[OT] Air Pollution

Every few days in Silicon Valley, CA we are treated to a kind of stench in the air probably caused by arsenide gas from our various wafer fabs.
It ranges in concentration from 'merely distracting' all the way to the kind of in-your-face pall reminiscent of the worst days of the '70's. (Think 'Chewable Air')
Just now I discovered that wearing my painting respirator with type 6003 Organic Vapor/Acid Gas Cartridges almost completely removes the smell.
Just a heads-up for folks also benefiting from our high-tech environment. :)
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thus enabling you to breathe deeply the most toxic odorless materials....

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 14 Aug 2012 10:43:47 -0400, Spehro Pefhany wrote:

What more could one ask? :)
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Gee, where are you exactly? I have lived in Palo Alto for 25 years and worked in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Milpitas for most of that time and I have not experienced the same thing. There are a few hazy, low air-quality days, but not that many and not that bad. You must be downwind from some particular offender.
I also really doubt (I hope) that what you are smelling is arsine gas (aka hydrogen arsenide). The limit detectable by oder is 0.5 ppm, but 3 to 10 ppm induces toxic symptoms and 10 is fatal after long exposures. The occupational average inhalation limit is 0.005 ppm. http://tinyurl.com/8hr2mm7
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 14 Aug 2012 09:04:20 -0700, anorton wrote:

As we say: "Sanazay".

Yes. I understand that some are less prone to smell this than others. For me, the aroma can be of 'eye watering' intensity. A few days ago it was really bad.

Oniony-Garlic smell. *Really* pungent. Can appear at any time of the day. It was pretty strong here 8/11. I drove up to Cupertino and it was nearly as strong there as well.
Weird.
I envy you in 'Paly'. The air there is normally much nicer - smelling than down here in the South Valley. I worked at Xerox near PARC for several years and was delighted to go to work each day, partly because the air is very nice smelling there.
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Maybe you are getting a wiff of garlic from Gilroy. It is a little late for the garlic harvest but perhaps the processing is still going on.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 14 Aug 2012 14:37:38 -0700, anorton wrote:

(...)
I don't know anything about garlic but I assume it is not harvested and dried all year round. This stench pops up at any time of the year. We've had a nice reprieve this Sunday 8/12 and Monday, but this morning (Tue 8/14) The Stench was back with a vengeance. As I write this (4:00 PM) the air is 'normal' once again with just the standard smells of hot roofing material and soil, some car exhaust. Not 'nice' but not awful either.
I honestly wish I knew what this pervasive aroma is.
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://santacruz.winecountry.com/cities/Gilroy / "the Gilroy Foods plant east of Highway 101 generates a garlicky odor that can spread all the way to the southern suburbs of San Jose, about 20 miles north."
Apparently the plant is open 7 months out of the year dicing, drying, packaging garlic and onion. www.renoirgroup.com/documents/CaseStudy/11.pdf
There is even this site: http://www.howdoesgilroysmelltoday.com / Too bad they do not have a chart of past ratings.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 15 Aug 2012 12:07:29 -0700, anorton wrote:
(...)

Ah! That could explain it. Thank you, Anorton!
Right now the air outside smells quite normal. Not 'Palo Alto' by a long shot but not garlic-y in the least. The stenchometer in your final cite is almost pegged but I see the wind direction is directly away from me. This is good.
Thanks again!
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How can you have pollution? I thought CA was a socialist paradise?
Can you get furnace filter size cartridges, so you can have clean air indoors, at least?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Every few days in Silicon Valley, CA we are treated to a kind of stench in the air probably caused by arsenide gas from our various wafer fabs. It ranges in concentration from 'merely distracting' all the way to the kind of in-your-face pall reminiscent of the worst days of the '70's. (Think 'Chewable Air')
Just now I discovered that wearing my painting respirator with type 6003 Organic Vapor/Acid Gas Cartridges almost completely removes the smell.
Just a heads-up for folks also benefiting from our high-tech environment. :)
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And the LA area has the cleanest air since the 1800s
Funny how that happens
Gunner
One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that "violence begets violence." I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure - and in some cases I have - that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.
- Jeff Cooper
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 14 Aug 2012 13:10:06 -0700, Gunner wrote:
(...)

I cannot imagine how bad the LA pollution must have been in the 1800s! Holy Moley!
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The 70s were the worst I can remember. When I moved to California the first time..I was coming out of a job in Wyoming..and when we hit Riverside on the 10...I noticed the air was turning brown..and browner..and browner....and was wondering what was burning and where.
Then it got chewie. When we reached Anaheim headquarters..it was like being down wind of a smelting plant.
Now there is only the faintest hint of color in the otherwise blue skies
Gunner
One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that "violence begets violence." I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure - and in some cases I have - that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.
- Jeff Cooper
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

But it's safe. The gov't tells me so.

