Cigarette Smoke Removal

I have written over 100 articles and blogs on the subject of removing cigarette smoke and odor from any indoor environment and the resolutions we have today are the same as those proposed 30 years ago.

The best and most effective method of removing smoke from the indoor environment is to eliminate any smoking in indoor environments. It’s just that simple. Removing it using air filtration, air dilution, carbon filters and high volume fans is only a band-aid approach at best.

Once the cigarette smoke sticks to any surface it will re-release that odor for days. It requires a strong solvent based cleaner to remove the brown tar material that is present on the walls of a smoking environment.

Pure Air Systems has been around since 1985 producing high capacity, commercial grade, certified HEPA and Carbon based fan powered air filtration systems for the residential, commercial, institutional, medical and industrial market place. Many of these systems were sold for the exclusive purpose of removing cigarette and cigar smoke from indoor environments.

The degree of effectiveness of the systems was directly proportional to how much smoke we could remove at the source over time. And, the cigarette smoke will clog up a prefilter in two to three weeks and the HEPA filter in less than 3 months. The Carbon media in the units which is designed to remove much of the odor, would last perhaps 4 to 6 weeks at best. In essence, it is very expensive and difficult to remove the cigarette smoke and odor with any degree of effectiveness.

It is for this reason that smoking is prohibited from most buildings, hospitals, schools, airports, planes, trains and ships. Aside from the environmental issues smoking is also extremely harmful to your health.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA and Carbon based filtration systems please go to our website at: http://www.pureairsystems.com  or call us on our toll-free number at: 800-869-8025.

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Alice Marr

There is a mythological ghost ship that is supposedly piloted by dead soldiers named the Alice Marr. Myths usually grow out of stories that are half truths supported by people who supposedly were eye witnesses to the event or occurrence but could never be verified. Facts are seldom needed as the myth has more charm and appeal than a more factual, objective and realistic account. Are there really dead soldiers piloting a ship with the name of Alice Marr? Is it possible? Does it really matter? Some people would rather believe the myth because it fits their bias toward the supernatural or unknown, while others are truly skeptics and want facts to back up the facts.

Products and their history often have the same type of perception by the average consumer. Once a product gets a reputation for being either extremely good with a consistent, solid performance or it has serious short comings, whether this is true or not the historical truths often blur its current reputation. Cadillac used to be the car everyone wanted. It had the reputation of being the best of the best in the automotive industry.  Then Lexus came into the market and in a few short years Cadillac dropped out of the picture as the elite standard in cars. Cadillac still has a following but mostly from the older generation who always associated Cadillac with quality and reliability as they were never strong supporters of the imports. In truth there are a number of vehicles that are probably superior to either of these brands but they don’t have the value myth of Cadillac or Lexus.

Pure Air Systems has been making HEPA based air filtration systems for over 27 years. While HEPA filters are decidedly the best, most effective method of removing harmful airborne allergens and pathogens, other less expensive filtration and air purification systems are still considered as good as HEPA.  This is what happens when there is a major price difference with products classed in one specific category and the challenge of getting the customer to appreciate that the HEPA systems are significantly superior and more expensive. True commercial grade, certified HEPA units can be 10 times more expensive than other forms of filtration or purification technologies. But they can be 1000 times more effective at removing the harmful particles in the air that can be a health concern.

The only opportunity an individual has to truly understand the differences or to be able to separate fact from fiction, is to actually use the various types of filtration systems in similar applications and then evaluate them on performance not on myth. Over time the customers who have purchased Pure Air Systems HEPA systems after trying a number of its lesser competitors have found that fact always triumphs myth.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA systems offered by PAS please go to our website at: http://www.pureairsystems.com or follow us on Twitter @pureairsystems or call us anytime on our toll-free number at: 800-869-8025.

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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

In 1958 the Platters released a new song titled, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.” This song has since been recorded by hundreds of artists over the years. It has been used in more than 50 movies as either the main theme song or one of the tunes as a way to emphasis a certain feeling or emotion. The Platters went on to record a number of other hits, but this one tune has had more impact than all their other well-known songs.

Whether it’s smoke from a cigarette, leaf fire, charcoal grill or exhaust fumes from an oil burning car, smoke will quickly and substantially irritate your eyes; with symptoms ranging from mild irritation to watering eyes, burning sensations, partial or complete blindness that can linger for long periods of time. These symptoms don’t include the choking, coughing, respirable irritation that accompanies the watering eyes. Anyway you slice it, ( and sometimes smoke is so thick you can slice it with a knife), exposing your eyes to smoke is not a good thing.

Interesting that in industrial facilities or manufacturing facilities where respirators are required, often the only eye protection is from safety glasses. While these protect the eyes from large flying particles, they do nothing to keep fine, airborne dust or smoke particles from entering your eyes. Small amounts of contaminants over long periods of  time can be just as damaging as large concentrations over short periods of time. Protection from or removal of the smoke particles is critical.

Pure Air Systems has been making HEPA and Carbon based commercial grade, fan powered air filtration systems since 1985. Removal of very high percentages of very tiny, sub-micron particles is their primary function. The HEPA systems offered by Pure Air Systems ( PAS) have an initial efficiency of 99.99% removal of all particle 0.3 microns or lager. And, approach 95% removal of all particles 0.12 microns and larger.  Since smoke is fairly visible with the naked eye, one assumes that smoke can be easily removed by the  HEPA units. While this is mostly true, it is not what you can see that hurts you, it is what you don’t see, and there-in lies the problem.

The visible smoke is extremely large, measuring more than 20 microns in size up to and over 100 microns in size. These larger particles are normally aspirated in and then expelled from the lungs. These larger particles are also more easily washed away by the tears that form in your eyes when subjected to high concentrations of smoke. However, the smaller, invisible smoke particles; those less than 20 microns in size, are easily ingested into the body and are not as easily removed by the tear ducts in your eyes. It is these smaller particles that cause all the damage and the majority of them can be removed by the use of HEPA filters.

Smoke is an irritant and should be treated as one. Even smoke from candles can be a problem when used in small, confined areas. The black soot-like particles that come from the wick ( both old and new styles ) is also very tiny and should be considered a threat to your body.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems offered by PAS please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com or follow us on Twitter  @pureairsystems. You can also follow us on Facebook or call us anytime on our toll-free number at: 800-869-8025.

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Live With A Smoker – Die With A Smoker

There is no end to the amount of discussion on the health issues related to smoking.  Everyone either knows someone who smokes or is a smoker. Today most public buildings don’t allow smoking as do offices, hospitals, schools and churches. In fact the only places you can smoke is outside, in your own home (maybe) and in bars that still allow smoking.

If you live with a smoker or work in an environment where smoking is allowed you know the challenges of getting smokers to quit or smoke less. Smoking is more addictive than the majority of illegal drugs. And the cost of smoking in dollars for health care is enormous. In addition, smoke from cigarettes and cigars will coat the walls, ceilings and HVAC duct work with a nicotine substance in any home or office building over time.

If you are around a smoker in your home or office and you inhale the smoke for a continued period of time you will in essence have the same lung damage as the smoker himself. It is for this reason that smoking is prohibited in so many places.

Cigarette and cigar smoke contain hundreds of chemicals many of which are considered carcinogens. Breathing in these chemicals over time can create significant health problems. In addition you have a constant odor problem with smoke which tends to cling to everything, including your hair and clothing.

Some of the health issues include OCPD, respiratory dysfunction, eye infections, lung cancer to name a few. It is important therefore to minimize your contact with cigarette smoke. If you live with a smoker they need to smoke outside. If you work with a smoker and he or she won’t quit, you need to find another position in the company or find another job.

Cigarette and cigar smoke is very small. The amount you see with the naked eye represents only 35% to40% of the smoke coming off the cigarette. The rest is less than 10 microns and much is it is less than 1 micron in size. It is this smaller size particle that remains in the lung linings and mucus membranes and is not expelled when you breathe out.

Due to the nature of cigarette and cigar smoke it is not easy to remove this contaminant with general duty air filters or even ventilation. Pure Air Systems has been selling its HEPA and Carbon based filtration systems for smoke removal since 1985. HEPA filters will capture over 99.99% of the smoke that it sees. The carbon media will adsorb much of the nicotine odor.

While the majority of our HEPA systems for smoke removal were installed in restaurants, bars, and bingo halls, a large number have been sold to homeowners. These systems are attached to the return air side of the HVAC system and will capture all the cigarette smoke and odor that is pulled into the system through the return air grills in the home.

If you are really serious about the air you breathe in your environment then you need to get some serious filtration systems that will actually remove the harmful smoke particles and odor.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA an Carbon based filtration systems offered by Pure Air Systems, go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com

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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

When The Platters released this song in the fifties  the lyrics were more about the hearts desire and flames from the heart causing smoke to get in your eyes. Today, these words are used most often when describing smoke from a cigarette getting into your eyes.

While more and more bars, restaurants, public buildings, hospitals, office buildings, schools, etc, etc, etc, no longer allow smoking of any kind, there are still thousands of places where people are subjected to cigarette and cigar smoke. Some people ( and I am included in this group) can even detect cigarette smoke when standing outside 15 to 20 feet away from a smoker.

With all of the airborne contaminants that we are subjected to, cigarette smoke ranks as one of the most difficult to deal with. It is comprised of about 100 different chemicals including nicotine, the major component of cigarettes, and one of the most addictive chemicals used legally. Which is why almost 40 million Americans still smoke.

There are a number of challenges when dealing with cigarette smoke but two of them are the most difficult. First, the small smoke particles that come off the cigarette are easily aspirated into the lungs of anyone within 5 to 10 feet of the smoker. The smoke you see coming from the cigarette is really fairly large, 20 to 100 microns in size. However, the majority of the smoke coming off the cigarette is very small and invisible to the naked eye, it is sub-micron in size (less than 1 micron) and is easily trapped in the lungs.

The second most difficult component of cigarette smoke is a substance called “cotinine” which is a component of nicotine. This material is transported by the cigarette smoke and is somewhat tacky and will adhere to any surface. This chemical has a strong odor lifetime; meaning it will continue to release an odor for days after it is released from the cigarette and attaches to a surface. It is this chemical that sticks to your clothes and carries the odor from the bar or restaurant back to your home. It really does stink.

One of the real challenges in dealing with cigarette smoke and all of its components is the removal or reduction of this smoke from the air. Ventilation and air dilution were used years ago as one way of removing some of the smoke from occupied areas, but the cost of heating and cooling all that air made the process prohibitive. Using air filters in the HVAC system removed some of the larger airborne particles but did nothing for the smoke odor.

Pure Air Systems has been installing its HEPA based air filtration systems in bars and restaurants to remove smoke and odors since 1985. Although today there are few bars that allow smoking, there are still many that do along with many of the private clubs. Using HEPA filters is necessary to remove the sub-micron particles and to remove the odor component the PAS systems include carbon to adsorb the cotinine other odor causing chemicals.

It is interesting to note, that even with the use of the PAS commercial grade HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems, it is very difficult to maintain a clean, healthy environment in a smoking area when you have a large number of the customers smoking.  And, with the amount of smoke that is generated by a large group of smokers the PAS filter systems require the HEPA filter to be changed once every 4 to 6 months ( normal life is 3 years) and the carbon to be replaced 4 to 6 times a year or more often ( normal life 3 to 6 months).

It is for these reasons, along with the obvious health issues, that entire communities, cities, towns and municipalities are banning smoking from any indoor public facility; even from parks, outdoor stadiums and other recreational facilities.

For more information on this topic and to learn more about the HEPA and Carbon based product line from Pure Air Systems, please go to our website at; www.pureairsystems.com.

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Still Smoking? Here’s A Way To Keep It To Yourself

While more Americans have decided to quit the smoking habit, almost 20% of the US population still smokes. Smoking is very addictive and difficult to give up. Many smokers try to limit their smoking to only the outdoors but this doesn’t work for everyone.

Many homeowners who smoke try to limit their smoking to one room to minimize the second hand smoke issues for the family members who are not smokers. While this seems like a good idea, the fact is that cigarette and cigar smoke easily travel along air currents and the odor can be recognized 50 feet away in another room.

Since most homes use forced air, ducted, heating/cooling systems, whenever the furnace or AC fan is on all the air from every room is pulled into the returns sent to the air handler, conditioned and then sent back out to the entire house through the supply ducts.  So, any smoke generated in any room in the house ( including the basement) will eventually be circulated throughout the entire home.

Pure Air Systems has dealt with this second hand smoke issue for many years, and very successfully. There are a number of methods using PAS filtration systems that can work for you.

First, you can place one of our model 600HS PLUS HEPA filtration units with carbon and variable speed motor with digital speed controller in the selected smoking room.  This unit can move up 600 CFM of air so if you sit next to the unit or place a small duct and hood on the inlet of the unit and smoke next to the system, the 600HS PLUS will pull out over 90% first pass of all the smoke (through the HEPA) and odor (through the carbon) and significantly minimize the amount of second hand smoke.

Second, you can use one of the new HPS series Portable HEPA units that again have both a HEPA and Carbon filter. This portable unit is considerably smaller than the 600HS PLUS unit (only 13″ sq. by 21″ long) and can move up to 500 CFM. It has a four speed air volume controller. Since this unit has a smaller intake area you will need to blow the smoke toward the inlet to allow for maximum capture.  First pass smoke and odor removal efficiency is slightly less than the 600HS PLUS but if used correctly the HPS unit can be the answer.

Third, you have the option of placing the 600HS PLUS or one of the larger HS PLUS units directly on the return air side of your heating/cooling system. The unit will remove the smoke and odor that is pulled through the return air grills in your home. However, this approach works best if you smoke near one of the main return air grills and you also have to make sure the heating/cooling fan is running at maximum speed to adequately pull the smoke to the unit.

Fourth, Pure Air Systems also offers a line of BioGuard media air filters that combine a polyester ring panel media with carbon. These filters replace the standard air filter located in your HVAC system and can be helpful in removing much of the smoke and odor from the cigarettes. Again, these filters work best when the heating/cooling fan is running and the smoke is generated near or close to a main return in the home.

Anyone of these options available through Pure Air Systems can be helpful in keeping second hand smoke from your family members. For more information on these filter products and smoking applications go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com

 

 

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