The Importance Of Indoor Air Quality In Office


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The Importance Of Indoor Air Quality In Office

  1. 1. The Importance of Indoor Air Quality in Office Buildings<br />Camilla Brasher<br />ETIS 6020<br />
  2. 2. Indoor Air Quality<br />In the news since the energy crisis of the 70s necessitated tighter construction<br />Same time frame more workers become white collar due to the computer revolution<br />More people in tighter environment <br />Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is born<br />
  3. 3. Sick Building Syndrome<br />Workers become ill at workplace and get better at home<br />NIOSH uses the term Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) to describe this<br />Examples include:<br />Legionellosis<br />Allergic reactions<br />Mold and Fungus<br />Hypersensitivity<br />
  4. 4. NIOSH believes the problem is not just what one breathes<br />Factors in Building-Related Illness<br />Job stress<br />Ergonomic stress<br />Lighting<br />Noise <br />Temperature extremes<br />These factors may occur individually or combined<br />
  5. 5. Symptoms of SBS<br />Itching, burning eyes<br />Irritated skin<br />Nasal congestion<br />Fatigue<br />Dry irritated throats<br />Nausea<br />headaches<br />
  6. 6. NIOSH found that high stress environments include:<br />Humidity problems<br />Unacceptable noise levels<br />Adverse ergonomic conditions<br />Improper temperature conditions<br />Inadequate ventilation<br />
  7. 7. Seventy percent of employed Americans work in non-agricultural, non-industrial environments…<br />
  8. 8. Improving building environments<br />There are 89 million workers in the US who mainly work indoors<br />Cleaner indoor environments could help an estimated 15 million of them<br />There is no OSHA regulation regarding indoor air quality in offices<br />
  9. 9. OSHA’s recommendations <br />There is no mention of office standards<br />Inquiries are delegated to either NIOSH, EPA or ASHRAE<br />ASHRAE standards were set in 1973 and updated in 1975<br />Recommend an exchange rate of 5 cubic feet of outside air per minute for every person working in a building<br />This has become a part of many municipal codes around the country<br />
  10. 10. OSHA Major Indoor Air Contaminants<br />
  11. 11. OSHA Major Indoor Air ContaminantsSource: OSHA Technical Manual: Section III: Chapter 2, pp.2-3<br />
  12. 12. Smoking….<br />Smoking should be banned from inside buildings<br />Outside smoking areas should be kept away from ventilation uptakes and away from doors or windows<br />
  13. 13. Ventilation is key<br />Good ventilation moves a lot of air<br />Humidity should be kept low indoors to prevent mold and fungus growth<br />Moisture should not accumulate in drip pans and there should be no water damage due to leaky roofs<br />Any damage should be repaired immediately<br />
  14. 14. Molds…<br />Biological threat to indoor air quality<br />Moisture either due to water damage or high humidity<br />Mold will grow where it has food and water<br />Eliminating water from the indoor environment will limit mold growth<br />
  15. 15. Places mold loves…<br />Leaking roofs<br />Substandard maintenance<br />Cold spots<br />Localized flooding<br />Malfunctioning humidifiers<br />Leaky plumbing<br />
  16. 16. Mold<br />Mold is big business and business is thriving<br />
  17. 17. Mold in buildings can cause<br />Aggravation of asthma symptoms<br />Headaches<br />Allergic reactions<br />Some molds are toxic<br />Severity of symptoms <br />Depend on the ages of the individuals that are exposed<br />Length of exposure <br />Sensitivities that might already exist<br />
  18. 18. Radon<br />Radioactive gas produced as radium decays<br />Present in almost all soils and in rocks<br />Migrates through groundwater and soil<br />Seeps into homes and buildings through the foundations<br />Second to smoking in causing lung cancer<br />EPA had success in homes now wants to test in commercial buildings<br />
  19. 19. Asbestos<br />Fibrous mineral found in rocks<br />Extruded into filaments that cannot be seen with the naked eye<br />Under the right conditions can suspend in the air and be inhaled<br />Causes asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma<br />Can take up to 20 years after exposure to manifest<br />
