- Airborne contaminate: Pollutants that fit into three
categories: (a) microorganisms: like bacteria, viruses and mold,
(b) toxic gases: like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, etc., and
(c) house dust: a mixture of dead skin, insect parts, dust mite
feces, paint flakes, hair, dander, fibers, etc.
- Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): The least amount of indoor
airborne contaminates suggest the best IAQ. Whereas, the higher the
indoor contaminate levels the poorer the IAQ. Most homes have medium to
poor IAQ. Even though homes have different levels of airborne
contaminates, all homes will be infected in some way, whether it be
chemical, germs or toxins.
- Organic chemicals: Carbon based compounds are referred
to as organic. The most abundant carbon compounds are hydrocarbons, a
mixture of hydrogen and carbon. Also nitrogen and oxygen combined with
carbon are classified organic. Most manmade materials are based upon
organic chemistry, including gases that power our cars, hairsprays,
permanent pressed clothes, to clothing material itself. We are
completely surrounded by organic compounds because all living things are
based upon carbon. When the air is contaminated, that contaminate will
normally be organic, whether alive or dead.
- Categories of Microbes: (a) pathogens, direct
infection and destruction of tissue cells, (b) toxins, gases and fumes
produce by microbes that have a toxic neurological effect, and (c)
allergens, microbes or debris that cause a mal adjusted immune
- Mold byproducts: (a) mold spores: airborne seeds is
a mild allergen, (b) enzyme mycelium: a sticky mold secretion
that digests carbohydrates and proteins, a very powerful allergen, (c)
toxins: gases, like formaldehyde, generated during mold enzyme
- Immune Response: When germs or allergens enters the
body, the immune response starts by the action of T-lymphocytes
(T-Cells) prompting the formation of anti-bodies, called immunoglobulin.
The anti-bodies also prompt the production of very powerful chemicals
(histamine, leukotrienes, cytokines, proteases, etc.) that are used to
wage war on bacteria, viruses or fungi.
- Immune Deficiency Disorders: A disorder where the body
has a problem in producing anti-bodies. This disorder means the natural
defenses of the body are reduced, putting the body at risk for diseases.
A genetic problem or the use of drugs for an organ transplant can
suppress the immune response. A person with suppressed immune system has
to be extremely careful about germ infections, particularly bioaerosols.
- Allergies: Allergies are caused by is an ove active
immune response to a rather benign intrusion of a particle or
organism. The response produces such large doses of powerful chemicals
(like histamines) the tissue in the target area become chemically
inflamed, tender and swollen. In the nasal area, mucus production
increases, eyes water, nose drains. The infected person is responding to
chemical poisoning produced by his/her own body.
- Types of Allergies: (a) Allergic Rhinitis: nasal and
upper respiratory inflammation, (b) Sinusitis: inflammation of the
paranasal sinus cavities, and (c) Asthma: inflammation of the air
bronchial tube near the lungs.
- Major Allergens: (a) airborne pollens, (b)
fungal spores and mycelia, (c) domestic animals, (c)
Arthropods, dust mite and cockroach debris.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A
disorder in which the person (or child) has a short attention span, a
nervous condition, short temper, mood swings, high energy followed by
fatigue. It is a behavior disorder that can be caused by physiological
problems. But a growing body in medicine believes that ADHD sufferers
are reacting to allergens, i.e. allergies from food inhalants, mold, and
chemicals. Allergies cause a release of potent chemicals and histamines
into the body that affect metabolism and central nervous system.
- Sick Building Syndrome (SBS): A condition by which the
physical building is producing airborne contaminates, making people
sick. Bioaerosols (airborne microorganisms) are estimated to be the
highest contributing source for SBS. But other ailments, toxins and
allergens can be critical. Some symptoms of SBS are chronic congestion,
poor concentration, low energy levels, coughs, sore throat, muscle
aches, headaches, intestinal problems and sleep disorders.
- The causes of SDS: The major causes of SDS can be
summarized in five categories: (a) Energy tight buildings trap
contaminates inside and it builds up over time. (b) Our life
style has elevated indoor contaminates by the use of indoor
chemicals, contaminate producing equipment and more indoor living. (c)
Equipment that lowers indoor air pressure, causing airborne toxins to
infiltrate back indoors from the garage, attic and crawlspace. (d) Dark,
damp air conditioning coils that grow abundant mold and bacteria, large
sources of indoor airborne diseases and toxins. (e) Central air filters
that bio-nest the growth of bacteria and mold, sources of airborne
diseases and toxins.
