Henry H. Slack
Mechanical Engineer
139 Erie Ave.
Decatur , GA 30030
United States
(404) 217-4229
Region: IV
Honorarium: None

From 1991 to 2018, Henry Slack managed the Indoor Air Program for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4, dealing with topics as diverse as mold, odors, ozone, carbon monoxide, air cleaners, green buildings, ventilation systems, tobacco smoke, and a guy who could see mold spores flying through the air and attack him. The EPA program is non-regulatory.

For the COVID-19 pandemic, he advised several non-profit organizations on prevention of super-spreader events with use of filters and ventilation. He has also lobbied members of Congress to solve the biggest problem in the world, climate change.

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 joined ASHRAE in 1988 and has never regretted it.

Fixing the Great Indoors: HVAC and Indoor Air Quality

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 research record overall is mixed. The speaker will review all the recent ventilation research on all sides of the issue.

Indoor Air Disasters and Resilience: 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.

After the Mold Rush: Solving Mold Problems
Since a $32 million mold lawsuit in 1999, molds have been a big business. What does this mean to ASHRAE members? How can we respond to our customers whose employees are fearful of molds and their health effects? US EPA prepared common sense guidelines which suggest a simple message: stop the water that allows it to grow, and clean it up. Many problems can be dealt with simply and effectively with current employees. The speaker will cover all guidelines for mold, including EPA’s recommendations, and discuss advantages and disadvantages of each.
Climate Change: How ASHRAE Members Can Prepare
Dozens of indicators tell us how much our climate has changed already; not just temperatures, but rainfall, wildfires, ocean heat and acidity, sea level, and much more. Interactive models suggest the most effective actions are taxing carbon, controlling methane emissions, and electrifying and retrofitting buildings. Clearly, we can expect to reduce fossil fuel use and increase efficiency in the next decades. How can we best serve our clients? The presenter will give some ideas, but can also moderate a session to allow chapter members to share their ideas and concerns.