- (IEQ) – Indoor Environmental Quality (IAQ) – Indoor Air Quality Solutions Considerations
Our business is (IEQ) indoor environmental quality – (IAQ) indoor air quality, and how it affects everyone you encounter, property, and furnishing. Inclusive of every other living organism.
Biological agents, virial, bacterial microorganisms, and residuals from cooking. Post-combustion derivatives create toxic compounds off-gassing and carbonized particulate. When typical common cleaning chemicals, are exposed to fire or open flame, like your gas hot water heater, they are yielding derivative gases, and are present everywhere both indoor and outdoor. That laser printer, and more so that really neat 3-D printer in the office, produce off-gassing and generates particulate.
Most are not aware that bacteria and viruses never really, just go away. Example bacteria inadvertently left inside of a camera, left on the lunar surface retrieved two and half years later, lived in the extreme arid temperatures and vacuum of space. That is why NASA and JPL are critical about mission equipment extreme measures sterilization.
Lack of a good vapor barrier actually affects the indoor air quality /environment of a building. Promoting mold and bacteria growth, ask anyone who has experienced a bad EIFS / Stucco or Split Face CMU block job or failed to maintain those systems. Placed cardboard boxes on a dry concrete floor only to discover several days later, the box became damp. Where is that odor coming from, that may possibly be a prime leading indicator of SBS? It may very well be an issue being created by the HVAC system itself?
Ambient exposure levels are based on geographical location, population, the density of domiciles, workplace, public places, potency, propagation, and saturation. All living organisms shed cells, plants, trees, flowers generate organic pollen compounds. Clothing generates fibers, collects, and distributes particulate as well as hair and fur.
Many other activities, such as concrete (crystalline silica) and asphalt cutting, generate what is known as airborne aggregate particulate. When mixed with tar and other petrol chemicals binder creating a toxic cocktail. Driving through that cloud of dust after they wet saw cut dries on the road. Or the worker using a masonry saw, blowing out the abrasive concrete dust onto you, your children, your vehicle, building or residence, is prohibited by OSHA. Contractors are subject to heavy $$$$ OSHA and EPA federal fines.
My favorite, following behind a garbage or trash dumpster hauler, or better yet, sitting at a table, eating in the street while this is happening. Windblown dry soil, sands, exhaust soot, carbon monoxide, fertilizers, molds, oxides, construction material particulate, chemicals, rodent feces, dried urine, tissue, and waste treatment – septic coliform, methane, decaying residual organic waste, and more, all contribute.
Significant discharge of untreated and unknown hazards from chemical plant-transport leaks and vent. Laboratories and hospital, outpatient short surgical procedure facilities direct air dump. Medical/dental patient aerosol containment discharge, biological research laminar flow exhaust hoods, engage in the common practice of directly venting into the air.
Human and animal waste off-gassing chloroform, methane from sanitary systems, or combination sewer/storm inlet system. (Poor or disabled restroom ventilation systems. Most, if not all are currently designed incorrectly. Methane and coliform gasses are heavy, settling low in colder confined spaces, not at the ceiling. Creating serious potential health risks, to all building occupants, as well as their friends, and families.) Hopefully, they are not ill, it is called Orofecal transmission. Hopefully, you are getting the point about everyday exposures.
- Interactions of Pathogenic Organisms
Third-party supporting documentation.
(Several frank bacterial pathogens have been shown to associate with, and in some cases, actually grow in biofilms, including Legionella Pneumonia –, S. aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter spp, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium, Vibrio cholera, and Helicobacter pylori. Although all these organisms can attach to surfaces and existing biofilms, most if not all appear incapable, of extensive growth in the biofilm.
This may be because of their fastidious growth requirements or because of their inability to compete with indigenous organisms. The mechanism of interaction and growth varies with the pathogen, and at least for L. Pneumonia appears to require the presence of free-living protozoa to grow in the biofilm. Survival and growth of pathogenic organisms within biofilms might also be enhanced by the association and metabolic interactions with indigenous organisms.
Camper et al. showed that Salmonella typhimurium persisted in a model distribution system containing undefined heterotrophic bacteria from an unfiltered reverse osmosis water system for >50 days, which suggests that the normal biofilm flora of this water system provided niche conditions capable of supporting the growth of this organism.
Biofilms increasingly are one in which there is both heterogeneity and constant flux, as this biological community adapts to changing environmental conditions and the composition of the community.)
What we commonly identify, as ubiquitous dust particles, never comprehending the sheer volume, complexity, and composition of what it consists of. Typically, residual organic / non-organic derivatives residual “particulate.” Gravity, humidity, temperature, and saturation fallout (action cause and derivative effect) as to what you visualize, on a surface, but in a considerably greater magnitude.
- Typical mission-critical controlled process environments.
Data to help understand the complexity of the problem.
Biopharma, Positive Pressure 797-Sterility Suites, Negative Pressure Isolation Suites, Test Laboratories, Med-Surgical-Dental Short Procedure Unit Suites, Certain Food, Chemical, Data, Aerospace and Electronics manufacturing industries, (manufacturing process FDA QSR 21 CFR 820 / ISO-13485, ISO-11608 applicable regulatory compliance standards). We design-build mission-critical “ISO 1~7 Classifications” “Clean Rooms”, most take the term in a literal sense, of being exceptionally clean spaces. That would be partially correct, with several major, exceedingly difficult, and expensive compliance requirements.
Controlled secured access, extremely well sealed with durable, washable, sterilizable, impervious surfaces, deck to deck, monolithic floor, sanitary corners, and very well lite. Critical control the level of airborne micron-size particulate (dust) with 4~16″ thick HEPA supply air filtration media. Multi-Return and O/A outside air filter media each 4~6″ thick MERV 13~20, with activated carbon impregnated. Positive air interlocks and tactile mat to controlling the level of fresh pathogens, rodents, and insects, from being introduced into containment. Pre-clean (staging area) room access for sterile gowning (PPE) donning and soiled ditching area.
- Configuration vary based on class and process.
Maintaining either, a positive or negative air pressure, depending on the application. Provide a precise level, of clean, fresh, and (some cases sterilized) air changes, to assure the purity level (O2, CO, Co2, CH4) of that controlled environment space. Similarly, as to the materials, potable water, and lab gasses. Maintain that environment’s temperature on average at, 60~65F/15~18C degrees and relative humidity on average at, 30~40 percent /4.19Td. 24-hours, 7-days a week, 365-days a year, regardless of the weather, power conditions, occupants, or processes.
It is not as much the “dust particles,” it’s what the residuals particulate derivative “dust particles” consists of. What has combined with that micron size particle, has attached itself to it. Compromising (contaminating) the efficacy, pureness, and reliability of the derivative process. If this protocol or data holds no validity, to save a lot of costs, then why not consider major surgery, in a parking space, of a busy gas station-convenience store, next to a hazardous material landfill, off a busy interstate highway.
The same holds, for the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the food you consume. For the most part, “dust” is just that, quite innocuous. The problems start when people, animals, fish, seafood, fowl, chemicals, then introduce a significant volume pathogen into the equation, multiplying that factor by population density, combining with other bacteria and viruses (bio-load exposure level), similar to recent cruise ship Noroviruses and influenza outbreaks triggering a (VSP) protocol. Becomes a serious global consideration to contend with.
Thusly infecting humans, rodents, fowl, animals of husbandry, and domestic pets spread itself by transmitting primarily airborne (aerosol), via the pulmonary system, eye mucus membrane (conjunctiva), secondarily via ingestion from (pathetically transmission) touching a virus/bacteria-contaminated surface. Then touch what you or someone else consumes, or your eyes, mouth, or nose. Not giving a second thought to washing your hands, or wearing the proper face mask, use of hand sanitizer or appropriate (PPE) today, could be personally, quite disruptive, and costly.
From a contained area, and concentrated building-facilities environment standpoint, (other than agricultural) waste contagion – transmission renders down to, either airborne, direct contact, or surface transmission. That being the current commonly identified methods (short of IV drug abuse) of transmitting any virus or harmful bacteria. Other than infected or compromised water supply, individual(s) sputum in dietary / processing/restaurants, directly infecting via ingested food or drink. We have to start thinking past the current, extremely reactive, disruptive, and restrictive, public health management approach, and consider a comprehensive automatic proactive solution approach.
- Typical Everyday Solutions Considerations
For not so critical applications the appropriate scaled and cost-effective solution……
Clean-up your act, thoroughly. In some cases, require working jointly, with certified industrial hygienists, and third-party independent testing laboratory. Here is something quite unsettling to ponder, the next time someone orders you to shut down and quarantine. Historically, for the last (4)-four decades of personal, firsthand experience regarding large multi-family, commercial, industrial buildings, and mechanical systems.
Risking your health, by opening up some rooftop units-(RTU), station/air handler units-(AHU), makeup air handlers (MU-AHU), cooling towers, and associated piping/heating ventilation air conditioning-(HVAC) systems and associated ancillary equipment. The greater majority range from never to rarely been sanitized or thoroughly cleaned. Owners directing HVAC service company to close O/A after the certificate of occupancy or health department inspections, IS A MATTER OF FACT. Most Establishments could NEVER, meet, or afford, currently enforced IAQ is IEQ compliance levels of (10)-ten plus air changes per hour. ASHRAE 62.1 currently require a minimum of 17 CFM per person of fresh air. That very few if any currently comply, because no one is inspecting or enforcing and there is no ordinances, or yearly heath code re-certification. There are more health and safety requirements for kitchen exhaust hoods, but very little for IAQ/IEQ, painting and coating spray booths.
Surprisingly, a significant number were discovered without any air / particulate capture filters. With a considerable amount of unknown gray in color particulate (dead skin, dander, hair, etc. and algae slime-like soup in the drain pan and condensate lift pumps. (Note the similar conditions exist in single-family residential HVAC systems, in particular attic and crawlspace installations.)
Turning those vital indoor conditioning systems, and the space they condition, into nothing short of being inside of a large laboratory Petri culture dish. Keep in mind, everything, and everyone, contributes every day, in many ways. Leaving a little bit of themselves and what every they have been exposed to behind. Have your system’s maintenance completed properly. As if your health, and that of your family, friends, guests, clients, and your very livelihood, depended on it, because it actually may! (Feeling lucky, roll the dice.)
Have you ever posed the question to your service company, other than the bill, and the service tech? Have an in-depth conversation regarding the industrial hygiene of your HVAC equipment. Ask yourself, who is paying whom, and what am I getting in return? Are they genuinely concerned for my safety? Are they familiar with any of these methods and technologies? Is the outside air is working?
Do you understand how critical air changes are and why? When was the last time the CO, Co2, O2, CH4, VOC, bio-load, molds, and bacteria levels were properly checked? Do not rely on a combination smoke detector. Do you know what sick building syndrome is? The symptoms and public health hazard it can pose? Most O/A damper systems, currently do not function, some have never functioned, or has it ever existed?
Is your system equipped with an (ERV) energy recovery ventilation device? Is it functioning, has it been properly, sized, serviced, or cleaned? If they have no answer, fail to understand your concerns, or the importance, stop. Then start looking for a qualified service company, who can answer all your question. If in a large building with leased space with a common HVAC system, servicing many tenant spaces. That typically includes maintenance. Check your lease for the term suitable use, then send a letter to the landlord facilities manager, asking for a written IAQ / IEQ policy response.
