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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by breathe easy View Post
    IndoorAirGuy
    I have hesitated to get involved in this discussion because I don't have a lot of time to be involved in a long drawn out dialogue which will accopmplish little, if anything. 1. You will vehemently declare that your methods of using ozone to reduce cigarette smoke (meaning both particles and gasses) work and I will remain unconvinced and skeptical.

    2. A very surprising part of the discussion to me is that you claim to be an expert on indoor air quality and you are a supporter of cigarette smoking indoors. You may be the first individual I have known of that has this unique perspective. Maybe this is because we come at the issue of IAQ from totally different perspectives. 2) (con't) You look at it from the perspective of your customers in the gaming industry. I look at it from the perspective of those with respiratory illnesses.

    The statement of docHVAC really was not directed at you. 3) It was a very brief summary of the position of most professionals involved in IAQ, respiratory illnesses and cancer care. It is no different than the following from the National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/f...et/tobacco/ets

    4) Contrary to what you have stated the human sense of smell is not a very good way to determine the safety of any given substance. For example, carbon monoxide and natural gas are odorless - yet toxic. Consequently even if your applications reduce or even eliminate the odor that does not mean they are safe. 5) In fact you may be creating other byproducts such as formaldehyde, ketones, acids, other aldehydes, ultrafine particles, etc. without eliminating such problem chemicals as nicotine, cotinine and solanesol.

    6) Elsewhere you have stated that there is no good science available showing the problems of ozone in indoor air. In fact, there are many studies that have shown that ozone reacts with various VOC's to produce unintended and detrimental byproducts. For example, a leading figure in the area of indoor air chemistry is Dr. Charles Weschler of Rutgers. You might read this article to have some idea of the issues involved: www.ehponline.org/members/2006/9256/9256.html
    There are plenty of references in the footnotes if you want additional information.

    Your statement that you are keeping ozone below 50 ppb provides little comfort for me. 7) First, the 50ppb standard of the FDA for medical devices has never been tested to be "safe." I don't believe that it is safe for those with respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma, and emphysema. In fact, Dr. Richard Corsi in his comments to the CPSC on ozone limits feels that the level should be no more than 5ppb.
    Secondly, the ozone levels you are measuring are dependent on the reactions that are taking place in indoor air. The ozone you are creating is being consumed by the reactions with the VOC's. Again, you do not know the outcome of those reactions. 8) You assume the resulting compounds are safe. I believe they are not. (and please do not give me the carbon dioxide and water response. There are intermediaries that are created besides these substances that are stable and long lasting.)
    9) For you the worst part about your position of using ozone in indoor air is that the tide is definitely flowing against you at this point. No matter how strident you are in your defense of your methods, the array of opponents you are facing is large and growing including the EPA, the California Air Resources Board, most indoor air scientists and engineers and public opinion.
    Wow! A respectful and thoughtful response sans ad hominem/ad personam attacks. Thank you!

    Believe me, I respect your busy schedule so I'll respond as briefly as possible:

    1) I very carefully differentiated between particles and gases and I never said ozone works on particles. It doesn't. I never implement ozone when I'm solving particulate-only problems (about 10-15% of my business is non-ciggy IAQ in large commercial structures), I use other strategies.

    2) No, I'm absolutely against unrestricted indoor smoking in commercial environments. I support a reasonable balance (example: no smoking where kids are allowed, ever, period) which I won't fully delineate here in deference to brevity. We're in agreement that people with respiratory illnesses shouldn't be around cigarette smoke at all (so maybe they should stay away from places where people are smoking? Nah. Too simple.) But honestly, neither any state legislature nor any of my clients has ever asked my opinion on the smoking/nonsmoking issue. They hire me for my knowledge of how to solve IAQ problems in large commercial buildings, not my political opinions.

    3) Yes, of course, the government agencies and private charities involved in public health are doing their best to scare the bejeebers out of everyone and convince them that anyone smoking within 1/4 mile will take the lead out of their pencil, make their teeth fall out and kill all their pets. That's how they keep the government funding and donations flowing. But all the serious scientists I know agree that serious science got chucked out the window in this debate about a decade ago, as it has out of most public policy issues. A realistic assessment of exposure risk consists of three elements: A) Substance. B) CONCENTRATION. C) Duration. If "safe" means B) = ZERO, we're all doomed, because there's no such thing as a "toxin-free" environment anywhere in most of our daily lives, even if we never go near places where people smoke.

    4) Didn't say the nose is universally superior. I said, for the gases and VOCs that our brain tells us mean someone's smoking, the olfactory nerve responds at levels far below those detectable by conventional field instruments.

    5) Most of the items on your list are present in all commercial environments whether smoking is allowed or not. Ozone is present in all of them, because it's a naturally-occurring atmospheric gas that comes in with the makeup air. Also, oxidation is a reductive process. So yes, ozone may create harmful byproducts in the process of oxidizing some of the more complex and "stable" VOCs, but that takes us back to, at what concentration levels? Lower than the level of the VOC where the process started, right? I only use significant amounts of ozone in smoking environments with a max TVOC of 150 parts per million, and that TVOC is made up of hundreds of chemicals. Yes, some of them are toxic and carcinogenic at thousands of times higher levels, but does that mean it makes sense to worry about them in the parts per billion or parts per trillion range?

    6) Nope, I said, there's no good science that shows harm from using ozone at the levels I use it, and/or the byproducts (or the "original" VOCs) are harmful at the levels I deal with. Example: One of the EPA's favorite citations that "proves" ozone doesn't work is Esswein-Boeniger. Protocol: Fill a chamber with 220-250 ppm formaldehyde, hit it with ozone until measurable oxidation occurs. Finding: It takes unhealthful levels of ozone to oxidize formaldehyde, ergo, ozone "doesn't work." Problem: You never see formaldehyde levels that high outside an embalming parlor. Casino ventilated at 30 cfm/OA/occupant = TOTAL VOC level of 150 ppm. Formaldehyde is somewhere between 1/200th and 1/1,400th of that 150 ppm. How much formaldehyde in the room? How are Esswein-Boeniger's findings relevant?

