The air helmet allows me to do things otherwise impossible, like woodworking, soldering, or other toxic repairs with my portable blower as an air source. In my shop, it is plumbed with galvenized steel ducts and places to plug in overhead. I get 100% fresh air blowing in my face. It is quite pleasant.
I ordered the blower from Graingers, a large wholesale supplier to contractors and businesses here in the states. A heating or plumbing contractor there might be a source for the blower I used.
The blower I used for the air helmet is Grainger part no. 4C441, $40.00 each on page 3631 of catalog 390, 1999-2000.
It generates 23 CFM at 0.5" of static pressure, with a cutoff static pressure of 0.60.
The url for the helmet is:
The closest to my helmet is the breatheasy 1, which (yikes!) lists for $289.
The ducting is washed galvenized steel, the flexible portion is a barrier cloth covered slinky.
House Paint Pitfalls and Test
There are reports of several MCS/EIs who could never use their new custom "safe" homes because of using natural paint products. Natural oils are often outgas for a long, long time. The most natural of finishes is shellac. It is a bug "goo" dissolved in alcohol. Many MCS/EIs don't tolerate that, either.
There is no substitute for testing a large, 32 ssquare foot, area of the finish you'd like to use. Period.
There is a good report on AFM semigloss interior paint, with no oil based tint. It was tested by an MCS/EI for odor after just a few months and seemed very good. The AFM primer was not used, just another coat. The homeowners said the primer did not test well. (For them)
Ozone and Germicidal Generators
"Oxides" and "-dioxides" of nitrogen, sulphur, and carbon, and a myriad of other things, plus nanoparticles of tires, tar, etc.and ozone in the stratosphere and beyond is essential for healthy life on the surface of the earth. and we are rapidly destroying it. "Ozone" on the surface is *not* pure ozone, if you are talking about the euphamism for photochemical smog. "Ozone" is then a euphamism for filth and harmful air pollution.
That brings us to ozone in the house.
1. Clean air, if there is such a thing remaining anywhere, is produced by trees, rainfall, etc. It contains oxygen and other molecules, including a small proportion of ozone. The ozone in clean air is what keeps or helps to keep it clean. When you air out your place with clean air, you get some clean ozone with it.
2. That brings us to ozone machines. They are no more all alike than a stripped down, bottom of the line automobile is the same as a Corvair. A car is not a car, and an ozone machine is not an ozone machine.
3. The best functioning ozone machine, such as the one I have, can run on a sensor, which keeps the level of ozone identical with that of clean air in a forest after a good rain. With the sensor off, it produces unregulated ozone and begins to smell a little like chlorine laundry bleach after a while in a clean room.
4. If there is pollution in the home, such as what I got yesterday when the apartment above me got new carpet (glue) and paint (fumes) which seeped into my place, then running ozone results in the volatile compounds being broken down -- and while this process is happening, the air is worse perhaps than if nothing at all was done. This is theoretical, but my experience supports it, too. In due course, the toxic chemicals will be broken down further into their components and be harmless or mostly so. It's not a good idea to breathe the stuff during the process if you can help it. For me, it is sufficient to open the all the windows periodically to let the outside air blow through enough to clear the place.
(Editor's Note: For the immune suppressed and ultra-sensitive, it is best to leave the area when chemicals are applied in close proximity.)
5. If there is no serious pollution in the home, running the ozone machine on sensor does not pose a problem. In fact, when air is good in the home, the ozone machine with a working sensor does *not* produce ozone. Sometimes, I don't think mine is even working, unless I take it off sensor. Then I can smell ozone.
6. An overabundance of positive oxygen ions in an area can result in some people feeling depressed. Outdoor air pollution tends to have a superabundance of these ions, so ozone is another euphamism for pollution -- positive ions -- which can result in depression.
7. I believe, though am not certain, that air cleaners and other machines with fans (and computers have fans, too) produce positive ions. A certain proportion (I don't know what) is okay or even desired, but not an overabundance.
8. Negative ions, on the other hand, have a positive effect on many people. They also help to precipitate pollution out of the air.
9. My ozone generator also produces negative and positive ions.
I wouldn't be without my ozone machine. It's probably saved my life, seriously, when I was being bombarded daily with herbicides, pesticides, lawn chemicals, and perfumes. My place was dangerously toxic every day and by nightfall it was usually safe because of my ozone machine. I couldn't always air the place out because of the onslaught of perfume or pesticides outside my windows. Even with the ozone, I began to die. About 4 of my neighbors who did *not* have MCS were stricken ill and died during or right after the period in question. (I got out.)
Now about lungs. I have heard, although I have no evidence of my own experience to support this, that pure ozone in larger than normal amounts in the indoor air destroys sick lung tissue. That is, a person may experience some problem with lungs using quantities of ozone. Pets too may be affected. I have heard a few people say that they get sick from ozone.
I am very grateful that I have an ozone machine. I also use a 3 stage air filter for dust, gasses, etc. It's got the outer carbon filter, and an inner HEPA filter. It's nothing fancy, but it works well enough for my purposes. The last replacement, HEPA filter I bought smelled from chemicals but after a day or two, the smell was gone.
Claire Gilbert www.blazingtattles.com
Ultraviolet ozone lamps do not create a nitrous oxide by product like the corona discharge or arc system machines. For me, the ultraviolet lamps are preferable. The following company makes the ozone lamps, transformers and wire harnesses that you need. Because they are designed for industrial use, you need to make your own protective box or housing around it.
Glasco Ultra Violet Systems, (Division of Southern Trent Services Ultra Dynamic) 82 Burlews Court, Hackensack, NJ 07601. 1-800-727-6931 or 201-489-0044
Careful handling of lamp: It is important not to drop the lamp or set heavy objects on it. If it is cracked, there is mercury inside the lamp that can leak out. If the lamp has been dropped, go outdoors and check carefully for cracks. If it is cracked, dispose of immediately in garbage bag.
Ozone Caution: Protect eyes and lungs. Do not look directly into the lamp for an extended period of time, as it can cause damage to the eye. Do not stay in the room or vehicle while the lamp is running, as it irritates the lungs.
Ozone deteriorates rubber. If you have a tape deck that has rubber belt parts, protect the tape deck from the ozone. Ozone deteriorates the tiny rubber belts.
Decontamination recommendations: The ozone lamp generates a generous amount of ozone and does an excellent job breaking down residues. Two to four hours of ozoning is best to start with and good for light contaminations. Overnight ozoning is adequate for heavy contaminations. Wait a day or 2 for all the gasses to escape to evaluate the effectivness of the ozone treatment. Repeat if necessary.
For germicidal lamps, it may be necessary to double the amount of ozoning time.
If your vehicle has been sprayed directly with pesticide or herbicide spray, (hopfully with the windows upand air vents closed) take it to a drive-through car wash before ozoning. If windows were down, it is best to wash the whole interior thoroughly before ozoning. For the extremely sensitive, discard wash water outside, where there will be no foot traffic or rainwater runoff into foottraffic areas.
To clean the air system: Put ozone generator inside the vehicle in the front. Turn the lamp on with vehicle's motor running and air conditioning system on for about 15 to 30 minutes. Check after airing out the car or take a short drive with the air conditioning on. Repeat if necessary. This breaks down mold and chemicals within the air system. There was one report of ozone damaging the air conditioning system in a Ford. Possibly because of deterioration of rubber parts. I have never had this experience. I have used it sucessfully on the air systems in a Mitsubishi and Chevrolet.
Please note: To minimize contamination of air ducts while driving, turn fan off before driving through chemical spray. I do this whenever I see slow moving, tanker trucks on the roadside.