Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
- Presence of indoor air pollution sources
- Poorly designed, maintained or operated ventilation systems
- Building being used in ways not anticipated in its original design
Sources of Pollutants
Facts About Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
- People spend an estimated 90% of their time indoors
- Indoor air can be 10 times more toxic than the air that we breath outside
- Energy consumption trends of the 70’s caused the design and rehab of many buildings decreasing their ventilation and contributing to indoor air quality issues
Facts about IAQ (Cont.)
- Poor ventilation is the main cause of poor air quality
- It is estimated that 30% of new and remodeled buildings worldwide are subject to excessive complaints related to indoor air quality
- Age and pre-existing medical conditions are two important influences
Causes of Poor IAQ
- In approximately 500 indoor air quality investigations in the last decade, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that the primary sources for IAQ problems are:
- Inadequate ventilation (52%)
- Contamination from inside the building (16%)
- Contamination from outside the building (10%)
- Microbial contamination (5%)
- Contamination from building fabric (4%)
Effects of IAQ
- Discomforts include headaches, nausea, dizziness, eye, nose and throat irritation, difficulty in concentration, muscle pain, etc.
- Building Related I llnesses
- Clinically defined infections such as legionellas, etc.
- Poor IAQ has been linked to a number of illnesses such as:
- Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
- Other symptoms such as headaches, sore throats, etc.
Economic and Legal Implications
- Reduce attendance and productivity at work
- Can quicken building deterioration
- Can result in liability issues and lawsuits
Sources of Air Contaminants Contaminant: Sources: X-rays, silicone & caulking compounds Engines, fuel appliances & tobacco Insulation, plywood, paneling, carpeting & fabric , glues & adhesives Gas appliances, human respiration Welding and appliances
Sources of Air Contaminants Contaminant: Sources: Copy machines, electrical arcing, smog Ground under buildings, groundwater, building materials Cleaning chemicals, alcohols, pesticides, etc. Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide Insulation and building products
Viruses, fungi, mold, bacteria, pollen, dander and mites
- Microorganisms & other biological contaminants
- Drapes, fabrics and carpets absorb these chemicals along with mites and other allergens
What Mold Needs to Grow
Carpet Components Susceptible to Microbial Growth Include:
- Jute Backings as well as Foam Backing Systems
Improving Air Quality
- Eliminate sources of pollution and/or reduce their emissions
Work Practice Recommendations
- Avoid Microbial Contamination
- Control areas of moisture
- Remove damp building materials
- Clean and disinfect non-porous surfaces
- Maintain humidity below 60%
- Control intake of outdoor air
- Isolate areas of renovation or cleaning
- Supply adequate ventilation
- Specify an EPA registered antimicrobial for susceptible interior products
Ceiling Tiles/Microbial View
Natural Fibers Rhizopus sp. on carpet backing
Indoor Air Quality Standards
- “ Who sets and monitors the standards?”
- OSHA – OSH ACT – “General Duty Clause”
- Employers must furnish to each of his employees a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.
Green Organizations/Green Movement
Most companies are self certifying themselves as Green Chemistries
- The GreenGuard Environmental Institute
What does Green Mean? How Should Cleaning Solutions Measure GREEN?
- Environmental Impact and Footprint
- Are the cleaning products rapidly biodegradable?
- The cleaning process should make the indoor environment Green by removing soil, allergens and pollutants in addition to cleaning the surface of the carpet/floor.
- Use of Renewable Resources
- Do the raw materials of your cleaning products require the use of renewable resources such as oil?
- Are the products housed in recyclable packaging?
What does Green Mean? (Cont.)
- Reducing Use of Resources
- Is the solution concentrated – the more concentration, the less resources needed to produce.
- Are there any Health Impacts associated with the cleaning products?
- Are they safe to use for technicians as well as building inhabitants?
- Impact on the cleaning surface
- Does it have a negative impact on the surface being cleaned?
- Does it completely remove soils, allergens, pollutants and particulates effectively without having to add more? If it does then it is a “Green” cleaning process.
Indoor Air Claims No Human Health Care Claims
Ensuring Superior Indoor Air Quality
- The 3 C’s of Sanitizing Cleaning
- Chemistry: biodegradable, substrate compatible, residual activity, single active or blend mode of action
- Concentration: RTU or dilute, ratio, specific instructions for certain environments or target organisms
- Contact Time: Critical for effective kill or denaturing. Too little contact time = poor sanitization
- Sanitizing is using an agent that reduces microbial contaminants to safe levels as set by public health requirements.
- Benefits of Sanitization:
- Stops the spread of microbes that negatively impact human health
- Prevents premature bio-deterioration
Two Types of Maintenance
- “ Cleaning for Looks” – removal of surface soils to make an interior look aesthetically pleasing.
- “ Cleaning for Health” – procedures that address the removal of deeply embedded soils, contaminants and allergens.
Benefits of Grab?
- The Grab line consists of Low Moisture products that encapsulate soil and debris and effectively remove it from carpet and fabric fibers.
- Its formulation, technology and cleaning methodology ensures that the product does not become airborne, thereby eliminating indoor air quality concerns.
- It is made from sustainable chemistries
To further the Green Cleaning Process
- Use the correct equipment to ensure that all of the debris is being removed.
- Consult the CRI approved equipment list to ensure maximum efficiency.
New Product - Vital Oxide -
- Vital Oxide is an EPA registered disinfectant that can be used on both hard surfaces and fabric.
- It kills 99.99% of tough bacteria such as MRSA, Legionella, Norovirus, E Coli, Salmonella and Aspergilles Niger to name just a few.
Nature’s Alternative to Bleach
- Acts as a long-term mold preventative.
Why Vital Oxide
- Quaternary vs. Non-Quaternary cleaners
- Chlorine Dioxide is the only chemical that effectively eliminates threats such as super bugs, viruses and Anthrax.
- Vital Oxide is a stabilized Chlorine Dioxide compound that doesn’t have to be mixed in two parts.
- Unlike other Chlorine Dioxide based cleaners it can be stored in a bottle for up to 2 years and maintain its effectiveness.
- A multi-disciplinary approach is needed to ensure good IAQ during construction or routine building operation.
- Construction specifications and practices which minimize moisture exposure and control helps prevent mold colonization.
- Sanitization helps ensure that contaminated substrates do not become problem sources.