March 2022 Newsletter

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President’s Message

From Erin Bouttenot, President, Maine Indoor Air Quality Council

With the signs of Spring showing, so too are the signs of a good new year for MIAQC. Here’s a taste of what we’ve been up to.

Bouttenot Photo

IAQ & Energy Symposium: We held our first live, in-person event last week. It was an incredible moment of awe to see both new and old members connect and learn in the same room. I am grateful for all those who attended and for the overwhelming positive comments. We couldn’t have done it without your support, so thank you!

IAQ Club Sessions Continue. The MIAQC holds monthly discussion forums, called the IAQ Club–similar to a community book club. You get access to a video presentation and then join in to a casual discussion forum with the presenter or other knowledgeable moderator. Get your questions answered, discover new ideas, and expand your personal network.

Provide Peer Review on Three Policy Statements. We have three public policy statements up for review before adoption. These statements are critical in improving and maintaining indoor air quality in our homes, offices, and public spaces. We’d love to hear your comments, so post them on our forms before it’s too late!

Comment on the Source Control Policy Statement

Comment on the Best Practices Policy Statement

Comment on the Layered Risk Reduction Policy Statement

We need help. We are always looking for help with our work! If you are interested in joining one of our committees, please contact christy@maineindoorair.org or 207-626-8115.

Wishing you all a healthy Spring!


Feature: The Invisible World

spray paint

Contributed by Jeffrey C. May, May Indoor Air Investigations, Tyngsborough, MA

As an IAQ professional I have to be keenly observant about visual clues that point to potential sources of contamination. But a lot of the evidence I gather isn’t visible to the naked eye.

Unlike many IAQ professionals who send samples to outside labs for analysis, I use microscopy to examine most of the samples I take. I have a camera mounted on my microscope and take photomicrographs of what I see, so that I have a visual record of the contaminants that could negatively impact IAQ (I include micrographs in my reports).

Sometimes the microscopic evidence confirms the conclusions that I’ve drawn from visible evidence, but sometimes what I’m seeing under the microscope points me in a different direction altogether.

Read more…

IAQ & Energy Symposium a Success

The Maine Indoor Air Quality Council hosted its first, in-person event since the beginning of the Airborne Illness That Shall Not be Named (why we call it this). More than 80 professionals gathered for the day to learn, network, and explore new products and services. Plenty of time was saved to do the one thing no one has been able to do for more than two years: talk to each other.

A huge thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: Northeast Laboratory Services, Turner Building Science & Design, and RST Thermal/Renewaire, as well as to our numerous gold and silver sponsors. Handouts are available free of charge on the event website.

Symposium Collage

Images from the IAQ & Energy Symposium, held on March 3, 2022 in Augusta.

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Renewaire Ad

Would you like to advertise in this quarterly newsletter? Our distribution goes to more than 19,000 professionals in Maine, and around the country, with a solid open rate. Contact the MIAQC office at 207-626-8115 to secure your ad placement in our next issue.

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words…

A screen shot of the CO2 levels throughout the day as demonstrated on the CO2 monitoring learning station at the recent IAQ & Energy Symposium. A great visual lesson on the value of ventilation for healthy indoor air quality.



Would you like to advertise in this quarterly newsletter? Our distribution goes to more than 19,000 professionals in Maine, and around the country, with a solid open rate. Contact the MIAQC office at 207-626-8115 to secure your ad placement in our next issue.

IAQ Stuff to Do

IAQ Club Series

Just like a book club, but with video. Each month, we “unlock” access to a recorded presentation from the MIAQC archives, then host a discussion forum with the original presenter so you can ask questions, get answers, learn from each other, and have a bit of fun.

March 29 – Bob Krell: Mold School!

April 14 – Jeff May: Insulation

May 18 – Karla Butterfield on high performance, healthy home constructionLearn More

2022 Green Home & Energy Show
Saturday, April 9, 2022
The Point Community Center – South Portland, ME

From solar power to heat pumps, air quality to air sealing, and electric vehicles to green home goods, you’ll find endless inspiration for creating your high-performing, green & healthy Maine home – whether you are looking to build, buy or enhance an existing property. New for 2022 – we are teaming up with ReVision Energy and Efficiency Maine to bring you an Electric Vehicle (EV) Expo at the show!