    7) Any idea what the ambient ozone levels are in most of our major cities? Any of the sunbelt cities? Los Angeles Basin? Average in LA is 150 ppb ozone, Stage I smog alert at 500 ppb, Stage II smog alert at 1,000 ppb. So if you "believe" ozone is unsafe at levels below 50 ppb, are the 20 million people living in an atmosphere with average ozone levels 3X higher and sometimes more than 20X higher all gonna die? Presumably the 200,000,000 Americans who live in cities with ozone levels approaching the LA Basin's average are all doomed too? Aiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee......

    8) See 3) and 6).

    9) EPA's position is 100% against indoor smoking and always has been. At the behest of the California Legislature, CARB is 100% focused on ozone in residential settings (I agree with them 100% and applaud their efforts.) I think you mean "most government indoor air scientists" because their continuing employment is contingent on adhering to the party line -- never enough regulation or bad/misrepresented science to support it. In fact, there aren't many private sector indoor air scientists, but all of the ones I know agree with me. Engineers? The ones whose messes I've made a very lucrative career out of cleaning up? In 15 years in the commercial IAQ business, I've yet to meet even ONE mechanical engineer who could hold his/her own in even the most elemental discussion of IAQ science. Public opinion? You're joking, right? Isn't this a tad complicated for public opinion polling?

    Respectfully, as a public employee (it shows in how and what you write), isn't there an element of pot calling the kettle black when you start pointing the accusatory finger re vested interests?

  2. #22
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    IndoorAirGuy
    Thanks for the good post and for keeping it to the issues. It is not personal. I just have a hard time accepting the idea of using ozone to safely reduce VOC's.

    I am not in the public sector (although I appreciate the complement on my writing). I am in the commercial filter business. We sell to school districts, mechanical contractors, universities, building management companies, government agencies and other large filter users. About 10% of our business is residential. Almost all of our business is involved in particle filtration although we have sold products for molecular filtration to school districts, several of the national airlines, airports, the FAA, universities and some smoking establishments.

    My main volunteer interest is helping those with allergies, asthma and other respiratory diseases. My interest in ozone started after the 40th Alpine/Ecoquest dealer asked me to sell his products eleven years ago. It has grown to the point that I now own ozone meters, particle counters, about 15 devices for creating ozone. I have conducted hundreds (maybe thousands) of experiments with ozone reactions. My article library on ozone reactions is into the third filing cabinet. I have been writing articles on indoor air and air filtration for professional magazines and journals for the past 5 years. None of my articles has gone to press without being reviewed by university professors.

    But here is the best part. I learn something every day from people in this forum. I realize they know a heck of a lot more about various aspects of the HVAC business than I will ever know. I think I help them some on filtration and indoor air issues. They help me a lot more on other issues.

    I am not sure how anyone can be concerned about respiratory health and not be opposed to smoking in public spaces. I think if you spent a few hours in a pulmonogists office, you would know what I mean. COPD and emphysema are not fun things to watch. The groups you did not mention being opposed to smoking in public spaces are the respiratory care physicians and the oncologists involved in treating lung cancer. In my experience I have never met one that isn't.

    More to the point. The issue with introducing ozone into indoor environments is that we really have a hard time in determining what is "safe." As mentioned previously the FDA limit for medical devices is 50ppb of ozone. But keep in mind this was never tested. It was based on a recommendation of ASHRAE 35 years ago without any study to back it up.

    Furthermore, the recommendation was based on the testing of a device in a chamber - not in a smoke filled room. The ozone/VOC reactions will keep the ozone levels artificially low. For example, in tests we conducted using terpenes (PineSol) as the VOC's in ozone reactions we were consistently showing ozone readings of 20 to 30 ppb. Yet the particle counts of ultrafine particles were over 10,000,000 particles at 0.3 microns and larger per cubic foot. The average room contains 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 particles of this size per cubic foot.

    You are right that outdoor ozone oftentimes far exceeds 50 ppb. This is why ASHRAE is modifying their ventilation requirements to adjust for high ozone days. Studies are currently being conducted to reduce outdoor to indoor ozone transfers and to use carbon to catalytically reduce ozone indoors.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by breathe easy View Post
    IndoorAirGuy
    Thanks for the good post and for keeping it to the issues. It is not personal. I just have a hard time accepting the idea of using ozone to safely reduce VOC's.

    I am not in the public sector (although I appreciate the complement on my writing). 1) I am in the commercial filter business. We sell to school districts, mechanical contractors, universities, building management companies, government agencies and other large filter users. About 10% of our business is residential. Almost all of our business is involved in particle filtration although we have sold products for 2) molecular filtration to school districts, several of the national airlines, airports, the FAA, universities and some smoking establishments.

    3) My main volunteer interest is helping those with allergies, asthma and other respiratory diseases. My interest in ozone started after the 40th Alpine/Ecoquest dealer asked me to sell his products eleven years ago. It has grown to the point that I now own ozone meters, particle counters, about 15 devices for creating ozone. I have conducted hundreds (maybe thousands) of experiments with ozone reactions. My article library on ozone reactions is into the third filing cabinet. I have been writing articles on indoor air and air filtration for professional magazines and journals for the past 5 years. None of my articles has gone to press without being reviewed by university professors.

    But here is the best part. I learn something every day from people in this forum. I realize they know a heck of a lot more about various aspects of the HVAC business than I will ever know. I think I help them some on filtration and indoor air issues. They help me a lot more on other issues.

    4) I am not sure how anyone can be concerned about respiratory health and not be opposed to smoking in public spaces. I think if you spent a few hours in a pulmonogists office, you would know what I mean. COPD and emphysema are not fun things to watch.

    5) The groups you did not mention being opposed to smoking in public spaces are the respiratory care physicians and the oncologists involved in treating lung cancer.
    In my experience I have never met one that isn't.

