ROCIS News & Events
March 2018
ROCIS Kicks Off Partnership with the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge
This month ROCIS kicked off their partnership with the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge by presenting at an air quality workshop in Millvale. Community leaders from past cohorts provided insight on air quality initiatives in the Pittsburgh region including experiences with the Low-Cost Monitoring Project. We are happy to announce you can receive even more points this year with our collaboration with SPC!
Participated in ROCIS Last Year?

This coming year the SPC has increased the points participants can earn by completing the ROCIS LCMP. SPC participants can earn points by joining more than one (up to 20!) LCMP Cohorts, or by having additional people / sites engaged in 20 Cohorts. In addition to monitoring in the workplace, SPC will give points for monitoring in employees’ homes, as well as others (volunteers, neighbors, friends) who may be recruited.

Participants Share their Wins with ROCIS
LCMP Success Stories
“My participation in ROCIS gave me insight into how my habits and also outdoor air quality affected the air I breathe in my home. After my first cohort, I continued to monitor and experimented using a box fan filter in my bedroom window and was blown away by the difference filtering outside air made. I could see the particle count in my bedroom drop within a matter of minutes of turning on the filter.

"Not only did I learn how I can breathe cleaner air in my home through ROCIS, as a Sustainability Fellow at Highmark, I was also able to earn many Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge points for Highmark for my continued participation! I’m glad that there are actions within the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge to encourage us to participate in ROCIS because it is such a great initiative and experience that everyone can learn from!”

Tammy Lee, ROCIS LCMP Participant
“When I joined Cohort 16 for the Township of Upper St. Clair, it was my sole intent to let that be a baseline for future testing in our building.

"I joined Cohort 18 as a concerned home owner in the city of Pittsburgh. Applying this new knowledge about particles made home monitoring a must. The combination of particle data and several visits from Rhett Major, The Energy Doctor, helped me to assess opportunities to improve my forced air system. He suggested changing out the stock motor for an ECM type motor. I also had some additional sealing needed in my duct work and as a result, noticed some reduction in particle counts.

"All of this led me to continued monitoring in my home. I now check on particle counts when I clean, cook and / or open windows. Suggestions that have come my way to improve particle counts include cooking bacon in the oven instead of on the stove top, and keeping windows closed to let the house be the filter. I would have never been aware of little changes that make a big difference in indoor particle counts without ROCIS.“

Ron Sarrick, ROCIS LCMP Participant

...Coming soon on our Blog
Zaheen Hussain details the great work occurring in Millvale.

Indoor Air Quality News from Around the World
Research Summary Round-Up
Some very recent results of a European & Oceanian study on particles:

The influence of lifestyle on airborne particle surface area doses received by different Western populations.

This 5-city pilot study of adults in Europe and Australia measured personal exposures to particle sizes under 0.3 μm. Indoor exposure, and in particular cooking and eating activities, was the main influencing factor in terms of exposure to particle surface area (and thus dose) of the population; direct outdoor particle exposure was relatively low due to the brevity of time spent outdoors by most participants.
Equally recent research findings out of Asia:

Cooking and kitchen ventilation are linked to diabetes in Chinese women.

 The results of a large biomonitoring study indicated that the women who cooked their own meals had an elevated risk of diabetes, which may be partly explained by an increase in the PAH body burden and higher inflammatory responses. Women who cooked and used kitchen exhaust fans/hoods had a 52% decrease in the risk of diabetes compared with those that did not use fans/hoods.

Back in the US, if you want to learn more about reducing exposures to cooking-related particles, take a look at:

ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project (LCMP)
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.
Upcoming LCMP Cohorts
More Cohorts Announced in the Fall

Cohort 29
Kick-off Meeting : Friday, Apr 27
Check-in Meeting : Week of Apr 30
Wrap-up Meeting : Thursday, May 24

Note that participation in the LCM Project is time intensive. Attendance to the Kick-off and Wrap-up meeting is required.

Left to Right: Rob Busher, ROCIS Air Quality Fellow & Kacy McGill, ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Program Coordinator

Coming Events & Presentations by ROCIS
2018 HPC National Home Performance Conference
April 23-26, 2018
Philadelphia, PA
Our Presentations: 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
CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) Energy Week
April 4-6, 2018
Multiple Events

NAFA (National Air Filtration Association) 2018 Technical Seminar
April 4-6, 2018
Kansas City, MO

CAC (Clean Air Council) Building a Future of Home and Promise
April 12, 2018, 7-9 PM
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 419 Dithridge St., Pittsburgh, PA

CARB Research Seminar / Webinar
Benefits of High Efficiency Filtration to Children with Asthma
April 13, 2018, 1 PM
Deborah Bennett, University of California, Davis

HPC (Home Performance Coalition) Home Performance Ideas Worth Spreading Webinar
April 25, 2018, 6:30-8 PM
Remote Session Online

Emerging Sensor Technologies 2014-2018 Progress Report Webinar
EPA Air & Energy National Research Program
April 30, 2018
Two sessions: 8:30-11:30 AM & 1:30-4:30 PM

2018 Maine Indoor Air Quality & Energy Conference
May 1-2, 2018
In person or online from Portland, ME
Hosted by Maine Indoor Air Quality Council / Cost Varies

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

Air Sensors International Conference
September 12-14, 2018; Call for Abstracts due April 23, 2018
Oakland, CA; Sponsors: UC Davis, CARB, & EPA

North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) 2018 International Conference
October 17-21, 2018; Call for Speakers due April 25, 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; Call for Abstracts due April 5, 2018
New Orleans, LA
Thanks to The Heinz Endowments for support of the ROCIS initiative. 
(Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces)