Montessori Academy

The parents of students at Montessori Academy in the Biyun area of Shanghai China have an extra reason to be happy their kids are going to Montessori Academy.  AtmosAir is now installed in all the academy’s classrooms.  The systems there will ensure contaminants remain in a healthy range.

Montessori Academy serves some very young students, some less than 2 years old.  As any teacher or parent knows, this is an age when bacteria and viruses are transmitted especially frequently between students and even to teachers and parents.  AtmosAir’s systems have been shown to both reduce airborne microbes as well as microbes that collect on classroom surfaces, both common sources of transmission.

Young children are the most susceptible to both the long term and short term effects of poor air quality.  AtmosAir believes that improving air quality in classrooms is one of the best ways to protect the next generation.  We are enthusiastic about working with schools.  Please reach out if you think we might be of assistance to your child’s school.

Gaming and Indoor Air: The Casino’s Answer to IAQ

When John Lezenby, facilities director for a major Atlantic City. N.J., casino, was planning the opening three years ago, he had all the best intentions. It was a risk, but the casino decided to be 100 percent smoke-free in the new gaming mecca.

Turns out that was a huge problem. It drove gamblers away.

“When the business didn’t do well, we opened up an area for smoking,” Lezenby recalls. “When we did that, we called in engineers to help us figure out a way to allow smoking but not have it smell like smoke on the casino floor.”

AtmosAir installments in various gaming facilities nearby were successful in significantly reducing smoke and smoke-related odors.

Lezenby was facing the same problem his colleagues face around the world. Today’s casinos need to balance the smoking gamblers’ expectations with an image that appeals to casual gamblers and people seeking new forms of entertainment. That is not an easy task.

“One often conjures a crowded, smoky environment, with a slight haze in the air, and leftover smoke-related odors on your clothes when you get home,” says Anthony Abate, vice president of operations for AtmosAir Solutions, of casinos. “That is not an environment where anyone with an interest in their well-being would be excited to go to.”

Dave Gildersleeve, corporate director of facilities for Station Casinos LLC, had an additional problem in many of his 19 buildings.

“Some of our properties have large convention and meeting spaces,’ Gildersleeve says. “There are groups that came in to the property that don’t smoke, and they were complaining about the tobacco levels.”

That is indeed a problem when, according to Beth Campbell, a principal at the global design firm Gensler, says that her casino customers increasingly ask how to bring in new patrons and keep them interested. Her answer is that casinos can’t just look good outside. They have to be good inside.

It is not simply a matter of image. According to the American Cancer Society, secondhand smoke has been linked to lung cancer and multiple respiratory diseases, but also heart disease and elongated illnesses for newborns.

No wonder Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in casinos is becoming a hot topic and a big worry for Lezenby and many others.

Abate cites the comments of Richard Giovanetti, co-founder and president of Giovanetti- Shulman Associates, a leading casino engineering firm, who says casinos’ success rides on “positive patron experience.” That used to mean well-lit rooms, pleasant room temperatures, and the right amount of ambient noise.

“Nowadays, that is no longer enough,” Abate declares. “Today, smoking carries such a stigma, that the issue has to be addressed.”

Lezenby knew that.

“The engineers (who we’ve used several times in AC) recommended AtmosAir,” Lezenby said.

He was skeptical at first. He knew about systems that used carbon filters, which were hard to replace and, frankly, could not handle all of the smoke. What intrigued him in this case was that AtmosAir employs a whole different technology. Called Bi-Polar Ionization, it delivers ionized oxygen molecules into the air, which attach themselves to smoke particulates, among other airborne pollutants. The molecules agglomerate the smoke particles, causing them to become heavier and easier to filter.

“You did not smell smoke in the room and the system obviously worked,” Lezenby says about AtmosAir. “I’d walk the floor and ask patrons if they smelled smoke, and 99 percent of the time they did not.”

Gildersleeve did not even have to ask about air quality after Station Casinos installed AtmosAir in several of its facilities.

