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Indoor Particulate Matter And How to Limit Your Exposure

By Julia Bakker-Arkema and Marina Vance. This video was entered in the 2019 AAAR conference video competition and won 1st prize! Congratulations to Julia and Nina. We see and experience particulate matter, or aerosol particles, all around us. Aerosol particles make up the smog we see on our morning commutes, the trails of smoke that rise […]

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Disinfectants and COVID-19

By: Delphine Farmer (@ChemDelphine) and Marina Vance (@marinavance) With growing concerns over Coronavirus, more people are turning to the power of disinfectants to clean surfaces – and that is giving rise to a new set of indoor chemistry. While ordinary soap is surprisingly effective at breaking down the Coronavirus, bleach, alcohol, and ammonia are all […]

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Ozone: Friend or Foe?

By Julia Bakker-Arkema and Marina Vance.   When we think of “ozone”, many of us think about the hole in the ozone layer, located high up in the stratosphere—about 12 kilometers, or 7 miles above the earth’s surface. It’s much higher than Mount Everest and most types of clouds. The ozone layer is important because […]

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What I learned from the 1st ISIAQ webinar on spread of infectious diseases in indoor environments

By Shelly Miller, Professor at University of Colorado Boulder. On Twitter: @ShellyMBoulder ISIAQ, the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate is an international, independent, multidisciplinary, scientific, non-profit organization “whose purpose is to support the creation of healthy, comfortable and productive indoor environments.” The ISIAQ Board of Directors and The Academy of Fellows are hosting […]

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Bleach cleaning: indoor emissions, chemistry, and impacts on air quality

By Jimmy Mattila, a graduate student in the Farmer Group at Colorado State University (Twitter: @JimmyMattila)   Bleach, an aqueous solution consisting of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and other oxidizers/surfactants, is a commonly used cleaning product in household and workplace environments. The efficacy of bleach stems from its potent antimicrobial and oxidizing properties. Bleach cleaning emits […]

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Why is indoor air chemistry important?

If you’re like the typical human, you likely spend about 90% of your time inside. Our homes, businesses, exercise facilities, cars, and gathering places are all examples of indoor environments where we’re constantly breathing the air. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the chemistry occurring in these spaces and what it means to our health and well-being.

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Humans Identified as the Largest Source of Volatile Organic Chemicals in Indoor Air

US researchers found that people and their possessions directly emitted 57% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) they measured in the air of a university lecture theatre. We spend approximately 90% of our life inside, where concentrations of VOCs are consistently found to be much higher than in outdoor air. This research is one of the first few to detail the important role that emissions from direct human occupancy plays here.

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