Reducing Outdoor Contamination of Indoor Spaces
News & Events
May 2018
Clean Air Outside - Clean Air Inside
ROCIS Team Member, Don Fugler
Do you like to open the windows in your house? Doesn’t this bring in fresh outdoor air to ventilate a stuffy house?
The testing done by ROCIS shows that open windows are a mixed blessing in terms of particle exposure. In Pittsburgh, perhaps one day out of ten, outside air will be relatively low in particles, for at least a few hours. Most of the time opening windows and ventilating with outside air will raise the particle count in your indoor air.
Above: These graphs were generated from particle data for the week of May 2, 2018. During this week, ambient particle counts were much better than normal. In southwestern PA, the outdoor air usually is "poor", or "very poor" over 50% of the time, and if one's windows are open, indoor air will be even worse.
Open windows can bring in the smells, the sounds, and the freshness of outdoors. Open windows will also admit all the outside particles. If you are concerned about particle exposure, or you have family members with respiratory conditions, it may be best to keep the outdoors outdoor and the house closed up. Having a particle monitor helps make these decisions.

"There is another way to achieve low indoor particle counts without moving to Montana. You can control your indoor environment by having a tight envelope and filtering the air inside of it."
-- Don Fugler

One of Don's roles in the ROCIS monitoring project is to review weekly particle monitoring data and logs, and then provide a graph and individual feedback.
Purple in Pittsburgh & Abroad
Optical Monitor Collects Real-Time Readings
Low cost air monitoring is a rapidly evolving field with the acceleration of new and modified products. One monitor which performed well in  LBNL’s  recent  laboratory analysis  is the  PurpleAir PA-II Dual Laser Air Sensor . It offers the benefit of having the ability to count smaller particles than many of the other low cost consumer monitors. The ROCIS experience has demonstrated that this feature is particularly useful in evaluating the interaction of outdoor and indoor particle counts.

Host a PurpleAir Monitor
Activist Seeks Citizen Scientists
Mark Dixon , a Pittsburgh-based activist and film-maker, has recently led an effort to purchase sixty-plus monitors for deployment to individuals and groups throughout the region. He is searching for hosts with wifi and an outdoor outlet in these neighborhoods: Rankin, Wilmerding, Homestead, Turtle Creek, Fite Station, West Mifflin, Duquesne (near Kennywood), Lincoln, Wilson, North Versailles, and West Elizabeth. This campaign is strengthening Pittsburgh’s place on the (PurpleAir) map for interactive user-friendly, publicly accessible air quality data.

Join the Kitchen Ventilation Discussion Group
with ROCIS, LBNL & Home Energy Pros
In collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), ROCIS has created a new Home Energy Pros group - Kitchen Ventilation - for professionals and homeowners interested in discussing range hoods, pollutant removal efficiencies, cooking strategies, and other ways to reduce exposure to cooking emissions.

Berkeley Lab's  Indoor Environment Group  and  Residential Buildings Group  have been leaders in raising awareness and informing actions to reduce exposure to cooking related pollutants through effective kitchen ventilation. It is an honor to collaborate with them on this endeavor.

To join this group, first join Home Energy Pros, . Then go to , and request to join the Kitchen Ventilation group. NOTE: You can view the discussion without joining HEP or the group.

We welcome your insights, experiences, resources, and questions in this important forum!
Introducing Our New Logo
ROCIS is releasing our new logo in the header of this email. 

Our choice conveys cleaner indoor air, outside and inside space, connections, the combination of the analytical and intuitive, and the importance of discovery and purpose in our collaborations.

Our key colors of orange and blue relay both vibrancy and health, which is fitting.

You'll soon see our logo everywhere we are - in our emails, on social media, at our presentations and in our materials.

Special thanks go to Pittsburgh-based designer, Michelle Short, for the insight, experience, and commitment which she brought to this project.
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
Coming Regional & National Events
Cardiovascular Effects of Multipollutant Exposure: Mechanisms & Interactions
In Person or Webcast
June 1, 2018, 10:00 AM
California Environmental Protection Agency
Sacramento, CA

What’s Really Causing Your Allergies and Sinusitis?
GASP (Group Against Smog and Pollution)
June 4, 2018, 5:00 - 8:00 PM
Magee-Womens Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA

American Lung Association LungForce Expo
June 7, 2018, 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Cranberry, PA

Air Adventures: A Summer Air Quality Camp
GASP (Group Against Smog and Pollution)
June 18-22, 2018, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Environmental Charter School, Pittsburgh, PA

Air Sensors 2018: Deliberating Performance Target Workshop
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Office of Research and Development
June 25-26, 2018
In person or online from Durham, NC

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

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

ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy)
2018 Conference on Health, Environment and Energy
December 3-5, 2018
New Orleans, LA
Thanks to The Heinz Endowments for support of the ROCIS initiative. 
(Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces)