Since 1991, Henry Slack has managed the Indoor Air Program for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4, which covers eight southeastern states. In this position, he offers expertise concerning indoor air to citizens or public agencies with questions on topics as diverse as mold, odors, ozone, carbon monoxide, air cleaners, ventilation systems, and secondhand tobacco smoke. The EPA program is non-regulatory.
Mr. Slack became an ASHRAE Distinguished lecturer in 2014 and has presented at numerous Chapters around the country and internationally. He has also presented at several recent IAQA national meetings and to IAQA Chapters in the Southeast. He also presented “Emerging Issues in IAQ” for the IAQA Webcast of Nov 30 2016.
Mr. Slack had a temporary assignment to the CDC National Center for Environmental Health, Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, in 1998, where he investigated the use of unvented residential heating appliances (which could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning). In 2004, he was appointed a Fellow through Partners of the Americas, and spent a month and a half in Barbados training and assisting staff of the Barbados environmental agency.
In previous work, was responsible for energy management programs for the U.S. General Services Administration, Region 4; designed rooftop air conditioning units for Seasons-4, Inc., a small manufacturer; and served as the Energy Coordinator at Fort McPherson in Atlanta.
Mr. Slack earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1974 from Southwestern at Memphis (now called Rhodes College) in Memphis, Tennessee, and a Master of Science in 1980 from Georgia Institute of Technology. He became a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Georgia in 1988, the same year he joined ASHRAE.
Fixing the Great Indoors: HVAC and Indoor Air Quality (up to 3 hours)
Most of the time, we breathe without a thought, hundreds of times each hour – unless there’s a problem. When something’s wrong, it’s due to pollutants, people, pathways, and pressure differences. The best solution often is to find the sources and control them, or fix the pathways and pressures. This presentation will focus on what goes wrong in our buildings that engineers can manage –intakes, dampers, filters, coils, drain pans, fans, and controls. Instead of testing, a visual inspection (walk-through) can identify many likely sources and pathways, which are often inexpensive to fix.
Ventilation Research: Is More Air Better for Us?
Recent research by leading indoor air scientists clearly suggests health benefits may not level off until outside air delivery approaches 50 CFM/person. While less outside air cuts energy bills, research suggests that additional outside air may pay for itself, from a reduction in symptoms and greater productivity. Studies in schools have found statistically significant correlations between test scores and quantity of ventilation air. A small study found CO2 levels of 1,000 and 2,500 ppm caused losses in the ability to make decisions. The speaker will review all the recent ventilation research on all sides of the issue.
Indoor Air Disasters: Stories of Recovery from Katrina, Hurricanes, Wildfires, and Other Disasters
The U.S. has had fires, floods, and storms in recent years, such as Hurricane Katrina, which flooded New Orleans in 2005. The “Katrina cough” affecting residents was soon reported in U.S. news outlets. What is the effect of disasters on IAQ? Can we prevent carbon monoxide poisonings? This presentation will tell stories from past disasters, and suggest ways we can avoid problems in the future.
How Can Climate Change Impact Indoor Air and Health?
Indoor environments can be significantly impacted by climate changes such as large increases or decreases in rainfall and snowfall, extremely high or low temperatures, and changes in the severity of storms. Increased rainfall may lead to increased risk of flooding and dampness indoors, and growth of mold indoors. Decreased rainfall or droughts may lead to wildfires that will create particulate air pollution that can seep indoors. Extreme temperatures and storms may drive people to stay indoors to protect themselves from the elements, and increase their use of heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) systems. The speaker will discuss these findings, which suggest methods by which engineers and architects can make our buildings more climate-ready.
Emerging Issues – What’s Headed Our Way (and is it a scooter or a semi?)
Every few years, an IAQ issue dominates the headlines for a good while. Toxic mold, “Chinese” drywall, and formaldehyde from flooring have all led the IAQ news at times. Why do these issues, and not others, run on and on? Can we predict what stories have staying power? The speaker will explain what made these stories long-lasting news, and predict what chemicals, diseases, and other IAQ problems may lead the headlines in the future.