IAQ News

Allergies and Covid Are Often Confused, Know the Difference

We may think of late spring and early summer as prime times for allergies. That’s when trees, grass, and other plants produce the pollen that causes so many people so much discomfort. With symptoms similar to those caused by the coronavirus, it can be difficult for people to tell the difference between allergies and COVID. This is a concern for business owners and building managers who want to protect against both. “When ragweed allergies start, it's a signal that the fall allergy season has arrived,” says Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Director of Environmental Diagnostic Laboratory. “We have also seen some overlap between allergies and COVID,” Dr. Sahay notes, “it’s important to protect against viruses as well as allergens that impact IAQ." While ragweed is the trigger for many allergy sufferers, mold and weed also play a role in the fall allergy season which begins in early August and lasts until mid-October. Fall Allergies Ragweed includes several species found throughout the U.S. Symptoms of ragweed allergies include stuffy, running nose, itchy watery eyes, and sneezing. Allergies and COVID can ...
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How Humidity and Viruses Interact Indoors Topic of New Study

A new study shows the relationship between ventilation and viruses as well as between humidity and viruses. Using the Wells-Riley model helped researchers observe the effects of both humidity and ventilation on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The study, set for publication in November, is the result of a joint effort among Scandinavian and Baltic researchers. It looks at the relationship between humidity and viruses as well as the effects of ventilation on virus transmission. Humidity and Viruses The model, developed to study the airborne transmission of tuberculosis and measles, is useful for studying the infection rates of other viruses. That includes the coronavirus. The model helps determine how susceptible to infection people are in a room with other infected people. The study found that ventilation plays a key role in controlling SARS-CoV-2 virus concentration in the air. The model, while highly simplified, does reveal that humidification from 40% to 60% RH has a minimal impact on infection rates of SARS-CoV-2. Conversely, the model reveals that ventilation plays a much bigger role in reducing infection risk. The impact of ...
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Higher Education IAQ Strategies for Improvement

When the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. in early 2020, it forced schools across the country to shut down. That included K-12 classrooms as well as colleges and universities. As students adapted to virtual classrooms, schools developed plans for reopening once it was safe to do so. With new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerging, schools must again develop and put in place higher education IAQ strategies to keep students as well as faculty safe. Prepare for the Future Even as more people get vaccinated against the coronavirus, the pandemic and its effects on education continue. Colleges and universities adapt by implementing social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines. Many schools increased their cleaning and disinfecting efforts. Some made improvements to ventilation systems. Fortunately, The American Rescue Plan includes $39.6 billion to support higher education. These funds, when used with guidance from the CDC, give administrators the tools and resources they need to get students back in classrooms. As a result, funds used for improvements and upgrades to HVAC systems provide cleaner, healthier air. For our part, Pure Air ...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

K-12 IAQ Strategies for Improvement

The COVID-19 pandemic closed K-12 schools across the country. Students and teachers, as well as parents, had to adapt to remote learning. Educators did the best they could with the resources available, but there is no substitute for in-person learning. The pandemic is not over, however, but schools have reopened. Some schools enforce social distancing and mask-wearing. They also increase cleaning and disinfecting efforts and are making improvements to ventilation systems. Pure Air Control Services helps schools develop K-12 IAQ strategies to address these issues and improve IAQ. The result is a reduced risk of spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus in schools. Prepare for the Future School closures present many problems for students. Not only did students fall behind when schools switched to remote settings, but anxiety and depression rates increased too. It may be years before we learn the impact the pandemic had on learning. The American Rescue Plan, signed by President Biden in 2021, includes almost $130 billion for states and school districts to reopen safely. This federal funding along with recommendations from the U.S. Centers ...
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College Air Quality Among Top 3 Decision Factors for Parents & Students

Many factors influence parents’ decisions about where to send their children to college. Concern about the quality of education and its cost weigh on their minds, but health and safety do as well. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by real estate services company JLL, college air quality is one of the top three factors parents consider in their college selection. College Air Quality Concerns The pandemic hit higher education hard. The risks of in-class learning remain a concern especially with the emergence of new variants of COVID-19. Colleges and universities want to restore the confidence of both students and parents as well as faculty members. That requires a proactive plan to address IAQ issues. The JLL survey found that for 84 percent of parents, campus cleanliness and college air quality were either somewhat important or important. This was the third factor behind the quality of the school and its affordability. “Identifying potential issues that could impact indoor air quality is the key to maintaining healthy college campuses,” said Frank Santini, Director of Strategic Initiatives ...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

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