“Two days later,” Gildersleeve remembers, “we started getting comments from our team members and guests, asking ‘What did you guys do?’ It’s not the same as it used to be – the air is really clean!”

That translates to retaining clients.

“A particular group does four meetings a year that last 2 to 3 weeks with 300 to 400 people,” Gildersleeve shares. “By using AtmosAir, we’ve been able to retain this group and many others as well.”

But it doesn’t end there.

“It’s also a better environment for our team members to work in, which was part of the concern as well,” he adds.

Like all design, what actually matters is the user experience. For centuries, architects and engineers have considered the eyes, ears, even the sense of touch in designing for optimal

experience. Now they are learning that the experience goes even deeper, to the lungs, heart, and whole well-being of customers.

“If the casino design combines a great architectural and interior design approach with more efficient HVAC systems to offer a better IAQ and give their patrons a great experience,” Abate says, “they will be able to maintain a strong client base, which in turn helps the bottom line.”

Bangkok Case Studies Show Remarkable Reduction in Airborne Bacteria with AtmosAir Solutions

AtmosAir Solutions has recently completed two exciting comprehensive case studies in Bangkok, Thailand.  AtmosAir Solutions was initially installed in one floor of a large Thai Bank as part of a trial by the bank to verify the performance of the AtmosAir system.  Pre-testing at the bank showed bacteria levels that exceeded the detectable limit of the testing equipment, over 1,307 cfu/m3 (colony forming units per square meter), amd more than 2.6 times the Singapore Standard SS 554:2009 Code of Practice for Indoor air quality for air-conditioned buildings (500cfu/m3.)

Following approximately two weeks with the AtmosAir 508FC operating in the air handling unit serving the floor, bacteria was re-tested and had been reduced by over 82% to 234cfu/m3.

Following these encouraging results, the bank decided to install AtmosAir Solutions in four additional more floors at their headquarters.  Again, in the case of one floor where the before test bacteria reading exceeded 1,307 cfu/m3, AtmosAir Solutions reduced bacteria by over 92% to 95cfu/m3.  Moreover, even on other floors where bacteria was initially lower and between 20-60% of the 500cfu/m3 limit, the post-treatment testing showed very substantial reductions of bacteria levels, holding all post-testing levels to within 30% of the Singapore Standard.

All pre and post testing was done by Safety and Health at Work Promotion Association (Thailand,) an independent indoor air quality testing company.  These results support lab testing done by both Antimicrobial Test Laboratories and Microchem Laboratory.  AtmosAir Solutions is a key element for creating a healthy indoor environment where customers and employees are less susceptible to infection.

AtmosAir in the News: Crain’s New York Business

 

Scott Frank, partner at Jaros, Baum & Bolles, a leading consulting engineering firm based in Manhattan, wrote the article ‘A Breath of Fresh Air for City Office Workers’ in July 2016’s issue of Crain’s New York Business.

Jaros, Baum & Bolles has specified AtmosAir on various projects and has AtmosAir installed in their offices.

Of note in the report, is the suggestion for design firms to include Bipolar ionization technology in air handling units to break down VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), to further help increase employee productivity.

Frank recalls, “Achieving these improvements economically, however, can be challenging. To bring fresh, outdoor air into a building consumes space, raises capital costs and requires energy to heat and cool this air. But it can be done in a feasible way.”  With AtmosAir, you can nearly eliminate mold spores, VOCs, and other unwanted particles — and save on your energy bills at the same time.

Air Pollution and Your Sleep

New research suggests that people with the highest exposure to two types of air pollution – ultrafine particulate pollution and pollution from automobile traffic (NO2) are less likely to sleep well, compared to those with lower exposure to pollution.

Researchers from the University of Washington analyzed data from 1,863 adults previously enrolled in sleep and air pollution studies. To find out how well the participants slept, the team equipped them with wrist devices that measure small movements and provide detailed estimates of sleep and wake patterns.