    More to the point. 6) The issue with introducing ozone into indoor environments is that we really have a hard time in determining what is "safe." As mentioned previously the FDA limit for medical devices is 50ppb of ozone. But keep in mind this was never tested. It was based on a recommendation of ASHRAE 35 years ago without any study to back it up.

    Furthermore, the recommendation was based on the testing of a device in a chamber - not in a smoke filled room. The ozone/VOC reactions will keep the ozone levels artificially low. 7) For example, in tests we conducted using terpenes (PineSol) as the VOC's in ozone reactions we were consistently showing ozone readings of 20 to 30 ppb. Yet the particle counts of ultrafine particles were over 10,000,000 particles at 0.3 microns and larger per cubic foot. The average room contains 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 particles of this size per cubic foot.

    8) You are right that outdoor ozone oftentimes far exceeds 50 ppb. This is why ASHRAE is modifying their ventilation requirements to adjust for high ozone days. Studies are currently being conducted to reduce outdoor to indoor ozone transfers and to use carbon to catalytically reduce ozone indoors.
    Fair enough. I think I understand where you're coming from. So:

    1) Dang! You're a busy guy! Full-time career as a filter salesman, plus all the volunteer time with respiratory patients, maybe a family(?), plus you still find thousands of hours to dedicate to an ozone hobby! A hobby that led you to buy tens of thousands of dollars' worth of ozone generators, gas and particle sensors, lab equipment, test chambers, etc. and then perform hundreds -- no wait, thousands -- of experiments which you carefully documented, summarized, submitted to "university professors" (not the same as peer review) before publication in (unnamed) magazines and journals.

    Pssst...if it's "only" two thousand experiments in the last decade, that's 200 experiments a year, a separate experiment every 1.8 days. WOW!! You're a science FACTORY!! (No embellishment here, right?)

    Any correlation between your hobby and the fact that, correctly implemented, ozone replaces and does a vastly better job than all the spraypainted carbon pleateds and carbon banks you'd otherwise be selling to the places that use ozone? Since you've done thousands of ozone experiments, care to share a few of the good things you've discovered about it?

    (Hint: My company sold tons of inline carbon banks for cig smoke -- never carbon-impregnated pleateds, we're too ethical to steal from our customers -- for 25 years before we perfected injected ozone. I understand your competitive interest and I feel your pain.)

    2) OK, this is a little scary. All that science you've done (and much more you've presumably read) and you don't know the correct terminology? Did you mean "sorbent media" or "gas-phase filters" perhaps?

    3) See comment 1).

    4) I'm thinking you meant "pulmonologist" -- those doctors whose offices you volunteer at who specialize in diseases of the lungs and respiratory tract. Respectfully, this kind of emotional crap has nothing to do with science.

    Inarguably, science has shown that smoking is bad for you, and that spending protracted periods of time in closed, un- or under-ventilated spaces where people are smoking is only marginally less damaging. The only good science that's ever been done in a commercial setting was done in conjunction with the United Airlines stewardesses' occupational exposure lawsuit back in the days when people were still smoking on airplanes, which are grossly underventilated for smoking.

    However, there's no science that shows the toxins in ETS are harmful at the concentration levels found in smoking spaces mechanically ventilated at rates at or greater than 30 cfm/occupant. Population studies of people who work in smoking environments are body counts, not science. They don't adjust for such factors as, did you work in an unventilated greasy spoon with radiant heat or a place with a central HVAC system that's running 100% outside air? Are you a smoker? Are you married to or living with a smoker? Did you grow up living with smokers? Any other environmental or hereditary respiratory risk factors? Ad infinitum.

    Nor, given the current environment, is there ever going to BE any science on this topic. In preliminary tests, nicotine has been shown to enhance concentration and memory functions. Think you can get any research money for this one? You see where I'm going....

    5) I'm sure these medical professionals are also opposed to Twinkies and other junk food and excessive alcohol consumption. I'm not sure how their logical opposition to the contributing factors (smoking being the biggest) to the diseases they constantly see people dying from qualifies them to participate in a discussion of indoor air quality or perform a reasonable assessment of the risk of exposure in this context. They're experts in medicine but they haven't got a clue about IAQ.

    6) "WE really have a hard time..."? Who's "WE"? Are you part of the scientific community or a filter salesman? The answer to the question re 50 ppb is, about 95% of the human population lives and works where the AMBIENT ozone level is at or above 50 ppb. That's over 294,000,000 people in the US alone. If there were significant negative health consequences associated with ozone exposure, chances are the pattern would have emerged by now. Obviously that's anecdotal evidence rather than the result of scientific study, but only a complete moron or an insane person would seek scientific confirmation of several trillion human/years of experience.

    7) There's the "we" thing again. Were you part of the team at the University of Texas that did the terpene/particulate study under contract with CARB? Do you think they were hired by CARB -- which is in the process of gathering data to support their residential ozone ban -- to find the positive benefits of ozone? Personally I don't. Because -- like a lot of the junk science that's being purchased to support political objectives -- this experiment has not been submitted for peer review, only the preliminary findings were published and quickly adopted by you and others as fact. The authors have so far refused to provide their protocol and the actual data, generally not a sign of confidence in the world of science.

    8) Restricting ozone intake or requiring ozone filtration would obviously be a filter salesman's wet dream. If I was a filter salesman, I'd dedicate my life to finding out all the bad stuff I can about ozone to justify the regulations that would make me rich. Wait, you've already done that, or so you say.

    But trust me, once BOMA gets wind of this nuttiness, they'll squash it like a 'skeeter and twice as fast. Fat Algore has made hundreds of millions off of pulling the same bull<bleep> with carbon dioxide, but trying to duplicate his success with ozone is one time too many.

    Also, you should expand your expertise in ozone and filtration science to a point where you understand the difference between how carbon removes ozone, and how catalytic conversion works.

    Thanks again for the civil and reasonable comment!

  4. #24
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    Oh, I forgot you are the one "who knows more about remediating tobacco smoke in indoor environments than anyone who's ever lived."

