October 25, St. Petersburg, FL Community outreach is recognized as one of the most effective and important mechanisms for creating awareness while informing society about the technology that can be used in enhancing the quality of life. Indoor Environment/Air Quality (IEQ/IAQ) is among those topics which we face on a daily basis; however, this is often overlooked due to a lack of understanding. The goal of the EDLab team was to provide a real world experience amongst individuals to encounter and understand various indoor pollutants/contaminants and their influential power on our day-to-day life.
Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory at Pure Air Control Services, Inc. is a comprehensive environmental testing laboratory of national and international repute. EDLab decided to provide general concepts on IEQ/IAQ as community outreach to the public through interactive participation. The annual “Science Festival” under the tutelage of the University of South Florida – Saint Petersburg campus provided an opportunity to individuals and societies to learn science in a fun and festive way that can be utilized for improving quality of life.
“Getting the opportunity to see so many kids interested in science and the parents who are encouraging their children to learn was inspiring and makes the whole festival worth it.” commented Rony Iraq, Quality Assurance Manager for EDLab.
This event was attended by thousands of participants and many of them were very interested in IEQ/IAQ related issues. Kids and young adults were especially excited to see microbial entities under the microscope, allowing the ability to familiarize themselves with general indoor contaminants. The children enjoyed a game where they were required to match contaminants with a broader category (i.e. Allergens, Microbes, Chemicals); some were able to complete the game with minimal or no assistance, although there was a greater interest in looking through the microscopes.
“This science festival helped me realize how much public interest there is for what we do, among all ages.” says Brandi Pennock, Staff Microbiologist for EDLab, “I mainly worked with the kids, showing them samples from the air around us at the event. My favorite part was when their eyes got real big and their mouths dropped when they realized that this is what we were breathing at that very moment.”
Approximately 500 people visited EDLab’s exhibit while more than 150 gained access to microscopic vision to observe numerous contaminants reported from the indoor environment. A hundred people from various age groups, from 6 to over 60 years of age, entered for a raffle that included one grand prize (Evalu-Aire Basic – used for testing the quality of the indoor environment) and six consolation prizes. Winners will be announced later this week and receive a call directly from EDLab to collect their prizes.
“I fell in love with biological studies as a young child; festivals like this one played a big part in my growing fascination with the field. It was very rewarding to bring my passion to this event, and perhaps inspire children to pursue similar studies.” remarked Amanda Milford, Staff Microbiologist at EDLab, “While the children were excited about what they were viewing under the microscope, it was personally gratifying to demonstrate the importance of what we do here at EDLab for community welfare.”
Overall, this community outreach event was a success at educating the public on the importance of the science behind indoor air quality.
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About Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory
Founded in 1994 in Clearwater, Florida, EDLab provides comprehensive analysis and services, utilizing state of the art equipment, in the areas of microbiology, aerobiology, allergen assays and microscopy. Throughout the years they have analyzed hundreds of thousands of environmental samples from collected from varying locations worldwide.
For more information on EDLab please contact Dr. Rajiv Sahay at (800) 422-7873 ext.304, or visit www.edlab.org.
About Pure Air Control Services, Inc
Alan Wozniak founded Pure Air Control Services, Inc. in 1984 as a small mechanical contracting firm. Today, the firm sets the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis and remediation.
Pure Air’s nationally performed services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; a CDC Elite Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; and Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services.
The company’s expanding client roster includes the FAA, General Services Administration (GSA); Allstate Insurance; CBRE, Carrier Air Conditioning; NAVFAC, DOT, USACE, US Army, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air Control Services the reliable industry leader.
Pure Air Control Services was honored in the 2016 Inc. 5000, as well as the 2016 Florida Gulf Coast 500. For more information on Pure Air Control Services call at (800) 422-7873.