Attached please find the abstract for the next SOCAAR seminar.
The Secret Lives of Filters
Department of Civil Engineering
University of Toronto
Filters in forced air heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems serve as passive sampling
devices for airborne particles. By analysing the dust that deposits on a filter, we can achieve better
estimates of human exposure to particle-bound contaminants. We have extracted and sequenced fungal
and bacterial DNA from a wide variety of filters and see differences based on human occupancy patterns,
building location, season, building type/use, and building age and history. Additional results for heavy
metals, phthalates, flame retardants, and other compounds suggest the value of this approach for a wide
variety of particle-bound contaminants. Combining dust extractions with assessments of the system run-
time, air flow rate through the filter, and the filter efficiency reveals a spatially and temporally integrated
indoor concentration over the filter lifetime, which in turn provides a more robust picture of human exposure
than traditional short-term air or settled-dust samples. This filter forensics approach has further value for
exploring contaminant hot-spots and the spread of particle plumes.
April 3, 2013, 3 - 4 pm
Wallberg Building, 200 College Street, Room 407
This seminar will be recorded and will be available after the talk:
Recordings of past SOCAAR seminars can also be found here.