    I was hoping to have an intelligent discussion on the issues. Don't have time for this.

    As predicted I remain unconvinced and skeptical about the use of ozone for remediating tobacco smoke indoors. You have not moved one micron off your position.

    Good luck to you on convincing the rest of the world that your use of ozone is safe and effective. I am sitting the rest of this one out.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by breathe easy View Post
    Oh, I forgot you are the one "who knows more about remediating tobacco smoke in indoor environments than anyone who's ever lived."

    I was hoping to have an intelligent discussion on the issues. Don't have time for this.

    As predicted I remain unconvinced and skeptical about the use of ozone for remediating tobacco smoke indoors. You have not moved one micron off your position.

    Good luck to you on convincing the rest of the world that your use of ozone is safe and effective. I am sitting the rest of this one out.
    Well yes, of course, having a full-time job selling filters, plus volunteering in the medical field for those doctors with the really-tough-to-spell specialty, plus cranking out scientific experiments at the rate of one every other day...how could you possibly have enough time to engage in an in-depth discussion with a slacker like me?

    NEXT!!!!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndoorAirGuy View Post
    Well yes, of course, having a full-time job selling filters, plus volunteering in the medical field for those doctors with the really-tough-to-spell specialty, plus cranking out scientific experiments at the rate of one every other day...how could you possibly have enough time to engage in an in-depth discussion with a slacker like me?

    NEXT!!!!

    Thank you for proving my point...



    I don't know all the fancy words so let me put this in plain and simple form...

    Do you know the difference between arrogance and confidence?

    Arrogance is when your right and no matter what the other guy says you refuse to listen. The benefit to this is you don't have to wait for others to give you kudos for your accomplishments...because you've already tooted your own horn...loudly. Don't mistake arrogance for credibility, it sure won't get you any around these parts.

    Confidence is when you know it yet your willing to participate in open discussion, and actually entertain the idea that it's possible for you to learn, even from those new to the field or less educated than yourself.
    Those who display confidence and determination go places around here...and shame on me...I've been in the business many years and just the other day a newbee taught me a few tricks about my combustion analyzer....of course I beat him down afterwards

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senior Tech View Post
    Thank you for proving my point...



    I don't know all the fancy words so let me put this in plain and simple form...

    Do you know the difference between arrogance and confidence?

    Arrogance is when your right and no matter what the other guy says you refuse to listen. The benefit to this is you don't have to wait for others to give you kudos for your accomplishments...because you've already tooted your own horn...loudly. Don't mistake arrogance for credibility, it sure won't get you any around these parts.

    Confidence is when you know it yet your willing to participate in open discussion, and actually entertain the idea that it's possible for you to learn, even from those new to the field or less educated than yourself.
    Those who display confidence and determination go places around here...and shame on me...I've been in the business many years and just the other day a newbee taught me a few tricks about my combustion analyzer....of course I beat him down afterwards
    Excellent points, all. I'm aware of the arrogance/confidence issue because I speak about as eloquently as I write and that really pisses people off, despite my honest effort to "dim the bulb" so I don't.

    I'm also just slightly shorter than Godzilla and happy if I can keep my mass between 1/8 and 1/7 of a ton, so people are pretty much intimidated by me no matter what, even when I'm in big, huggy teddy bear mode.

    If you've got a way for a 6'-7", 300 lb., really bright guy to avoid intimidating people, by all means I'd love to hear it.

    Let me offer a corollary point: The egos of people in the mechnical engineering and contracting communities -- specifically, their utter refusal to admit there's anything about IAQ they don't know -- are 100% the reason my company exists and the gaming industry is such a profitable (but by no means the only) niche for us.

    The same egos are the reason that tobacco odor is still the gaming industry's number one image and opportunity cost issue. They're the reason casinos buy twice as much HVAC as they need, and spend twice as much running their systems as they should (puke rises up in my throat when I raise the "carbon footprint" thing, so I won't go there).

    These egos are also the reason there are so many scammers in the IAQ business, because if mechanical engineers and contractors knew 10% as much about IAQ as most owners assume they do, scammers would have a much harder time in our industry.

    The "state-of-the-art" in gaming is 100% outside air, which requires 2X as much HVAC in most climates as 30 cfm/OA/occupant. So right off the bat, the poor SOB owner (ok, none of them is poor, just a figure of speech) gets jacked up for millions he doesn't need to spend on HVAC, plus double the ownership costs for as long as he owns the building.

    The newest wrinkle is providing combination waste receptacles/Petri dishes under the floor -- aka "underfloor supply air" -- which complicates the critical path to an unbelievable degree (raising first cost even more) and oh yeah, by the way, doesn't do a damned thing to remove odors.

    The worst part is, the casino still stinks, so despite bending over for unnecessary millions in first and ownership costs, the owner still takes the biggest financial beating of all, the opportunity cost loss of alienating his customers and employees with that lovely, omnipresent Lucky Strike odor, and it's at gas-mask levels during times of peak occupancy within a couple months after grand opening.

    As a side note: Frankly, in my book, it's nothing short of miraculous that none of the gaming specialists MEs has ever been found sleeping with the fishes (so far).

    Apparently none of the ME/MCs has bothered to review any of the seven decades' worth of science that proves tobacco odors persist even in environments ventilated as high as 75/cfm/occupant.

    (At $60/occupant/day gross revenue, unlike your average office building, pissing people off with bad IAQ in a casino gets expensive fast.)

    With underfloor supply, the system blows cold air right up the skirts and pantlegs of the casino's female customers (anyone in here ever responded to an occupant complaint of too much cold air that wasn't a woman?)...the stupidity of which speaks for itself.

    Sooooo....100% OA leaves the odors, underfloor supply leaves the odors and freezes the women out of the place, despite all the worthless carbon-impregnated pleateds the filter peddlers get the casinos to buy, nobody's using "real" carbon systems because they're too expensive, they significantly reduce the odor but don't eliminate it, and these days the haz waste regs make disposal of spent carbon a royal pain in the ass anyway.

    So what do the casinos do?

    THEY SQUIRT PERFUME INTO THE AIR!!!

    Hey, it works great in urinals and WC stalls. Why not give it a shot at ciggies?

    Now, strangely, the same MEs and MCs who are such experts on ozone science and so resolutely opposed to it, yet who in all their scientific studies seem to have completely overlooked the seventy years of science that shows ventilation/dilution doesn't work on tobacco odors, are completely SILENT about the potential rammifications of dumping more potentially toxic chemicals into the air to mask the smell of the aromatic components off-gassed from combustion of tobacco.

    Why is this?

    My point is, yes, there's a certain amount of hyperbole in what I've written and the way I've responded to erroneous assertions here, but in the end what I've written is mostly directed at responding to the facts and science that others have brought to the discussion.

    Whereas, everyone else's comments ignore the challenge of defending their position, refuse to acknowledge the faults in their arguments, and instead focus on attacking me for being an a**hole.

    Well, I can own being an a**hole at times, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong and the people I've disagreed with are right, as much as my being an a**hole makes it even more difficult for them to admit it when they're wrong.

    I've spent the last decade-plus meeting monthly with a group of real scientists, all IAQ specialists, specifically for the purpose of being around very bright, highly educated in IAQ-specific areas, technical types who aren't intimidated by me in the least and who are completely ruthless (as all good scientists are) about tearing me a new one when I'm wrong about anything.

    I enjoy the interaction, plus it serves the necessary function of keeping me sharp enough to have the kinds of debates we have here, with people as sharp as and sharper than anyone I've encountered here, live, real-time, with the owner and/or one of his top five hotshots watching.

    Because of the predisposition on the part of the owner to believe everyone at the table but me, I don't have to be wrong, I just have to show the slightest hint of weakness or hesitation or lack of confidence and I'm toast. And these are very high-stakes meetings.

    The particulars of the conversations might be beyond their grasp, but nobody can smell BS or spot a scammer like a gaming exec, so they don't really need to understand the specifics.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senior Tech View Post
    Thank you for proving my point...



    I don't know all the fancy words so let me put this in plain and simple form...

    Do you know the difference between arrogance and confidence?

    Arrogance is when your right and no matter what the other guy says you refuse to listen. The benefit to this is you don't have to wait for others to give you kudos for your accomplishments...because you've already tooted your own horn...loudly. Don't mistake arrogance for credibility, it sure won't get you any around these parts.

    Confidence is when you know it yet your willing to participate in open discussion, and actually entertain the idea that it's possible for you to learn, even from those new to the field or less educated than yourself.
    Those who display confidence and determination go places around here...and shame on me...I've been in the business many years and just the other day a newbee taught me a few tricks about my combustion analyzer....of course I beat him down afterwards
    Thank you Senior Tech, I know he has all the fancy words and sounds like a smart guy and is passionate about is ideas, but like I said he's got to put in his 40 or so years to really get a handle on this business. All the books and stats available will never repalce EXPERIENCE.
    GO GREEN HEAT

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocHVAC View Post
    Thank you Senior Tech, I know he has all the fancy words and sounds like a smart guy and is passionate about is ideas, but like I said he's got to put in his 40 or so years to really get a handle on this business. All the books and stats available will never repalce EXPERIENCE.
    Agreed, education without field experience doesn't count for much (see: most mechanical engineers).

    And no I definitely haven't been at this for 40 years. I wasn't THAT smart at age 13 lol

    On the other hand, how many others here have solved cig smoke problems in over 200 separate commercial smoking environments, including more than 50 casinos?

    Most MEs and MCs I know are called to solve IAQ problems 2-3 times a year, which is why so many call us, since we've done nothing but IAQ for 36 years now. So I haven't been at this for four decades, but I do have as much IAQ experience as most guys would get in 40 years.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndoorAirGuy View Post
    Agreed, education without field experience doesn't count for much (see: most mechanical engineers).

    And no I definitely haven't been at this for 40 years. I wasn't THAT smart at age 13 lol

    On the other hand, how many others here have solved cig smoke problems in over 200 separate commercial smoking environments, including more than 50 casinos?

    Most MEs and MCs I know are called to solve IAQ problems 2-3 times a year, which is why so many call us, since we've done nothing but IAQ for 36 years now. So I haven't been at this for four decades, but I do have as much IAQ experience as most guys would get in 40 years.
    Do your forty years and then come back when it finally hits you there is no solution to this problem no matter how many books or studies you read.
    GO GREEN HEAT

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocHVAC View Post
    Do your forty years and then come back when it finally hits you there is no solution to this problem no matter how many books or studies you read.
    If by "solution" you mean, take the concentration levels of tobacco smoke toxins and carcinogens to "zero," then you're right, there is no solution.

    I'll say it again:

    The risk of chemical exposure is rated by evaluation of three factors: 1) toxicity of the substance; 2) concentration of the toxic substance; 3) duration of exposure to the toxic substance.

    There is no such thing as a toxin-free environment. The air in the room where you're reading this contains toxic and carcinogenic substances. The atmosphere outside contains toxins and carcinogens.

    Relevant to this discussion: All commercial buildings have many different toxic substances in them whether or not smoking is allowed, especially the ones with piss-poor HVAC designs, builds and maintenance/repair, and alterations without appropriate compensatory adjustments (approximately 60% of the commercial structures out there, hence the existence of my company).

    If any exposure whatsoever to toxins was threatening or fatal, we'd all be sick or dead, period. The body is a tough SOB, it's amazingly resilient and it has plenty of its own defenses.

    I concede there's no way to take the concentration levels of the toxins in smoking (or nonsmoking) environments down to zero. If "safe" means zero concentration levels, then there's no such thing as a "safe" environment, in your home, where you work, where you play.

    If "safe" means keeping the toxin levels down to a point where you need the chemical sensing equivalent of an electron microscope to find them, then yes, absolutely, our technology makes our clients' environments safer than they are without our technology.

    If "safe" means the legal definition of safe (i.e., below workplace occupational exposure thresholds), then all our environments are safe.

    Furthermore, although I obviously disagree with you, I respect your honesty about your beliefs and I assume you're every bit as honest with the prospective customers who call you to solve IAQs problem for them. You tell them all, "Sorry, but I don't know any way to make your building safe," right?

    I ask because I've never met anyone in the ME/MC worlds who actually does that. They all pretend to know how to solve the problem, and keep doing experiments on the owner's nickel until the owner cans them and brings in someone new to waste more of his money.

    In 100% of my retrofits, the owner has typically been through 2-3 MEs and 3-5 MCs before he gets to me. So obviously, people of your heartfelt beliefs and integrity are few and far between.

    Owners don't hire me because they're concerned about the level of acrolene in their casinos, they hire me because their casinos stink, their customers and employees are pissed off about it, they want the odor to go away (remember "occupant comfort"?) and I have a well-deserved reputation for being the best at it.

    The truth is, the anti-smoking crusade is just one more way politics has kidnapped science, put lipstick, rouge and a miniskirt on it, and put it out there on the street to earn its way.

    Inarguable science proves smoking is bad for you. Inarguable science proves that if you live or work in an un- or under-ventilated space with smokers, over time you face virtually the same level of risk to your health as the smokers do.

    There never has been, and there never will be, any real science that shows exposure to environmental tobacco smoke toxins at the levels found in environments with the massively oversized HVAC systems of the places I work is harmful. Population studies are polls, not science!

    If we continue to let the whore politicians keep science hostage, in another generation or two we'll be a nation of freekin' morons (most would agree America is well along the path already).

    Finally, the hypocrisy of the tobacco crusaders really puckers my butt. They pretend it's about occupational health and safety, but it's really about using whatever means possible (except for making the stuff illegal) to harass smokers and businesses where people smoke into non-existence.

    How do I know this?

    Because if they really cared about employee health and safety, they wouldn't bother with smoking because there's so little of it (down to 20% smokers in America now) and instead they'd focus on the horrible air quality in most commercial buildings, many of which have far worse and higher levels of toxins and carcinogens than a well-ventilated smoking building equipped with the right controls and air cleaning technology.

    Better yet, they'd focus on the industrial world. We do industrial air cleaning systems too, and the air quality in the "best" industrial environment I've ever been in is far worse than the nastiest, s***hole unventilated dive bar I've ever been in, by a large measure.

    So if it's really about health, why all the racket about a pissant problem like tobacco, and why the silence on the rest of the iceberg?

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndoorAirGuy View Post
    If by "solution" you mean, take the concentration levels of tobacco smoke toxins and carcinogens to "zero," then you're right, there is no solution.

    I'll say it again:

    The risk of chemical exposure is rated by evaluation of three factors: 1) toxicity of the substance; 2) concentration of the toxic substance; 3) duration of exposure to the toxic substance.

    There is no such thing as a toxin-free environment. The air in the room where you're reading this contains toxic and carcinogenic substances. The atmosphere outside contains toxins and carcinogens.

    Relevant to this discussion: All commercial buildings have many different toxic substances in them whether or not smoking is allowed, especially the ones with piss-poor HVAC designs, builds and maintenance/repair, and alterations without appropriate compensatory adjustments (approximately 60% of the commercial structures out there, hence the existence of my company).

    If any exposure whatsoever to toxins was threatening or fatal, we'd all be sick or dead, period. The body is a tough SOB, it's amazingly resilient and it has plenty of its own defenses.

    I concede there's no way to take the concentration levels of the toxins in smoking (or nonsmoking) environments down to zero. If "safe" means zero concentration levels, then there's no such thing as a "safe" environment, in your home, where you work, where you play.

    If "safe" means keeping the toxin levels down to a point where you need the chemical sensing equivalent of an electron microscope to find them, then yes, absolutely, our technology makes our clients' environments safer than they are without our technology.

    If "safe" means the legal definition of safe (i.e., below workplace occupational exposure thresholds), then all our environments are safe.

    Furthermore, although I obviously disagree with you, I respect your honesty about your beliefs and I assume you're every bit as honest with the prospective customers who call you to solve IAQs problem for them. You tell them all, "Sorry, but I don't know any way to make your building safe," right?

    I ask because I've never met anyone in the ME/MC worlds who actually does that. They all pretend to know how to solve the problem, and keep doing experiments on the owner's nickel until the owner cans them and brings in someone new to waste more of his money.

    In 100% of my retrofits, the owner has typically been through 2-3 MEs and 3-5 MCs before he gets to me. So obviously, people of your heartfelt beliefs and integrity are few and far between.

    Owners don't hire me because they're concerned about the level of acrolene in their casinos, they hire me because their casinos stink, their customers and employees are pissed off about it, they want the odor to go away (remember "occupant comfort"?) and I have a well-deserved reputation for being the best at it.

    The truth is, the anti-smoking crusade is just one more way politics has kidnapped science, put lipstick, rouge and a miniskirt on it, and put it out there on the street to earn its way.

    Inarguable science proves smoking is bad for you. Inarguable science proves that if you live or work in an un- or under-ventilated space with smokers, over time you face virtually the same level of risk to your health as the smokers do.

    There never has been, and there never will be, any real science that shows exposure to environmental tobacco smoke toxins at the levels found in environments with the massively oversized HVAC systems of the places I work is harmful. Population studies are polls, not science!

    If we continue to let the whore politicians keep science hostage, in another generation or two we'll be a nation of freekin' morons (most would agree America is well along the path already).

    Finally, the hypocrisy of the tobacco crusaders really puckers my butt. They pretend it's about occupational health and safety, but it's really about using whatever means possible (except for making the stuff illegal) to harass smokers and businesses where people smoke into non-existence.

    How do I know this?