They found that 25 percent of the participants who had the highest exposure to pollution slept the least.  Over the course of 5 years, the researchers determined that participants exposed to the highest levels of NO2 had an almost 60 percent greater likelihood of experiencing poor sleep compared to those who had the least exposure to these pollutants, and that those with the highest exposure to small particulates were nearly 50 percent less likely to sleep well.

AtmosAir bipolar ionization systems will help provide a healthier breathing experience, even while you’re sleeping, to help offset pollution. AtmosAir will work to remove ultrafine particles afrom the breathing range while breaking gaseous pollutants.

The fact is most Americans are spending almost 90% of our time indoors. We need our environments to sustain us and sleeping soundly is one of the most vital aspects of overall health and wellness.

Fungal Toxins Easily Become Airborne Creating Potential Indoor Health Risk

 

Recent research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology published in late June 2017 stated that many fungi can develop on building materials in indoor environments if moisture is high enough.

Among species that are frequently observed, some are known to be potent mycotoxin producers. This presence of toxinogenic fungi in indoor environments raises the question of the possible exposure of occupants to these toxic compounds by inhalation after aerosolization.

The study investigated the mycotoxin production by Penicillium brevicompactum, Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys chartarum and their growth on wallpaper and the possible subsequent aerosolization of produced mycotoxins from contaminated substrates.

The researchers stated ‘The possible colonisation of building material by toxinogenic fungi in case of moistening raises the question of the subsequent exposure of occupants to aerosolized mycotoxins. In this study, we demonstrated that three different toxinogenic species produce mycotoxins during their development on wallpaper. These toxins can subsequently be aerosolized, at least partly, from mouldy material. This transfer to air requires air velocities that can be encountered in real life conditions in buildings. The most part of the aerosolized toxic load is found in particles whose size corresponds to spores or mycelium fragments. However, some toxins were also found on particles smaller than spores that are easily respirable and can deeply penetrate into human respiratory tract. All these data are important for risk assessment related to fungal contamination of indoor environments.

AtmosAir has proven to be beneficial due to its ability to pull inhalable particles out of the breathing range while also having an effect on spore levels. Dr. John Oxford and others researchers have commented on the technologies ability to break down mold spores and render them inactive and unable to spread.

AtmosAir’s Tony Abate named Vice-Chairman of ASHRAE Committee SSPC 145

 

AtmosAir Solutions’ VP of Operations, Tony Abate, was recently named the vice chair of ASHRAE Committee: SSPC 145, Test Method for Assessing the Performance of Gas-Phase Air Cleaning Equipment.

SSPC 145 is working towards an ASHRAE standardized test method to rate the performance of air cleaners such as AtmosAir so they can be included in test method 145.2.

This group developed and oversees ASHRAE’s testing method 145.1 and 145.2.

Tony also serve’s on ASHRAE Committee TC 2.3, Gaseous Contaminants Removal Equipment, research subcommittee, and is chair of a special project to help develop a test method for reactive air cleaners.

Tony has served as Vice President of Operations of Clean Air Group since its inception in 2007. He brings significant HVAC, air quality testing and environmental analysis experience to Clean Air Group, including prior experience testing and designing air purification solutions for the US Army, JP Morgan Chase, Norwegian Cruise Lines, school districts, professional sports teams and various Fortune 500 companies.

Tony is a Certified Mold Inspector and trained IAQ professional, while also serving on a USGBC sub-committee dedicated to indoor air quality.

AtmosAir Presents on Health and Wellness at JLL’s Smart Building Energy Summit

In late April 2017, building owners, energy experts, and technology pioneers came together at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC to address the business and social drivers for more energy efficient buildings.

The 2017 Building Energy Summit provided a valuable forum for AtmosAir President and CEO, Steve Levine, to educate building owners and managers on the different dynamic air purification and health and wellness solutions that are available in the marketplace.

Mr. Levine presented alongside Denise Funkhouser of the GSA and Panagiota Karava, Ph.D from Purdue University on the panel titled ‘Championing Health, Wellness, and Efficiency in the Workplace.’

The session detailed how occupant needs have evolved and which innovative companies are providing multi-purpose technology solutions that create healthier, more efficient, and more productive office spaces.

