Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces
News & Events
June 2018
A Deep Rooted Commitment to Better Air
ROCIS Joins Forces with Conservation Consultants, Inc.
The ROCIS team is pleased to join forces with CCI’s Grassroots Green Homes (GGH) program to provide air quality monitoring in homes located in Uptown, West Oakland, and Homewood. Through our partnership, we provide monitors and expertise to teach residents about air quality in their homes. Each week a ROCIS team member will visit their home to download their data and share ways to improve their indoor air quality through behavioral changes and DIY strategies. Each home receives particle, radon, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide monitors for a two-week period.
Michael, a resident from West Oakland, signed up for the Grassroots Green Homes program two years ago to receive free energy efficiency and home health toolkits. He was excited to hear about GGH’s continued engagement opportunity to conduct air quality studies in his neighborhood. With no vented range hood, and open windows for summer comfort, Michael used ROCIS monitoring equipment to get feedback on different cooking techniques and the use of a MERV 13 filter on a box fan in his window (see photo). More info here.
ROCIS would like to thank Filtech, Inc. for their generous donation of 40 high performance filters to use with box fans, aka fan/filters . Filtech, Inc. is an independent filter distributor based in Pittsburgh. They specialize in providing a complete line of filtration equipment for their commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. We look forward to distributing the donated filters to folks in the Uptown and West Oakland neighborhoods. 
ROCIS Outreach: Two Exciting New Partnerships
Homewood Children’s Village

This June the ROCIS initiative has a presence in Homewood as we lead a community-focused cohort in partnership with Homewood Children’s Village (HCV) . Seven engaged members of Homewood took monitors home to share, learn, and experiment. Our Homewood cohort will focus on ways to mitigate cooking-related emissions, reduce the impact of outdoor air pollution in the home, and use of green cleaning instead of conventional cleaning.
Women for a Healthy Environment

Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE) has joined efforts with ROCIS to reduce the impact of exterior environmental pollution and empower residents to gain more control over their indoor air quality. This unique collaboration emphasizes real-time, visual monitoring of indoor air quality while providing practical solutions to spark change. A particular focus of this project looks at the contribution of cleaning products, personal care products, and daily activities to the air we breathe indoors and the implications for asthma and other respiratory issues. During the program, participants will receive digital monitors, air filters, Green Cleaning Kits, and community-based workshops.
Is Your Clean Also Green?
Recipes for Do-It-Yourself Green Cleaning
Did you know the Food and Drug Administration is not required to list ingredients on cleaning, beauty, and fragrance products? Some of these ingredients could be carcinogenic or dangerous to your health.

Green cleaning does not contain harmful surfactants, preservatives, and other synthetic additives. Finding green products can be difficult but you can replace the cleaning product with a natural substance or a DIY mixture of natural substances. Check out the DIY recipes below and get started with green cleaning in your own home.

All-Purpose Cleaners
  1. Vinegar: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Increase vinegar by one part or microwave mixture for tough cleaning jobs.
  2. Castile soap: Combine ¼ cup soap into a quart of water. Place mixture into a spray bottle.
  3. Baking soda paste: Add ½ cup baking soda into a small amount of water to create a paste. 

Thank you Women for a Healthy Environment for providing green cleaning literature and material for our Braddock and Homewood-focused cohorts.
Low-Cost Monitoring Project (LCMP) Cohorts
Do you want to learn more about how Pittsburgh’s outdoor air quality affects the indoor air quality where you live and work?

Are you a motivated individual who wants to learn more about how their behavior affects their air quality?

Consider signing up for the Low-Cost Monitoring Project.

Through this project, we provide monitoring kits loaned for a month-long cohort so folks measure particles, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, radon, temperature, and humidity. We are recruiting now for our August cohort. More cohorts will be announced in the fall.

Upcoming August LCMP Cohort
Cohort 32
Thursday, August 16 - Tuesday, September 11
Cameras Capture Pollution 24/7
In early June, the Breathe Project and CREATE Lab launched nine new cameras as a part of their Breathe Cam project . These new cameras are positioned to capture 24/7 live-stream feeds of major point source industrial facilities in the Pittsburgh region.The cameras stretch down the Mon Valley to provide monitoring of the Clairton Coke Works, Braddock’s U.S. Steel Edgar Thomson Plant, and West Mifflin’s Irvin Plant. As a member of the Breathe Collaborative (formerly Air Quality Collaborative), ROCIS looks forward to contributing to the awareness and impact of the Breathe Cam project.

From What's Next for Pittsburgh: Nine new cameras at 5 locations. Breathe Cam is now watching Mon Valley pollution 24/7.

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Picturing Pollution: CMU Team Documents Bad Air to Confront Violators.

Get Involved!
Join the Breathe Project at their upcoming
training session in Clairton to learn more.  

Clean Up Clairton
July 8, 2018, 2:00 PM
CDECC (Community Economic Development Corporation of Clairton)
282 St. Clair Street
Clairton, PA
Coming Regional & National Events
Air Sensors 2018: Deliberating Performance Target Workshop
U.S. EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) Office of Research and Development
June 25-26, 2018
In person or online from Durham, NC

Clean Up Clairton
July 8, 2018, 2:00 PM
CDECC (Community Economic Development Corporation of Clairton)
282 St. Clair Street
Clairton, PA

2018 Health in Buildings Roundtable Conference
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
July 19-20, 2018
Bethesda, MD

Indoor Air 2018
The 15th Conference of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality & Climate (ISIAQ)
July 22-27, 2018
Philadelphia, PA

2018 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency
ACEEE (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)
August 12-17, 2018
Pacific Grove, CA

Better Buildings Summit 2018
U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE)
August 21-23, 2018
Cleveland, OH

Living Products Expo
International Living Future Institute
September 11-13, 2018
Pittsburgh, PA

Air Sensors International Conference
September 12-14, 2018
Oakland, CA; Sponsors: UC Davis, CARB, & EPA

North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) 2018 International Conference
October 17-21, 2018
David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Healthy Buildings Summit 2018
October 25-27, 2018
Seven Springs, PA

ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy)
2018 Conference on Health, Environment and Energy
December 3-5, 2018
New Orleans, LA
Recent ROCIS Presentations
2018 HPC National Home Performance Conference

April 23-26, 2018 Philadelphia, PA
High MERV Filters in Central Air Handlers: Opportunities & Challenges
with Linda Wigington, ROCIS, Rhett Major, The Energy Doctor / ROCIS, & Iain Walker, LBNL

What Can You Do With a Consumer IAQ Monitor?
with Brett Singer, LBNL & Linda Wigington, ROCIS
Thanks to The Heinz Endowments for support of the ROCIS initiative. 
(Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces)