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How to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home and Car During Wildfire Season   The smoke season over the past four years has kept us very busy measuring and mitigating wildfire smoke in the air we breathe. On top of California’s extended drought, this year has also delivered extreme heat and massive lighting storms

How HVAC Systems Help Reduce Potential COVID-19 Exposure: As the economy begins to reopen and we return to our buildings, what role do building ventilation systems play in reducing our risks of infection? Infection via inhalation or contact with droplets is well understood at this point. Another potential exposure route being discussed is exposure via

growing concern for the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-10)

With growing concern about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we at HBS (Healthy Building Science) want our clients and community to know we are taking precautionary measures to ensure their safety, health, and well-being as a top priority.  In addition to our standard Health and Safety Program at HBS, our staff has been instructed to

I’ve lived in California for over 30 years. Most of that time I never really thought about wildfires; their destructive flames seemed only possible in the movies. That has changed, not just for me, but for most Californians, who have become brutally aware of the very real threat wildfire poses. While fire itself is by

Fire Proof Building

Tuesday, 30 April 2019 by
Protecting Home from Fire - Eaves Detail

Fire Proof Building The past few summers I’ve been caught somewhat off guard by how vulnerable I feel when dry winds are blowing and smoke fills the sky. I remember very clearly being on the roof, with a mask on, cleaning out gutters and small piles of leaves. As an industrial hygienist, I know harm

Lead Dust Testing Outside?

Monday, 08 April 2019 by
Lead Testing using XRF Gun

Dust Settling on Outside Patio or Furniture? I was sitting on my porch in San Francisco watching kids play on the wooden deck and started to wonder, “is the dust on my porch contaminated with lead dust? If so, how best to clean it up?” So I did a little experiment and tested for lead

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Clean Crawlspaces and Basements are Good for Health

Is a Clean Crawlspace Really That Important? Crawlspaces are generally not what anyone would consider “clean.” When was the last time you went into a crawlspace? It’s typically a dark, dank environment where critters and odors scare away even the bravest DIY building owners. Often old construction materials and cardboard boxes are crammed down below,

Air Quality Index (AQI) and You

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 by

Air Quality Index (AQI) and You During the 2018 Paradise Fire smoke wave, many in the Bay Area obsessively checked online for air quality information and updates. Here is an overview of a handful of real-time air quality websites I found helpful and how they compare. Keep in mind that climate change plus newer and cheaper

Air flow of fan filter on intake side. Wildfire smoke and air quality

DIY Box Fan Filter & Air Quality Experiment Here in San Francisco and surrounding areas kids are stuck indoors during this smoke wave caused by our wild fires with little or no air filtration. In San Francisco the school buildings are older and are not setup to have building wide air filtration. Nor can cash-strapped

Wildfire Smoke

Bay Area Wildfire Smoke and Indoor Air Quality I am writing this on November 13, 2018.  For the past week the state of California has been cloaked in thick, noxious smoke from the wildfires burning out of control.  Northern California is mostly affected by the Camp Fire near Chico, CA and Southern California by the

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