It also detailed how GSA worked with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the City of New York to develop the Fitwel Certification, in order to promote healthier built environments and encourage building owners, facility managers, and others to incorporate healthful features into the built environment.

The Summit shared successful case studies and provided specific guidelines for benchmarking buildings, monitoring real time air energy usage, analyzing operational data, making efficient upgrades and changes, and integrating the latest technologies to significantly cut energy consumption.

“This is a landmark effort of leaders from the technology, energy, and real estate industries coming together for a common goal,” said Darlene Pope of JLL, a producer of the event. “The Summit brings all the resources attendees need for planning and implementing energy efficient building solutions all under one roof.”

Dr. Dennis P. Deruelle, M.D., F.H.M, Stresses the Importance of AtmosAir in Keeping Hospitals Bacteria Free

When you go to the hospital, whether it’s caring for a loved one or as an actual patient, you inevitably increase your risk of contracting certain infections.  Any type of exposure to harmful bacteria can lead to illnesses as minor as the common cold to as serious as sepsis.

Many hospitals are looking to better the overall patient experience by keeping hospital rooms, ORs and waiting areas as bacteria free as possible.  This starts by cleaning the air in which employees and inhabitants breathe.                

Dr. Dennis Deruelle is a physician and National Medical Director of Acute Services for IPC Healthcare/TeamHealth, one of the largest suppliers of healthcare professional staff and integrated care providers in the country.  Dr. Deruelle helps hospitals and hospital systems across the country improve their quality, safety, and efficiency. He is a national speaker and consultant with expertise in how the Affordable Care Act affects the new value-based world of healthcare.

Dr. Deruelle completed a fellowship in Hospitalist Medicine Leadership at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Deruelle was Chief Resident and did his internal medicine training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after earning his M.D. from Albany Medical College. He recently published a book, ‘Your Healthcare Playbook: Winning the Game of Modern Medicine.’

We sat down with Dr. Deruelle to discuss more about hospital acquired infections, air filtration, and infections.

  1. How has awareness of hospital infections — and the need for improvement in this area — changed over the past 5 – 10 years?

DD: It’s changed dramatically. I think that there are many reasons, the biggest being that there is just a lot more awareness about this particular issue. It’s an interesting dichotomy: As much as awareness has increased, budgets in this area have decreased. I see so many hospitals dealing with budget reductions that leads to important staff getting cut. So, the awareness has increased, but due to the pressure on hospitals budgets, I see less infectious control staff.

The reason why an increase in overall awareness exists is due mainly to the news headlines that the subject garners, including news on super bugs, super infections and deaths in ICU’s from bugs that we cannot kill with any antibiotic. Ebola also had a little to do with it as a flashpoint in terms of understanding infectious control procedures in hospitals where we saw an obvious breakdown. I think that the pressure from the federal government and the Affordable Care Act, along with pay-for-performance has heightened the awareness from hospitals.

Finally, the staggering number of deaths that occur in hospitals every year plays a huge role in raised awareness. There have been many studies that have pointed this out, from the first one, To Err is Human in 1999, to a recent study that said deaths in hospitals from medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Buried in those numbers are the amount of people that die in hospitals from infections they’ve gotten in hospitals, which is about 100,000 per year. These numbers are leaking out on a macro level, which leads to reporting in the newspapers that an emergency room or operating room has been shut down due to MRSA. The combination of all of these factors has really raised awareness.

  1. How big a role does air quality play in improving the patient experience, reducing infections and ultimately lessening readmissions?

DD: The patient experience is huge nowadays. Patient-centric care is the future of healthcare. Through the Affordable Care Act, the federal government placed hospitals in a position of losing money or winning money based on performance against other hospitals… or themselves. Readmissions is one performance area that’s reviewed. Another is hospital-acquired conditions, and the third is patient experience using the HCAHPS survey. The HCAHPS includes a question about the cleanliness of the hospital, and I do think air quality can play into that component. If you’re in the top 25 percent of the country in the spreading of infections, then you’re losing 1 percent of Medicare, and next year C.diff and MRSA are going to be added to those infections that are dinging hospitals. This is certainly one area where having organisms in the air is playing directly into an area that’s important to hospitals and patients.

