel is working with a private
commercial enterprise in the production of a videotape which describes
how recent trends in construction have affected moisture intrusion into
buildings with concrete slab-on-grade foundations. Dr. McNeel answered
questions about health effects which can occur as a result of abnormally
high building moisture. Department of Health Services will be receiving
a copy of the final videotape for its own educational uses.
New Internet IDs. The DHS-IAQS staff have new e-mail addresses under
the domain: These accounts
and web site (www.cal-iaq.org/) are maintained
by the internet service provider, The staff's old e-mail accounts
() are still
operative. Check with the staff for their preferred address.
DHS Richmond Laboratory Facility. DHS-IAQS staff attended the groundbreaking
for the DHS Richmond Laboratory Facility construction (August 12). Phase
I is funded and underway. Phase II (which will include the DHS-IAQS labs)
is still in the design stage. Bidding for this (larger) component is scheduled
to be completed by early. The new facility is expect to be ready for
full occupancy in.
Controlled Environment Chamber: Leon Alevantis is designing the
ventilation system for a newly (re)constructed, controlled environment
chamber at the DHS Laboratory. The chamber will be initially used for the
EHLB's vacuum cleaner testing program for a HUD grant (see below). In the
near future, DHS-IAQS will start to run protocols for VOC emissions testing
of building materials, as part of IAQ modeling for the DHS Richmond Laboratory
Facility under construction.
ETS Discovery. The State is being sued by Tobacco Companies regarding
its Smoking Law, and various research groups at DHS have been asked to
provide Tobacco Company attorneys with information from the files on environmental
tobacco smoke (ETS) research. The DHS-IAQS project files on ventilation
effectiveness for ETS control in public building were reviewed in August
as part of ETS discovery in the law suit.
Spanish Version of Mold in My Home: What Do I Do?
The Spanish translation for the DHS-IAQ Info Sheet on mold (¿Moho
en Mi Casa: Que Hago?) is available. It will be posted, along with
the English version, on the new web site. For now, requests for it can
be made through the DHS-IAQS assistance line: .
6. California Department of Industrial Relations (Cal/OSHA) -- Les
Unvented Gas Heater - Standards Development. Despite a period of
uncertainty about continuation of funding for the technical consultant
working with DHS-IAQS on this project (per SB 798), the program was given
a green light to continue contract activities (at the 11th hour).
The consultant, Greg Traynor of T. Marshall & Associates, is expected
to complete a detailed assessment and proposed standard's recommendation
by the end of.
Staff Presentations. Janet Macher was a guest lecturer on Health
effects of bioaerosols (chapter from ACGIH book) for Scott Robinson's IH
for Physicians class (March 11). She gave a 4-hour forum at the American
Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibit on Bioaerosols: Assessment
and Control (May 11) and a 2-hour tutorial at the American Association
for Aerosol Research: Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control (June
Expert Panels. Kai-Shen Liu served on U.S. EPA Science Advisory
Board's Integrated Human Exposure Committee Meeting to review the Disproportionate
Impact Analysis Methodology. Jed Waldman served on the Clean Air
expert panel, sponsored by ALA of California. Drs. Liu and Waldman
served on a peer-review panel for the National Ambient Air Quality Standard
(NAAQS) Criteria Document for Carbon Monoxide.
Research Grants & Proposals. Janet Macher is a co-investigator
on a Children's Health Initiative Center: Community Partnership for
Evaluating and Preventing Pesticide Exposures to Young Children (component:
of asthma in children in Salinas Valley), PI: Brenda Eskenazi (funded).
Kai-Shen Liu is co-investigator on a HUD grant:
Evaluation of Household
Vacuum Cleaners in the Removal of Settled Lead Dust from Hard Surface Floors,
PI: Larrie Lance (funded). Jed Waldman is a co-investigator on an NCI grant:
Regional variations in breast of cancer rates in California (pending).
Dr. Waldman is also co-investigator on a Tobacco-Related Disease Research
Reducing Tobacco Exposure in High Risk Pregnant Populations,
PI: Martin Kharrazi (pending).
Local Assistance. Jed Waldman, along with OHB staff, provided a
technical review of IAQ investigations and remediation plans for a county
building in which employees have been making health complaints. Janet Macher
provided guidance and in some cases equipment to help local agencies address
problems of biocontamination:
--Provided loaner SAS and Andersen air samplers to a local hospital's
infection control program to assist sampling in their positive-pressure
isolation rooms, to determine if cases of aspergillosis may be attributable
to exposure in the hospital.
--Provided guidance on protocol for environmental monitoring of Coxiella
burnetii and provided midget impingers and sampling pumps at a sheep
farm in CA, so that air samples could be collected for infectivity assay
to accompany PCR tests.
--Reviewed and commented on a test method for the International Electrotechnical
Commission to assess the potential for and effect of mold growth on equipment.
--Janet Macher is co-authoring with Harriet Burge the chapter on bioaerosol
sampling for the 9th edition of ACGIH's Air Sampling Instruments.
--First MW, Macher JM, Gussman R, Stuart D, Webb T,. Nebulizer
characteristics for certification tests of biosafety cabinets with bacteria
and simulants. J Am Biological Safety Assoc. 3:26-29.
--Hernandez M, Miller SL, Landfear DW, Macher JM. A combined fluorochrome
method for quantification of active and inactive bioaerosols, accepted
by Journal Aerosol Sci Tech.
--Liu KS, Paz K,Waldman JM, Flessel CP. Unintentional Carbon Monoxide
Deaths from Residential and Other Nonvehicular Sources, submitted to Environmental
Editor's Note: Les is retiring
in early -- thanks, Les, for all your help, and good luck.
See Attachment B (not on web site)for recent Cal/OSHA activities and regulations
relating to IAQ. If you have any question, Les can be reached at
7. California Energy Commission - - Obed Odoemelam ()
8. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment / Indoor Air Risk
Assessment Group -- Richard Lam ()
The Energy Commission is in the process of adopting changes in its compliance
process to allow specific energy credits for ventilation reduction in the
procedure used to demonstrate compliance with its building residential
building standards. There is some concern about to the potential impacts
on indoor air quality. A document was prepared in support of findings
of no potentially significant indoor air quality impacts, provided
the building is constructed to ensure compliance with ASHRAE's minimum
ventilation standards. Questions regarding document (Initial Study and
Proposed Negative Declaration for the Residential Alternative Calculation
Method (ACM) Approval Manual Rulemaking Proceeding.) can be directed
to Obed or to Don Kazama at .
CEC is solicited ideas for energy-related indoor air quality research that
should be funded by the Commission under its
Public Interest Energy
Research (PIER) program.
Flushout for the Elihu Harris State Building was started on June 10,.
The flushout used 100% outside air without conditioning and 3 air changes/hour
(ac/h) for 24 h per day. Lance Lister (DGS) arranged to take sets of 4-h
air samples: (i) at the supply air register, (ii) return air register,
(iii) Room 1203 on the 12th Floor, and (iv) in a cubicle on the north side
on the 7th Floor. The sampling protocol required air samples to be taken
before, during and after flushing of the building. However, the final set
was omitted after the pre- and during flushing samples showed below-detection
levels of formaldehyde and various VOCs levels. Reasons for the non-detect
levels found include the short measurement time used and that the Elihu
Harris State Building was "aired" 18 h/day for 4 weeks before the flushout
was started. This airing out of the building started after the commissioning
of the HVAC system and was necessary to provide ventilation for workers
because of stuffy conditions inside the building.
The following documents/notices of interest are available from OEHHA's
home page: :
Draft Hazard Identification documents on the carcinogenicity and reproductive
and developmental toxicity of MTBE
Draft Hazard Identification documents on the carcinogenicity of 2-aminofluorene
Draft Hazard Identification of the reproductive and developmental effects
Arsenic and Cadmium Hazard Identification Documents
Art and Crafts Materials Which Cannot be Purchased for Use in Kindergarten
and Grades One Through Six (Updated 9/98)
9. U.S. EPA Region IX -- Barbara Spark (
Proposed Identification of Diesel Exhaust as a Toxic Air Contaminant (also
available in ARB's home page).
Asthma/indoor Allergens. The EPA's Indoor Environments Division
has funded a 12-mo project at the National Academy of Sciences to do a
report on the relationship of Indoor Air Pollution to Asthma. "This project
comprises an assessment of the possible contribution of elevated levels
of indoor air pollutants (e.g., dust mite and cockroach allergens, animal
dander, mold, environmental tobacco smoke and other irritants) on asthma
prevalence and mortality. The assessment will evaluate the effects of indoor
pollutants on sensitive populations, including children and low-income,
urban residents. The project will also include an assessment of possible
mitigation and prevention efforts aimed at these indoor air pollutants."
A committee has been chosen; to view the committee membership, go to the
NAS web site (), then click on "Current Projects,"
"Committee Membership Open for Public Comment" in the side bar, and "An
Assessment of Asthma and Indoor Air Quality."
Training. The University of Tulsa, EPA Region IX's training center,
has scheduled for San Francisco a new workshop "IAQ for Facilities Managers
and Bldg. Administrators" (Jan. 8), and an "Orientation to IAQ" adapted
by Terry Brennan and Richard Shaughnessy for Residential sites (Jan 11-12).
In Los Angeles, there will be presentations of Eugene Cole's new workshop
"Cleaning for a Healthy Indoor Environment" (Jan. 13), "The Remediators"
(Jan 14), and "Bioremediation and Control" (Jan. 15). These workshops will
be presented in Las Vegas Dec. 7-10. There will also be an "IAQ Tools for
Schools" workshop in San Francisco. A web site has been established for
course listings and on-line registration: .
Mold and Home Inspectors. Barbara Spark is working with the Los
Angeles County Department of Environmental Health to help them arrange
for training for all 135 of their officials who inspect home on residential
IAQ, with a particular emphasis on mold.
Outreach on Mold. Barbara Spark appeared on the San Francisco Public
Radio call-in program, "Your Legal Rights," on KALW-FM, 7:30-8:30PM on
September 9. The topic was legal issues surrounding mold contamination
of homes, and two attorneys also were program guests. A substantial number
of the callers to the show were seeking technical information on mold and
health, rather than addressing legal issues, and were referred to Sid Efross
in our office, who sent them the DHS fact sheet, "Mold In My Home: What
Should I Do," which Barbara also referred to repeatedly throughout the
program. Barbara also spoke at a workshop for community associations on
legal issues revolving around mold in condos, etc., July 29th at the Claremont
Hotel in Oakland.
IAQ And Schools. The San Francisco Unified School District has adopted
an IAQ policy. Shelly Rosenblum provided guidance. Additionally, a series
of "IAQ Tools for Schools (TFS)" pilot school walkthroughs" will shortly
begin, with the first site a school in the Bay View neighborhood of San
More IAQ and Schools. The ALA of SF/San Mateo's EPA grant for IAQ
training of school personnel has been extended until July of next year
so that the chapter can utilize remaining grant funds. Karen Licavoli is
looking at taking the reins of the AIHA/IAQ TFS mentor program in this
10. U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA) Region IX -- Jorge Leong ()
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. A notice appeared in the August 31,
Federal Register, regarding the release of the Predecisional Draft
Report on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), by the Interagency Workgroup
on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. DATES: Comments must be received by October
30,. The report is available by contacting ATSDR's Information Center,
1600 Clifton Road, Mail Stop E57, Atlanta, GA 30333 or by calling ,
attention Alice Knox.
WORKING GROUP COMMITTEES
Jorge wanted to let members know about the upcoming 53rd Annual
Federal Safety & Health Conference, being held in conjunction with
the National Safety Council Congress and Exposition on October 26-29
in Los Angeles. The conference's theme will be Looking Ahead to the
Year. Conference and registration information is available at
Indoor Environmental Quality of Schools - Jed Waldman ()
The committee has finalized its report entitled: Indoor Environmental
Quality in Schools: Critical Needs. The report was submitted for
the DHS director to forward to other department s and the Governor's office.
Unfortunately, there is little likelihood of action before a new administration
takes office in.
Building Design and Operations -- Leon Alevantis (cal-iaq.org/)
Green building legislation, AB 2432 (Bowen), passed in both the assembly
and senate. The bill requires state buildings to be constructed and/or
renovated through sustainable building practices and to exceed energy-efficiency
standards. (Governor Wilson vetoed AB2432 on September 30).
The Committee is trying to set up follow-up meetings with DGS design staff
for the East End Project to discuss cost estimates of the recommendations
we gave them a number of months ago (see March minutes). Leon Alevantis
and Jed Waldman have made numerous phone calls to RESD staff, and we have
been told that they will meet with us when they are ready. The Committee
will discuss how to pursue this more effectively.
Ellen Aasletten / California Dept. of Education (CDE)
Leon Alevantis / Dept. of Health Services - Indoor Air
Quality Section (DHS-IAQS)
Amy Arcus / Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
David Berger / American Lung Association of Los Angeles
Rachel Broadwin / OEHHA
Peter Flessel / DHS - Environmental Health Laboratory
Peggy Jenkins / California Air Resources Board (CARB)
Al Hodgson / Lawrence Berkeley National Lab - Indoor
Environmental Program (LBNL-IEP)
Richard Lam / OEHHA
Jorge Leong / U.S. Dept. of Labor - OSHA
Hal Levin / Hal Levin & Associates
Lance Lister / Dept. of General Services - Building &
Property Mgmt (DGS-BPM)
Janet Macher / DHS-IAQS
Philip Maynard / UCBerkeley - Environmental Health &
Sandy McNeel / DHS - Environmental Health Investigations
Obed Odoemelam / California Energy Commission (CEC)
Shelly Rosenblum - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Jim Sanborn / Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)
Rajinder Sandhu / Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
David Shearer / AeroVironment, Inc.
Norman Sorensen / Dept. Housing & Community Development
- Housing Standards (DHCD) Barbara Spark / U.S. EPA Region IX
Jed Waldman / DHS-IAQS
Joey Zhou / DHS-IAQS
Jed Waldman chaired the meeting, which lasted from 10
am to noon.
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