Thursday, June 30, 2011

OSHA warns of poor indoor air quality in commercial buildings

IAQ in office buildings and public institutions
should become a priority, report says.In a new guidance document for building managers, owners and employers,  the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls indoor air quality (IAQ) “a major concern” because it can impact the health, comfort, well-being and productivity of building occupants and employees.

For many office workers, city high-rises and large offices that accommodate many workers have become the norm.

Workers typically spend 40 hours or more a week in these office buildings.

The indoor air quality in commercial and institutional buildings is dependent on the following factors:

The building’s original designLocationRenovationsVentilation (HVAC system)Maintenance of the building envelope and HVAC systems
While the reasons for poor IAQ may vary, but the OSHA document names overcrowding, dampness (mold), and internally generated pollutants from building materials, cleaning products and mechanical equipment such as office printers as common sources.

Health effects of poor indoor air quality

Many workers can be affected by poor IAQ, depending on their immune system and levels of exposure.

Symptoms may include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, dizziness, rashes, muscle pain, fatigue, aggravated asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Bad IAQ has also been linked to respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer.

Apart from short-term and long-term health effects, poor indoor air quality can also affect worker productivity and lead to costly repairs or other expenses.

That is why OSHA recommends a proactive approach to address IAQ concerns and to put measures in place that will prevent problems or make it easier to deal with problems if and when they occur. This may help employers save costs, increase operating efficiency and improve worker productivity.

For a complete guide to proactive IAQ management in commercial buildings and institutions, read the OSHA report.

Improve IAQ instantly with portable air cleaners
Ink fumes from office printers may irritate
workers and contribute to poor IAQ.
While it is important to maintain existing HVAC systems, often they simply do not provide enough ventilation and airflow, especially in large or overcrowded offices. In addition, the fumes from printers and electronic equipment may affect workers nearby.

Electrocorp offers specialized air cleaners to improve the indoor air quality in offices and commercial buildings quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Electrocorp’s product line includes portable air cleaners such as the RAP and RSU Series, the Numerical Series for smaller offices, the PrintSafe air purifier with source capture for printers, the I-6500 Series for larger spaces and a variety of other products to provide cleaner air instantly.
Electrocorp's PrintSafe
for office printers.
The reliable air cleaners are designed to work around-the-clock and require very little maintenance.

Electrocorp’s air filters are so effective because they incorporate a deep-bed activated carbon filter as well as a HEPA filter for the removal of chemicals, particles, mold mycotoxins, odors and other irritants.

Many Electrocorp air filters can also accommodate a UV lamp to neutralize biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold spores (mycotoxins).

Contact one of Electrocorp’s air quality experts for more information: 1-866-667-0297.

View the original article here

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