Readmissions now come with a 3 percent Medicare penalty on certain diagnoses: Acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, congestive heart failure, hips and knee joints (infections/complications) and COPD. So it’s not that we have specific readmission penalties for infections, but some patients that go in and have those diagnoses will leave the hospital and get readmitted with an infection gotten when they were in the hospital.

Hospital stay length is also affected by patients that have existing respiratory diseases, and are affected by particulate matter in the air, dust or mold.

For all of these reasons, air quality (the odor, particulate matter, bacteria or viruses that are floating in the air) can have a huge impact on patients and hospitals.

  1. What role can AtmosAir play in dealing with these important issues?

DD: AtmosAir can certainly improve the patient experience, and if [patients] knew that the air they were breathing was being filtered, ionized and deodorized, it would be information they’d certainly enjoy being made aware of. Having the sensation that the air is cleaner, and that it’s being cleaned by AtmosAir, would be a very good thing for a hospital. It’s been shown in the lab that AtmosAir’s technology kills certain viruses and bacteria, and because of that, it’s believed that it will reduce bacteria on surfaces and in the air. If that takes place, I believe that it will provide a decrease in overall infections. It’s also true that certain patients with respiratory disorders will do better in rooms that use AtmosAir products.

  1. What kind of advantages can hospitals/medical centers take advantage of by promoting the use of clean-air systems in their institutions?

DD: The overarching point is that these products are energy efficient, so it’s important to anyone interested in having a green building. Secondly, indoor air quality is important for the people who work long hours in these buildings. You don’t want to have any version of a sick building. We want to make sure that the ventilation is good and efficient. Just having AtmosAir alone — forgetting the healthcare aspect of it being in the building — should be seen as a positive.

In general, when discussing patient health, reducing the chance of getting an infection — and 100,000 people die from these infections annually — or of patients having a prolonged hospital stay, or of them getting an infection in a joint that might need to be replaced —which is a major operation — would be positive results of using AtmosAir. These are just a few reasons why it would bode well for a hospital to let people know that they’re using these modalities to help reduce infections. You’re not going to get infections down to zero without using many, many modalities, and I think that’s where AtmosAir fits in. They attack the problem from a unique spot [airborne and surface organisms], which is a different angle than the hospital staff attacks from.

  1. What has been the primary cause of infections like MRSA and Staph becoming so rampant?

DD: When people come in the hospital, we don’t have as many people checking them to see if they have some of these infections. We’re not screening as well and not picking up infections soon enough. Because of those things, they’re having a bigger impact on the actual hospitals. That’s where I think the budget decreases are really hurting us. In terms of the numbers of infections, what happens inside the hospitals doesn’t affect what happens outside of the hospitals. Most of the infections with MRSA occur outside the hospitals within the community, and that’s a byproduct of the organism. We have a lot more of it. It’s resistant to the penicillins, which is why it’s called MRSA [Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aurea]. The more you have of it, the more it’s going to spread. I also think the inappropriate overuse of antibiotics is creating organisms that are resistant, and that is driving more cases.

Green Lights: AtmosAir featured in the New York Post

The hot topic on every developers’ mind as of late, was confirmed by AtmosAir’s feature in the New York Post on April 25th, 2017.  Editor, Lois Weiss noted, ‘Many municipalities now require energy audits and yearly benchmarking of energy use,’ making sustainability a major priority in the eyes of institutional investors.’

Numerous New York City properties are also prioritizing Indoor Air Quality as a major focus for their inhabitants.  Tower 45’s (120 W. 45th St) $20 million makeover includes an AtmosAir system in their sustainability program.  President and CEO, Steve Levine, explains how AtmosAir has helped to eradicate bacteria, virus, and germs by using bi polar ionization systems.

To read the full article in The New York Post click – HERE.