Archive for May, 2012

Submicron particle exposure in a fire station in Austin, Texas

Fire station in Austin, TX

Last week I assisted a team of graduate students during a visit to a fire station in Austin, TX. The students were from Dr. Atila Novoselac‘s Energy and Indoor Air Quality Field Measurements course at the University of Texas at Austin. The students were measuring concentrations of particulate matter in the station in order to assess firefighters’ exposures to diesel exhaust.

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Always read the methods section: Formaldehyde emissions

I posted a link on Twitter the other day (April 30) about a study investigating the inhalation exposure to formaldehyde from the use of personal care products (i.e., lotions, conditioners, shampoos, etc.). Basically, the study involved using a relatively large amount of several products in a simulated bathroom and measuring the resulting concentrations of formaldehyde. In their interpretation of their results, they said:

“Overall, our data yielded evidence that inhalation of FA [formaldehyde] from the use of PCP [personal care products] containing FA-releasers poses no risk to human health.”

I posted the link, then thought about the study a day later, wondering about its methods. So I dug a little deeper, and found the methods and results to be somewhat misleading, depending on your point of view.

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