  20. 20. Asbestos<br />More of a threat to maintenance workers because it was used as insulation in boiler rooms and service areas<br />If it is intact OSHA does not recommend moving it, just monitoring<br />NIOSH advocates its removal in all cases and believes there is no safe amount of asbestos<br />More of a danger during demolition or renovation<br />
  21. 21. Asbestos<br />
  22. 22. Asbestos<br />EPA estimates that friable (easily crumbled) asbestos exists in 700,000 public and commercial buildings<br />EPA and NIOSH 5 facts about asbestos:<br />Asbestos is dangerous but only if airborne<br />Average amount in buildings is low making health risks low<br />Ill advised removal is more dangerous than monitoring<br />Removal is only necessary in renovation or demolition<br />Proper management and monitoring will protect workers<br />
  23. 23. Research into economics<br />Benefits that result from improving air quality should be added in<br />Less sick leave days<br />Less worker complaints<br />Change in workers comfort level<br />Increase in productivity<br />Increase in moral<br />Reduced healthcare costs<br />Less maintenance costs<br />Less turnover of employees<br />
  24. 24. References<br />&quot;Building Air Quality | IAQ in Large Buildings | Indoor Air Quality | Air | US EPA.&quot; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 15 Apr. 2009 &lt;;. <br />&quot;Building Air Quality: IAQ in Large Buildings.&quot; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 17 Apr. 2009 &lt;;. <br />&quot;Building Assessment Survey and Evaluation (BASE) Study | IAQ in Large Buildings | Indoor Air Quality | Air | US EPA.&quot; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 16 Apr. 2009 &lt;;. <br />Goetsch, David L. Occupational Safety and Health for Technologists, Engineers, and Managers (6th Edition) (Occupational Safety & Health for Technologists, Engineers, &). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2007. <br />&quot;The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality | Indoor Air | US EPA.&quot; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 15 Apr. 2009 &lt;;. <br />Kreiss, Kathleen. &quot;The Sick Building Syndrome: Where is the Epidemiologic Basis.&quot; American Journal of Public Health(1990): 1172-173. EBSCOhost. Academic Search Premier. MTSU, Nashville. 12 Apr. 2009 &lt;;. <br />
  25. 25. References (continued)<br />Mendell, Mark J., William J. Fisk, Kathleen Kreiss, Hal Levin, Darryl Alexander, William S. Cain, John R. Girman, Cynthia J. Hines, Paul A. Jensen, Donald K. Milton, Larry P. Rexroat, and Kenneth M. Wallingford. &quot;Improving the Health of Workers in Indoor Environments: Priority Research Needs for a National Occupational Research Agenda.&quot; American Journal of Public Health 92 (2002): 1430-440. Wilson Web. 11 Mar. 2009. Keyword: indoor air quality. <br />&quot;An Office Building Occupant&apos;s Guide to Indoor Air Quality | Publications | Indoor Air | Air | US EPA.&quot; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 14 Apr. 2009 &lt;;. <br />Ohman, Pamela A., and L. E. Eberly. &quot;Relating Sick Building Symptoms to Environmental Conditions and Worker Characteristics.&quot; Indoor Air 8 (1998): 172-79. Academic Search Premier. MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN. 16 Apr. 2009. Keyword: indoor air quality. <br />&quot;OSHA TECHNICAL MANUAL - SECTION III: CHAPTER 2.&quot; Occupational Safety and Health Administration - OSHA HOME PAGE. 18 Apr. 2009 &lt;;. <br />
  26. 26. References (continued)<br />Seppanen, Olli, and William J. Fisk. &quot;A Model to Estimate the Cost-Effectiveness of Improving Office Work through Indoor Environmental Control.&quot; ASHRAE Transactions 111 (2005): 663-72. Academic Search Premier. MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN. 17 Apr. 2009 &lt;,;. <br />U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 19 Apr. 2009 &lt;;. <br />USA. EPA. Air and Radiation: Indoor Environments Division. EPA&apos;s web server. 25 June 2001. EPA. 15 Apr. 2009 &lt;;. <br />