    Because if they really cared about employee health and safety, they wouldn't bother with smoking because there's so little of it (down to 20% smokers in America now) and instead they'd focus on the horrible air quality in most commercial buildings, many of which have far worse and higher levels of toxins and carcinogens than a well-ventilated smoking building equipped with the right controls and air cleaning technology.

    Better yet, they'd focus on the industrial world. We do industrial air cleaning systems too, and the air quality in the "best" industrial environment I've ever been in is far worse than the nastiest, s***hole unventilated dive bar I've ever been in, by a large measure.

    So if it's really about health, why all the racket about a pissant problem like tobacco, and why the silence on the rest of the iceberg?
    IAQGuy get over it you will never really get rid of the contaminants of cigarettes and if your just getting rid of the smell with ozone you are pulling the wool over their eyes you could do the same thing by adding frabreze to the air stream. You are right about all the indoor pollution in our environment you got that down pat, like I said you do have a passion for what your doing and good luck with it. But please don't come on here and think you have the answer to the real subject I am really talking about. Sorry I don't have the time or the enthusiasm to continue this argument.
    GO GREEN HEAT

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocHVAC View Post
    IAQGuy get over it you will never really get rid of the contaminants of cigarettes and if your just getting rid of the smell with ozone you are pulling the wool over their eyes you could do the same thing by adding frabreze to the air stream. You are right about all the indoor pollution in our environment you got that down pat, like I said you do have a passion for what your doing and good luck with it. But please don't come on here and think you have the answer to the real subject I am really talking about. Sorry I don't have the time or the enthusiasm to continue this argument.
    OK, what's the "real subject (you are) really talking about" then?

    As far as Frabreze (never heard of it, but it sounds like one of the fancy names the masking agent/perfume guys use):

    Ozone is an oxidant. Oxidants work by oxidation, which is a reductive process (breaks things down). Ozone eliminates odors by breaking them down into O2, CO2 and nominal amounts of H20 (this doesn't work on all the VOCs in cig smoke, but it does on a lot of them, most especially the odors).

    Adding perfume to the air is an additive process, meaning rather than destroying the odorous chemicals, you're adding concentrations of sweeter-smelling odorous chemicals that overwhelm the smoke odor.

    If you don't understand the difference between the above choices, then I really am beating a dead horse by continuing this conversation.

  14. #34
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    Your beating a dead horse...

    Some of the things you have stated I looked up myself, Indoor Air Guy and you are correct. I know I am probably about to piss everyone else off, BUT the dude so far is correct. Just look it up yourself. Maybe he had his fuse lit whenever he read the other post but whats right is right.

    As for you Indoor Air Guy, for you to still explain yourself, It looks like everyone has kinda turned their backs on you. I have found your postings very interesting but everyone else is giving you the "bird" and walking away.
    "It's not that I'm smart, it's that I stay with the problem longer”
    Albert Einstein

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by xarralu View Post
    Some of the things you have stated I looked up myself, Indoor Air Guy and you are correct. I know I am probably about to piss everyone else off, BUT the dude so far is correct. Just look it up yourself. Maybe he had his fuse lit whenever he read the other post but whats right is right.

    As for you Indoor Air Guy, for you to still explain yourself, It looks like everyone has kinda turned their backs on you. I have found your postings very interesting but everyone else is giving you the "bird" and walking away.
    Maybe it's because of my warm, fuzzy, charming personality?

    I appreciate your compliment and applaud your research, since as you found, almost everything I've said comes from the scientific literature and most of it is freely available on the Internet (for a lot of it, the summaries are free but you have to buy the full package).

    I always thought, build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. In reality, we've had the best mousetrap ever built as far as getting rid of tobacco odors in casinos, and we've been getting kicked in the ass for it by the ME/MC worlds nonstop for 12 years now.

    Inasmuch as it's the ME/MC worlds' inability to solve the very same problem that created the business opportunity for us in the first place, one has to wonder why they're so prone to attacking someone who actually CAN solve the problem.

    Obviously it's not all bad news, because typically, after they've invested tens of thousands to millions of dollars on ME/MC experiments, the owners figure out they don't know what they're doing and come to us. We have a lot of repeat and referral business.

    I can admit I'm not short on confidence. I'm proud of what I've accomplished and all the hard work it took to accomplish it. But it's more than a little ironic to be accused of having a huge ego by people whose inability to admit there's something they don't know costs the gaming industry billions of dollars every year.

    The fact that 100% outside air systems (sometimes featuring 60 degree air being blown up everybody's pantlegs from underfloor waste receptacles) with such a high odor load they're squirting perfume into the air like they do in public restrooms is the "state of the art" in the gaming industry pretty much speaks for itself.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndoorAirGuy View Post
    OK, what's the "real subject (you are) really talking about" then?

    As far as Frabreze (never heard of it, but it sounds like one of the fancy names the masking agent/perfume guys use):

    Ozone is an oxidant. Oxidants work by oxidation, which is a reductive process (breaks things down).
    I think I know what you meant (subtractive?), but... Reduction (as in " A reaction in which oxygen is removed from a compound." c.f. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reductional) is the opposite of oxidation.

    Quote Originally Posted by IndoorAirGuy View Post
    Ozone eliminates odors by breaking them down into O2, CO2 and nominal amounts of H20 (this doesn't work on all the VOCs in cig smoke, but it does on a lot of them, most especially the odors).
    what I read about ozone chemistry isn't that simple. http://www.fraqmd.org/OzoneChemistry.htm I suppose you mean that under ideal conditions, the summary results "before and after" would look like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by IndoorAirGuy View Post
    Adding perfume to the air is an additive process, meaning rather than destroying the odorous chemicals, you're adding concentrations of sweeter-smelling odorous chemicals that overwhelm the smoke odor.
    Perfume makes me feel ill. Especially when you have to stand close (e.g., in an elevator) to someone who bathed in it

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndoorAirGuy View Post
    (...)
    Inasmuch as it's the ME/MC worlds' inability to solve the very same problem that created the business opportunity for us in the first place, one has to wonder why they're so prone to attacking someone who actually CAN solve the problem.
    (...)
    Heh. Pot Kettle black.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmeunier View Post
    I think I know what you meant (subtractive?), but... Reduction (as in " A reaction in which oxygen is removed from a compound." c.f. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reductional) is the opposite of oxidation.



    what I read about ozone chemistry isn't that simple. http://www.fraqmd.org/OzoneChemistry.htm I suppose you mean that under ideal conditions, the summary results "before and after" would look like that.



    Perfume makes me feel ill. Especially when you have to stand close (e.g., in an elevator) to someone who bathed in it
    Wow! Great comments! Thank you!

    Reductive vs. subtractive: Agreed that neither is exactly correct, but reductive more accurately describes the oxidation process in the low-concentration, highly-ventilated environments where I use ozone, vs the well-documented reactions that occur with high-concentration reactions in sealed boxes in the lab.

    Same comment to your second remark, and thanks for noting the difference between "lab" and "real world."

    Your point about perfume is one I make to the casinos all the time. Smoking is like every other issue -- small pockets of extremes on both sides, with the vast majority somewhere in the middle.

    With smoking, you've got maybe 10% hard-asses who'll start whining if someone lights up within 100 yards even if they're outside and it's a windy day, and 10% on the other end who wouldn't complain if you flicked ashes in their breakfast while they were eating it.

    Casinos don't need to worry about the 10% hard-asses, because those folks are NEVER going to be casino customers or even set foot in any place where smoking is allowed. And they don't need to worry about the other extreme for obvious reasons.

    The remaining 80% is smoking-tolerant, as long as the odor isn't too oppressive. My point to the casinos is, the people among that 80% who are sensitive to odors are sensitive to ALL odors, and masking a crappy-smelling odor (tobacco) with a much stronger but sickeningly sweet-smelling one isn't really an upgrade. There are a lot of people who don't mind the smoke but can't stand the perfume, and some of the stuff they use in the perfume is pretty ugly all on its own.

    Also, some of the perfume systems are on "constant mist" and others just give a blast on an intermittent basis, but both suffer from inequitable distribution because liquids don't behave like gases do (duh!). So it's impossible to get equal distribution or achieve an overall balance.

    Simply, in the perfume-injection places, in some areas the perfume is strong enough to make you gag and in other areas the tobacco odor is winning the battle. And in the intermittent-injection places, if you're under the misters when they let loose a blast, RUN!!!

    And oh yeah, by the way -- half the problem is the stench while the customers are in the casino, and the other half is the stench on their clothes when they leave the casino. Perfumes hide the stench while they're in the casino, but the odors are all still there, just hidden -- so they're still on the customers' clothes when they leave the casino. This isn't a good thing.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmeunier View Post
    I think I know what you meant (subtractive?), but... Reduction (as in " A reaction in which oxygen is removed from a compound." c.f. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reductional) is the opposite of oxidation.
    what I read about ozone chemistry isn't that simple. http://www.fraqmd.org/OzoneChemistry.htm I suppose you mean that under ideal conditions, the summary results "before and after" would look like that.
    Perfume makes me feel ill. Especially when you have to stand close (e.g., in an elevator) to someone who bathed in it
    FYI - The mode of action of Fabrize is unique. The active element is a molekule called beta-cyclodextrin. Some VOCs will get trapped inside the beta-cyclodextrin molekule and will be out of reach of our smell receptors.
    Don't know the toxicity of beta-cyclodextrin or the vapor pressure, but this stuff is advertised as "eliminating odors". Misleading at best but it does work for eliminating some odors but it just hides the offending VOCs.

    On another point - My sympathies with any who have felt slighted in recent exchanges. I do feel the same points could have been made, just as authoritatively, in a less inflammatory tone. I must admit though a little heat now and then is welcome and these exchanges can home in points that would otherwise be missed.

    Indoor Air Nerd does know what he is talking. His data is all evidence based and his credentials are about as good as it gets.

    I participated here for about 5 years and I've been very impressed by the intelligence and competence of most professional members - really. But intelligence without up to date data is lacking.

    BTW - I do have some points of contention with Ian but that's for another thread.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndoorAirGuy View Post
    Hmmm...let me see if I understand the drill here. As a "newbie" I'm verboten from confronting a non-newbie; whereas the non-newbies are free to blast away, call me a$$hole, arrogant, ignorant, etc. sans any restriction whatsoever.

    4) When it comes to gases, dilution doesn't work, sorbent media (carbon) only solves part of the problem, with huge replenishment expense and disposal issues, and conventional impingement filters (boosted by ionization or not) are even more worthless because gas molecules are 1/100th to 1/10,000th the size of dust particles, and act/react differently in closed atmospheres.

    5) I've sampled for TOTAL VOC (TVOC) content in more than 100 commercial smoking environments. The highest TVOC I've ever sampled in a place ventilated to 30 cfm/occupant or better is 150 parts per million. If the ventilation capability of the existing HVAC is less than 30 cfm/occupant, I explain they need to upgrade their HVAC before I can do anything for them.
    HUH???
    Sorry but when it comes to gases ventilation DOES work. That an undisputed truth that's almost as certain as the truth of long division.

    150 ppm translates (using Isobutylene as an average) to 454,400 ng/liter. THATs a absurdly high level. Any humans would have vacated long ago and anyone taking measurements would be wearing a mask.
    Generally levels above 3000 ng/liter are considered likely to elicit complaints/symptoms. And your claiming >100x that amount. Really?

    And contrary to your claim it's Not likely that any of the individual components would come close to approaching PEL or TLV limits. In fact just the opposite is likely

    Also you seem to imply that 150ppm is acceptable as long as ventilation is adequate. Don't think so - 150 ppm is just a harmful in a room with 0 ventilation as a room with the windows open during a hurricane. In both situations an inhale will include that same amount of pollutants.

    If I'm wrong feel free to overstate my stupidity and your brilliance.

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