Come with a specific question about your home or energy project or browse the booths and find inspiration in this thriving industry. Chat with experts, find new products, learn about incentive programs and take advantage of show discounts and deals from our exhibitors.Learn More

Building a Non-Toxic Home
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
A live, virtual Home & Energy Chat

The materials and methods that we use to build our homes can have a significant impact on occupant health for years to come. And because most of us spend more time at home than anywhere else (even before the pandemic), there’s reason enough to take note. For a growing number of people, exposure to certain chemicals commonly found in building materials can be especially problematic. Join us as we hear from a Maine builder and two architects who have recently, or are currently, constructing homes for which nontoxic materials are paramount.Register

Healthy Indoors Online Community

Healthy Indoors new online community has a free tier that includes access to their community, networking, and discussion spaces, as well as all of Healthy Indoors content, including online shows. You can also connect and share with everyone else in the community. Follow, post and comment on the discussions of topics that interest you and network with others from your region or abroad!Learn More

Interesting Reads

  • Ventilate your home to stop (the airborne illness that must not be named): A UK-wide campaign asks people to open their windows for 10 minutes every hour when they are socializing.
  • Research Seeks to Detect (the Airborne Illness That Must Not be Named) in Building Air: Tests to detect infection in humans are typically widely available. But rapidly monitoring for and detecting infectious particles within indoor environments is currently not possible.
  • Vaccinate children with poorly controlled asthma to cut risk: Children with poorly controlled asthma are three to six times more likely to be hospitalized with (the Airborne Illness That Must Not Be Named) than those without the condition, research suggests. Experts advise that 5 to 17 year olds with poorly controlled asthma should be considered for vaccination to reduce the risk of infection and the spread of this disease in schools and households.
  • Impact of state of emergency declarations on asthma exacerbations in children: An investigation into the impact of the 2020 state of emergency declarations on exacerbated bronchial asthma in children has been conducted in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.
  • The industry creating a third of the world’s waste: Extracting materials is wreaking havoc on the planet. Could the world’s growing mounds of waste hold the key to sustainable construction?
  • More infections in poorly ventilated classrooms: Indoor air quality has an influence on how many infections (of the airborne illness that must not be named) occur there. This has now been shown for the first time in a pilot project involving Empa researchers in 150 primary school classrooms in Graubünden. The analysis also showed that the air quality in many classrooms is poor.
  • ASHRAE Positions on limiting indoor mold and dampness in buildings: Persistent dampness in buildings contributes to negative health outcomes for occupants. The causes of health-relevant dampness are complex and involve decisions that often overlap responsibilities of different design professions and are affected by decisions of building contractors, owners, operators and occupants.
  • ACR, The NADCA Standard: 2021 Edition for the Assessment, Cleaning, and Restoration of HVAC Systems: Practical, industry-backed information for: assessing new and existing HVAC systems, evaluating and verifying the cleanliness of HVAC system components, preventing job-related hazards, guiding the cleaning and restoration of HVAC systems to a specific level of cleanliness.
  • Clothes dryers are an underappreciated source of airborne microfibers: Although it’s known that washing clothes releases microfibers into wastewater, it’s unclear how drying impacts the environment. Now, a pilot study in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology Letters reports that a single dryer could discharge up to 120 million microfibers annually — considerably more than from washing machines
  • BBC: The fascinating world of fungi: More than 90% of fungi are unknown to science. But what we do know about this incredibly adaptable and unique life-form is mind-blowing.
  • Construction Instruction Live Classes: Hosted by three of the most respected building science educators in the industry, Ci Live is dedicated to meeting the needs of the building community. Register for online training classes today!
  • Air pollution and mental illness: Exposure to air pollution is linked to an increased severity of mental illness. The research, involving 13,000 people in London, found that a relatively small increase in exposure to nitrogen dioxide led to an increase in the risk of needing community-based treatment as well as an increase in the risk of being admitted to hospital.
  • Energy Efficiency and Indoor Climate in Buildings: September Edition: This monthly online newspaper contains relevant information on the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC), the platform for resilient ventilative cooling (venticool), the building and ductwork airtightness platform (TightVent Europe), the Indoor Environmental Quality – Global Alliance (IEQ-GA), the Dynastee network & EU relevant information.
  • Indoor microbiome of daycare centers in Norway: Researchers investigate the indoor microbiome of 125 daycare centers distributed throughout Norway. The indoor microbiome included considerably more yeasts and molds compared to the outdoor samples, and the results call for further studies investigating the impact of the identified daycare-associated microbiomes on children health.

And the winners are…

David Fish for the Symposium early bird registration prize drawing, and Mike Garrity for the program evaluation drawing. Each won a $100 Amazon gift card.

Our Council Partners:

Council partners

Support MIAQC!

Support the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council each time you shop on Amazon. Start at https://smile.amazon.com.

Contact MIAQC Executive Director Christy Crocker to find out how you can participate in and support the work of the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council: 207-626-8115christy@maineindoorair.org.

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