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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

INDOOR AIR QUALITY

  • The quality of indoor air influences the health, comfort and productivity of occupants and visitors.
  • The Environment Protection Agency ranks indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health
  • Many materials in common use, as well as certain practices, can have an unfavorable impact on air quality within a building.
  • Asbestos, long a favorite insulation material and an ingredient in various building products, is now well known as a carcinogen.
  • The re-circulation of air-conditioned interiors may favor both the short term danger of infection and the long term risks related to exposure to low levels of air pollutants
  • “Source control” strategies eliminate possible sources of contamination before they are introduced into the building, and specifying bacteria/moisture/mildew inhibitors in paint and other materials.
  • Limiting materials with a great deal of accessible surface area (“fleecy” materials such as carpet, upholstery and ceiling tiles) will also control the release of chemicals into the environment.
  • Installation procedures also have an effect on exposure to harmful or irritating substances.
  • A great many user complaints come from carpet change-out.
  • Tests indicate that carpet emissions are released upon installation, but with proper ventilation they will dissipate within 48 to 72 hours.
  • There are some common sense guidelines for installation or remodeling:
    • Plan for sensitive occupants to leave the building during removal of old carpet and/or the installation of new carpet
    • Vacuum old carpet throughly before removal to minimize airborn dust particles
    • Provide adequate ventilation during installation and the following 72 hours
    • Increase fresh air ventilation to flush out remaining contaminants
    • Specify low emitting adhesives and carpet cushions


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