1/ We have results from Illinois Institute of Technology lab that is evaluating electronic air cleaners.

They tested the Blueair 211 units (which APS bought).

Results are disappointing to us.

📌 Project:
📌 Report:
2/ There was some inaccurate information being put forth that these machines were not ionizers, because they were not listed by the California @AirResources Board as ionization devices.

But these machines do indeed have an ionizer. 👇
3/ The use of additive and electronic air cleaning devices, often marketed with HEPA in the name although they ARE NOT HEPA cleaners, has come under scrutiny this year.

4/ Scientists have raised concerns about some kinds of air cleaners because they may emit a lot of ozone.

California @AirResources Board checks this out, and we FOIA'd documents. The Blueair filters that APS got do not create ozone, according to public records provided by CARB.
5/ Scientists have also raised concerns about how shooting ions into the air can create chemical reactions with what's in the room — that result in "gas-phase organic compounds (VOCs, aldehydes)."

Here's a list of byproducts that scientists have looked for, that are possible:
6/ This new testing showed that ionization is critical to Blueair's Clean Air Delivery Rate, because it causes things to stick to the filter.

The filter didn't perform so well without the marketed "electrostatic" energy making particles more clingy. (Shown in charts.)
7/ Specifically, when the ionization component was disconnected inside units, these electronic air cleaners performed 44% worse for the very smallest particles.

Univ. of Florida 👩‍🔬 found smallest particles contain infectious virus, so these need ionization turned on to catch 🦠.
8/ These results mean that APS can't just disable the ionizer component, even if parents & teachers are worried about volatile compounds and possible byproducts of this technology.

We had hoped this might be OK, but they'll have to use the units as is to fight COVID-19.
9/ Replacement filters will likely cost APS as much as real HEPA filters.

But "True HEPA" filters would have removed 99.97% of dust, bacteria and particles <0.3 µm, w/o any ionization needed. Top experts like @CorsIAQ strongly recommended buy only HEPA.

10/ The testing also presented an independent review of the certified CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate), a measure of how fast and well they filter.

CADR for smoke, dust, and pollen particles during normal operation (with ionizer enabled) were estimated to be 285, 309, and 389 CFM.
11/ In the independent university test, these portable filters that APS got performed about 19% worse than we expected.

As a result, we have likely UNDERESTIMATED the amount of uncontaminated air our kids will have in many classrooms.
12/ Parents and teachers asked APS NOT to purchase any air cleaner with ionization.

Blueair's marketing material says it uses "electrostatic filtration" and distances itself from "air cleaning techniques based only on ionization."

That's the only time ionization is mentioned.
15/ We tried to convince our VA senators @MarkWarner and @timkaine to please write STRONG guidelines so schools would spend $$ on products that are proven, like True HEPA air cleaners.

It didn't happen. 😭

16/ It's ironic we were watching out for this stuff, but now we have 2,000+ air cleaners, shooting a very high amount of negative ions into our classroom air.

They will remove virus in the air, and that is the biggest priority right now.

But they may hurt IAQ in other ways.😞
17/ APS should not more of these units and switch to a different model of True HEPA cleaner, as suggested in March.

Please don't double-down. Start a serious effort to replace what you've got with True HEPAs. A replacement filter is 30% of the cost of a new HEPA cleaner.
FYI @jeremychrysler I know we talked about disabling ionizers in these units but it’s not a good idea if someone is depending on the unit to filter during pandemic and depends on the advertised CADR. May want to consider a note of caution for safety on your YouTube video! See 🧵

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More from @smartrestartaps

13 Aug
1/ A lot of the #school contact #tracing and #quarantine policies, recommended by the @CDCgov for #COVID19, and adopted by @APSVirginia, just don't make sense to regular people.

Isn't this how we'd hope to handle these situations at work? 👇
2/ Worker 😨, calling boss: Hey, I sat next to someone w/ COVID-19 for 7 hours yesterday, but am vaccinated; can I come into work and wear a mask? Have lunch in the cafeteria?

BOSS: No, work from home. Some vaccinated people have spread COVID-19. Get tested. Then come back.
3/ Worker 😨, calling boss: Has anyone in my work group had COVID-19 recently? I'm off to see my immunocompromised elderly mom, wanted to know.

BOSS: Sure, I'll check, but didn't you get that notice we sent, about case in building? Ought to get a test, in case you crossed paths.
Read 10 tweets
11 Aug
1/ Thought-provoking 🧵 on how Delta variant may be more dependent on larger clusters of infection (super-spreading!) to surge. The “k” factor or variability could be more. But add a “super emitter” to a low air flow room and 💥, then multiply by how often this is happening…
2/ The obvious applicability is one would reduce the following:
📌Eliminate situations like indoor eating at schools, in community cafeterias, and improve airflow in rooms that are ideal for superspreading. (<1 ACH for sure; close to 2 ACH should be next priority, and so on).
3/ We would also:
📌Try to screen out next super emitter from turning infectious… We’d test kids in classrooms with known case, for instance, and not just assume “had a mask on so can’t have gotten it.” Many private schools have such required pooled testing or rapid testing.
Read 6 tweets
11 Aug
2/☝️This shows about a 1% transmission rate while all kids were wearing masks in this study.
The caveat (in the earlier data we reviewed) was surveillance testing wasn’t utilized to catch many asymptomatic kids. In places where testing was used, like Omaha, they found 6x cases.
3/ Other studies found COVID-19 infected many more kids than known. Serology in MS found >10x COVID-19 cases in kids as known. (Many MS kids getting reinfected; devastating outcomes.)

INOVA/GMU study: HUGE undercount here.
Any known exposure = kid ~3x more likely infected Image
Read 15 tweets
10 Aug
Who's #unvaccinated in #Arlington?

13,540 babies/preK <4yoa (100%)
20,181 kids (ALL <12 +teens to 19) (38%)
8,957 young adults, age 20-24 (56%)
25,156 age 25-34 (46%)
12,605 age 35-44 (33%)
15,892 age 45-64 (30%)
4,519 age 65-84 (20%)
1,115 of 85+ (35%)

TOTAL: 100,051 unvaxed
There isn't a record of some of the federally distributed shots, so our amount of vaccinated could be greater for some of the adults. Maybe 5% more? 10%?

90,000 unvaccinated is still plenty for a virus to attack.

Unlike our neighbors in DC and Maryland, we have no indoor mask mandate. We are fully open. The bars and restaurants are full. With indoor gatherings and back to school full-time, there is a lot of human fuel for #DeltaVariant to burn through and spread rapidly in our community.
Read 5 tweets
30 Jul
Uh oh… APS Policy: Don’t notify kids/staff if they were near a COVID-19 case, if were wearing a mask? Hmmm…Confusing. An upset parent just sent us this APS note about contact tracing and asked us if we understood it. APS cites CDC…
BUT a 3-minute search of CDC turns up a guide for what to do if you have COVID, which CLEARLY states people you were near while wearing masks ARE CLOSE CONTACTS and must be notified. Is it any wonder why parents are worried ‘bout back to school… especially for unvaxed kids < 12?
WHY would we not err on side of at least notification? If nothing else? How many APS families include multigenerational members, caregivers for elderly, pregnant moms, new babies, or immune-compromised members at more risk from COVID-19?

Communication = caring
Read 9 tweets

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