St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) April 16, 2014
Each year, there are more than 3,300 deaths due to asthma. Asthma was also indicated as a “contributing factor” for nearly 7,000 deaths each year according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Much of this would be preventable with proper treatment and care of the facilities where people spend 90 percent of their time.
Asthma can be triggered by any number of factors within commercial buildings. Numerous species of bacteria and fungi, in particular filamentous fungi (mold), can contribute significantly to indoor air pollution. Whenever sufficient moisture is present within workplaces, these microbes can grow and affect the health of workers in several ways.
Building Site or Location: The location of a building can have implications for indoor pollutants. Highways or busy thoroughfares may be sources of particulates and other pollutants in nearby buildings. Buildings sited on land where there was prior industrial use or where there is a high water table may result in leaching of water or chemical pollutants into the building.
Building Design: Design and construction flaws may contribute to indoor air pollution. Poor foundations, roofs, facades, and window and door openings may allow pollutant or water intrusion. Outside air intakes placed near sources where pollutants are drawn back into the building (e.g., idling vehicles, products of combustion, waste containers, etc.) or where building exhaust reenters into the building can be a constant source of pollutants. Buildings with multiple tenants may need an evaluation to ensure emissions from one tenant do not adversely affect another tenant.
Building Systems Design and Maintenance: When the HVAC system is not functioning properly for any reason, the building is often placed under negative pressure. In such cases, there may be infiltration of outdoor pollutants such as particulates, vehicle exhaust, humid air, parking garage contaminants, etc. Also, when spaces are redesigned or renovated, the HVAC system may not be updated to accommodate the changes. For example, one floor of a building that housed computer services may be renovated for offices. The HVAC system would need to be modified for office employee occupancy (i.e., modifying temperature, relative humidity, and air flow).
An important management strategy is to foster a team approach for problem solving and consensus building. The lndoor Air Quality Team should include, but not necessarily be limited to building occupants, administrative staff, facility operators, custodians, building healthcare staff, contract service providers including HVAC experts, and other interested parties.
For more information about Air Masters or indoor air quality, visit http://www.airmasters.com or call Lisa Abney with Air Masters at 636.680.2100.
About Air Masters:
Air Masters is a full service team of engineers, project managers, highly skilled workers, and support staff who bring experience, knowledge, and talents to commercial projects. Air Masters’ services are a family of companies that will serve your project needs.
Whole building commissioning is their mentality and includes building automation control systems, plumbing services, fire protection installations, and a wide range of HVAC services. Air Masters takes your project from inception to completion and beyond with pride and sincere passion for customer satisfaction.
Lisa Abney, Commercial Account Representative
lisaa (at) airmasters (dot) com
Air Masters Corporation