- Bioaerosol diseases: Diseases of the body transmitted
by airborne germs. Transmission of airborne germs tends to be more
deadly and more numerous compared to germs ingested through the stomach
or skin absorption. Germs that might be harmless when consumed in food
or water may be lethal when inhaled. Even vaccines for diseases
contracted through the skin or stomach may not work if the germ is
inhaled into the lungs. For example, the vaccine for Rift Valley fever
works very well if the disease is transmitted by mosquitoes through the
skin but does not work at all if inhaled.
- A list of bioaerosol diseases: The list of such
diseases is very large. Here is a sampling of bioaerosols: Tuberculosis,
Polio, Measles, Pneumonic plague, Diphtheria, Pontiac fever, Chicken
pox, Rubella, Influenza, Ebola, Rift valley fever, Lassa fever, Bolivian
herorrhagic fever, Marburg, Congo-Crimean herorrhagic fever, Small pox,
Legionella, Pulmonary mycoses, etc.
- Bioaerosol diseases of the lung: Diseases of the lung
are generally caused by airborne contaminates. (a) Emphysema is
an abnormal dilation of the lung air spaces, preventing an efficient
exchange of oxygen to the bloodstream. Generally caused by a genetic
reaction to airborne contaminates like smoke, abrasive particles,
toxins, etc. (b) pneumonia: infection of lower lung by airborne
viruses and bacteria, like legionella, etc. (c) Allergic
alveolitis: inflammation of the lower lung by airborne bacteria,
fungi and insect excretions. (d) Mycotoxicosis: toxic
inflammation of the lung and heart lining caused by airborne molds. (e)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis: lung infection by airborne bacteria.
(f) Lung cancer: a genetic tissue mutation disease generally
caused by intrusive airborne environmental toxins, poisons and
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): Organic compounds decay
rather quickly compared to non-organic materials. The decay produces
airborne gases, like formaldehyde, benzene, xylenes, toluene, methylene
chloride, etc. Most household products are organic (paint, fibers,
caulking, soaps, glues, household chemicals, etc.) and produce these
airborne gases that can be poisonous.
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC): HVAC
usually refers to a central air system for heating and cooling a
building. This generally includes a furnace, blower assembly, an
evaporative coil, a compressor and compressor coil, and air ducts to
distribute the conditioned air within the building.
- Air conditioning (A/C): This term normally refers to
cooling the air of a building. The A/C operates like this: the outdoor
portion of the A/C unit compresses a gas to a liquid. During this
compression, heat energy is driven out of the liquid. This colder liquid
then travels through tubing to the evaporative coil
located inside the building at the central/furnace fan. This coil has
numerous rows of aluminum fins. These act as heat exchangers with the
circulating air within the system. When this compressed liquid reaches
the evaporative coil, the liquid expands or evaporates,
converting back to a gas. As it does, it recovers the amount of heat
energy lost in the compression cycle. This conversion absorbs heat
through the coil fins from the surrounding air that is moving across the
- Heat pump: Based upon the same HVAC principle, minus
the furnace. The compressor and evaporative coil are used for both
heating and cooling the building. The difference is the reverse flow in
the compressor/evaporative coil assembly. One direction for heating; the
other for cooling.
- Split system vs. packaged units: (a) a split system
means the furnace, blower housing and evaporative coil are in one unit
(generally indoors or the garage) and the A/C compressor and compressor
coil are outside. The inside unit is connected to the outside by
insulted tubing (called a "run") for carrying the liquefied gas. (b) A
packaged unit means all systems are combined into one unit, i.e.,
furnace, blower, evaporative coil, compressor and compressor coil. Since
the compressor gives off heat, the packaged unit is located outside,
often on the roof.
- Upflow vs. Downflow: (a) Upflow means the HVAC
blower pushes the conditioned air up into ducts located in the
attic (or ceiling sophist) and out registers located in or near the
ceiling. If you have the upflow unit in the basement, the air registers
could be in the floor. (b) Downflow means the HVAC blower pushes the
conditioned air down into ducts located in the crawlspace or
basement, and out the registers in the floor.