I remember the look and taste of HelL.A. air in the '60s and '70s, Winnie.
Yucky.
-- The business of America is not business. Neither is it war. The business of America is justice and securing the blessings of liberty. -- George F. Will
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 14 Aug 2012 16:40:20 -0700, Larry Jaques wrote:
(...)

I agree 100%.
As a yout, I drove to LA once (gas was maybe $0.40 a gallon?) The smog in the Bay Area at the time was pretty bad, but the stuff in the LA basin was 'way browner.
(Yes, I get the irony about driving around aimlessly and then complaining about the smog.) :)
Thank you, C.A.R.B. I like breathing easy now.
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We used to get bad days when the L.A. smog fanned itself down to Vista and turned it into an INDOOR ONLY day. I couldn't breathe the outside air on those days. Later, Sandy Eggo smog wafted up to the North County on occasion and it bothered me then, too. The air is much better up here, but only when the idiots don't burn their woodstoves on windless days. Medford (Jackson County) is really bad that way, but they now have smog alert days where woodstove use is banned. I was certainly happier downwind from San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS) rather than a damned coal-fired power station.

<sigh>
I disagree with that sentiment. I had my smog license and watched some pretty nice vehicles go into meltdown after installing some of CARB's required devices and settings. Millions of dollars of vehicle engines were toasted from that idiocy. CA air would have greened fairly quickly anyway, sticking to federal guidelines, so I think it was a ghastly waste, a crime against the populace.
-- Make awkward sexual advances, not war.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 14 Aug 2012 21:40:51 -0700, Larry Jaques wrote:
(...)

The NRDC says: "In recent years, scientists have shown that air pollution from cars, factories and power plants is a major cause of asthma attacks."
Now, I've never suffered an asthma attack but the symptoms sound horrifying. I'm very happy to consider the improvements in air pollution over the last 15 years has reduced the number of people that suffer in that awful way.
It's possible that CARB requirements and the rather sudden drastic improvement in air quality are coincidences without causal linkage, I suppose.
That ain't the way I would bet, however. :)
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

At the same time, skyrocketing HVAC costs have people buttoning up their homes and the stuffiness/chemical mishmash inside is causing more asthma than cars and factories combined. Does "a major cause" mean it's in the top three, top ten, or top 1,000?

Consider this. When factory smog devices fail, they upgrade to newer (if not the newest) technology which works much, much better than the one-or-more-generation older tech. Over a period of five years, perhaps half the old smokers (both vehicles and air-quality-reducing factory chimney devices) were being retired. Peter Huber pointed this out in _Hard Green_ if you wish to further research it.

Right, it doesn't usually happen that way, but lots of long-shots happen when you research things properly. Consider the Julian Simon/John Ehrlich bet. Ehrlich and Holdren (who is now Obama's science GOTO guy. =:0 ) wrote _The Population Bomb_. Their flawed "science" continues to haunt us in the shadows of the AGWK camp. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon%E2%80%93Ehrlich_wager
While I'm entirely happy at the outcome (cleaner air), I prefer to go after the worst offenders rather than the next tenth of a billionth of a percent reduction of any given pollutant, as the EPA is wont to do.
And while we're on the enviro bandwagon, for members of our CONgress to -waive- the Clean Water Act, etc., for the farkin' frackers is outright treason against the country and its people. I believe heads should roll for that one. We have a limited supply of fresh water on Earth and it's already endangered both here and abroad.
-- Make awkward sexual advances, not war.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 15 Aug 2012 09:56:09 -0700, Larry Jaques wrote:
(...)

http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing / wells_hydroreg.cfm
Holy Crap!
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What, precisely, are you "holy crapping" about?
According to the guy who did research for the movie GASLAND, there are over 500 nastyass (16 syllable) chemicals injected into the well bores and anywhere from 50 to 90% of them are recovered. Each well takes several million gallons of hydraulic fluids, so you can imagine why I'm really, really concerned about fracking. Please watch the movie and harass your CONgresscritters about the data. (It's available on Netflix for instant viewing if you have Netflix. It will literally scare the shit out of you, I guarantee, even if you believe only 5% of the info provided.)
I will never travel to Nawlins after seeing that movie. Consider that all the evaporation pools were washed into the lands on the coast of the Southern states during Katrina. 100,000+ wells with each of their several-million-gallon pools of chemicals washed into the soil there. FTN. I won't be visiting there _ever_, even if I wanted to. I'm wondering how the cancer/disease/death stats are ramping up even now... <shudder>
-- Make awkward sexual advances, not war.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.