Chief Science Officer and Board founding member of IBEC, Ken Martinez, participated in the Podcast “Air Health Our Health” on December 4th.
In this episode called “Clearing the Air about Ionizers, Hydrogen Peroxide & More- the 4 D’s of Safer Air with Ken Martinez”, Erika Moseson, a lung, and I.C.U, invited Ken Martinez to discuss air quality and the devices and technologies currently used to prevent airborne infection.
Ken Martinez is an Environmental Engineer and Industrial Hygienist with experience in leading and conducting large-scale research, managing programs in occupational safety and health and emergency response, and creating and teaching professional development courses.
He has over 33 years of C.D.C. expertise in hazardous agent exposure characterization and mitigation control practices in the manufacturing and healthcare industry. After retiring from C.D.C., he served eight years in the CBRN space as a consultant focusing on a national biodetection program.
Mr. Martinez is a recognized subject matter expert in biological agents, including infectious disease and bioterrorism agents.
It’s no surprise Ken Martinez was invited to advocate for the premises and findings The Integrated Bioscience and Built Environment Consortium (IBEC) and The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) have found and compiled in their Commit To C.A.R.E. pledge.
In this episode of “Air Health Our Health,” Erika & Ken discussed everything from what we can learn from previous public health and bioterrorism crises as well as what technology currently has enough safety data to trust in the air we breathe.
Ken is skeptical of ionizing technology and introducing additional chemical foggers.
While we wait for the following variant to arrive, there are a lot of steps and tools we can use to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The “4D’s” (explained in depth in the Commit To C.A.R.E. pledge) are essential.
The 4D’s stand for:
- Decreasing the density of people.
- Decreasing the duration of time indoors.
- Ensuring sufficient distance among us.
- Diluting the air with ventilation and mechanical filtration, such as with HEPA and MERV technology.
We can all Commit To C.A.R.E. We can ensure all who are eligible are vaccinated and make sure our indoor gatherings observe those 4Ds.
The reality is that many of the technologies we have installed in schools do not have formal studies to back up if they are truly safe.
One independent study of a commercially available bi-polar ionization device showed that it might not do much to drop the particles of concern. Still, it did increase volatile organic compounds like acetone, ethanol, and toluene.
At the end of the episode, the key discussed conclusions where:
- It’s necessary to remember the 4D’s – Density, Duration, Distance & Dilution every time we gather indoors.
- Take the Commit To C.A.R.E. Pledge to pledge your part in making your building, organization & community safe from airborne infection with science-based knowledge and tools.
- If you have a portable air cleaner, check to see if it’s removing particles from the air instead of adding something to the air such as ozone, hydrogen peroxide, or hydroxyl radical generation.
- Stay on top of what air cleaners are being used in your school, church, and home. It is important to know if they are using technology that is adding harmful chemicals into the environment.
- Consider a donation to IBEC to help them in their work to make the air in our schools, churches, and workplaces safer.
- Consider becoming an IBEC member, to help identify and improve best practices for reducing infectious disease transmission – like COVID 19 – indoors.Listen to the full episode here.
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