- Wavelength: The difference in each type of wave energy
is the wavelength or the distance across this wave. The shorter the
distance across the wave, the shorter the wavelength the stronger the
energy. The difference in the wavelength determines how the wave affects
- Nanometer (nm): Nanometer means one-billionth of a
meter. It is used to determine the wavelength or the distance across
this wave. If a wavelength is one nanometer it is one-billionth of a
meter across, etc.
- Spectral electromagnetic energy: Cosmic, gamma, x-rays and
"C" band UV are all classified short-wave electromagnetic energy.
Visible light is at middle ground, at 400-700 nm on the scale. Infrared
light is in the upper end of the spectrum, running from about 800 to
1400 nm, and radio waves are longer yet in the 1400 to 2200 nm
- Ultraviolet (UV): Ultraviolet light is toward
the low end of this spectral scale, from about 100 to 400
nm, with three categories, "A," "B" and "C." UV is beyond the
range of visible light and cannot be seen. We only see evidence of its
- Germicidal or organic Ultraviolet: The most effective
sterilizing range for UV is within the "C" bandwidth. This range is
called the germicidal or organic bandwidth. The ideal germicidal curve
is considered 240 nm to 280 nm, with the most effective at 265
- Germicidal UV intensity: Germicidal effectiveness is
based upon UV intensity. Intensity is measured in microwatts per square
centimeter (µw/cm²). The energy required to destroy a microorganism has
one more element, time. It is microwatt-seconds per square
centimeter (µw x sec/cm²), with seconds in the formula
meaning the energy in seconds (time) necessary to kill the
- Photochemistry: Photochemical process is defined as
a chemical reaction or change in a material induced by the radiation
of light energy. Sunburn is a photochemical process that alters the
chemistry of the skin, causing a breakdown.
- Photodegradable: All organic material, molecules and
organisms are photodegradable, at some point within the 100 to 320 nm
bandwidths. And within this range, each compound has a characteristic
sensitivity where peak chemical alteration will occur.
- UV Hydroperoxide Development: This first oxidizing
process (within 200 – 320 nm) is the result of electron ejection by UV
irradiation of organic materials, giving rise to free radical (hydrogen
ion) development. The radicals react with ordinary atmospheric oxygen
(O²), forming hydroperoxide (H²O²) ions.
- UV Hydroxide Development: Hydroxide is often referred to
as hydroxyl ions. The presence of water (H²O) being exposed to UV (200
to 320 nm) strips off one molecule of hydrogen from the water, resulting
in the formation of hydroxide (HO) ions. These ions are a stable but a
very potent one-electron oxidant. The reason hydroxide is so destructive
to organic molecules is it steals hydrogen atoms from the organic
materials, leaving decayed carbon ions.
- UV and Ozone Production: The stable oxygen (O2)
molecule readily absorbs ultraviolet light at 184 nanometers (nm). This
absorption of ultraviolet light in the atmosphere breaks the molecular
bond between two-oxygen molecules (O2), resulting in an
O1 free radical (atomic oxygen). A single atom
(O1) of oxygen will immediately search for a stable molecular
combination, often O2. This new combination forms ozone
(O3), which is highly corrosive.
- Hot-Cathode UV Lamp: The hot cathode method of
generating ultraviolet refers to elements of the lamp getting hot and
igniting the internal gases. Hot cathode lamps generally use tungsten
filaments at each end of the tube. These filaments are preheated by
employing a glow switch starter and choke or an electronic trigger. This
makes the hot cathode UV lamps similar to standard preheat fluorescent
lamps used for lighting our homes and offices.
- Cold-Cathode UV lamp: Cold cathode means it begins from
a cold start - no preheating. This type of lamp uses cylindrical
electrodes and is started instantly by means of a high voltage
spike. Since the electrodes seldom wear out, the cold
cathode lamp normally has a much longer life compared to the hot
cathode, filament lamp. The electrode lamp has another
advantage. This lamp may be operated in very cold temperatures without
excessive blackening of the glass, thus little or no loss of UV output.
The high voltage assures a fast, instant start even at freezing