Pose these questions, does the system meet current OSHA Covid workplace compliance? What is the type of air filter? When was the last changed? Last time the evaporator coils, and the drain pan, was thoroughly cleaned? When was the last time they flushed out and treated them with a biocide, like a chlorine dioxide solution 3, 6, 9, 12- months, never? Insulated ductwork fogged, air register and return grills cleaned? When was the last time the cooling tower and loop water were checked for iron algae, legionellosis, cryptosporidium, or other pathogens? Similarly, the same holds for potable public and well water systems. Water that has not flowed for long periods becomes stagnate, that should be thoroughly flushed and evaluated. Tanks, sewage ejectors, back-ups, sprinklers fire and irrigation systems, planters, fountains, pond/pool, and fish tanks.
Think about this scenario, from a risk management loss perspective. How much longer before some very smart, personal injury litigator-tort law firm, creates another extremely lucrative revenue stream. Think those release waiver indemnification and hold harmless document will protect you, think again. Where there is any possible lack of compliance or due-diligence negligence, a curve there is a legal angle?
Definition of insanity; Repeating the same action, over and over, changing nothing, year after year, and like magic, expecting a different outcome, sound familiar?
- Ozone Generators Oxidize via an electro-chemical conversion process.
The available air in a particular area. ozone shock treatment is a powerful method of odor elimination, without the use of chemicals or masking deodorizers. Just place the ozone machine in the space, set the dial, and then, Caution Area Must Be Vacated Inclusive of Pets, During This Treatment Process. Returning the space to a reduced germ, odor-free environment. Provided the primary cause has been removed. How it works outdoors, in nature eliminates odors and microorganisms using both UV light and O3. Indoors, most places that generate odors receive truly little UV light or O3. This process can and should be repeated, in high traffic or exposure areas, during limited unoccupied times ONLY. These systems are fairly inexpensive to purchase, install, maintain, and operate. Recommend any of these solutions be installed in conjunction, with other system solutions mentioned, to provide continuous, daily protection.
- UVC Germicidal Light Spectrum Technologies:
A safe, highly proven highly effective, inactivating microorganism by destroying nucleus acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform cellular functions, excellent surface, air sanitizing, no side effects. There are several highly effective methods in deploying this decade’s proven safe, and effective technology. Currently available in 250-254nm cathode fluorescent and 265-280nm LED, new constant high output LED with violet technologies.
- Application Considerations
- Surface Sanitizer Applied in a limited direct application.
- HVAC equipment, AHU-Air handlers, Exhaust, RTU-Rooftop equipment.
- Biopharma, Medical-Dental Offices, Short Procedure Unit
- Restaurants, Clubs, Commissary, Commercial Kitchens, Coffee Shop
- Commercial Multi-Tennant, High-Rise, Common Areas, Elevators.
- Public Mass Transit – Terminals – Stations – Stops
- Public Municipal Buildings, Police, Fire, Court Houses
- Public Rest-Rooms Highway Rest-Stops
- Sanitary Water Treatment, & Refuge Facilities.
- Refrigerated Walk-In Boxes, Humidors
- Refrigerated Medium and Low Temp Reach-In Self-Serve Cases
- Deli Cases, Service Line, Check-Out, Supermarkets, Convenience Stores
- Refrigerated Food Processing Plants
- Refrigerated Warehousing / Loading Docks
- Refrigerated Transportation Trailers-Shipping-Containers Straight-Body
- Produce Distribution Centers
- Parcel Depots Transportation Hubs, Aircraft, Terminal Building
- Day Care, Schools, Public Assembly, Retail
- Production Sets
- Freezers Large
- Potable water supply
- Cooling tower piping
- Wastewater systems, cascaded sterilizer
- Constant, indirect occupied space umbrella protection configuration.
Installed in an umbrella or “Halo” configuration, ideally in classrooms and restaurants. Operating below the ceiling level, above the occupied space, at a safe constant, low intensity, is an extremely effective, uniform, safe, indirect exposure propagation saturation configuration.
Upper-Room UV-C 265-280nm with Violet LED long Life Air Scrubber / Purification
UV-C fixtures that are constantly irradiate the volume of air that passes. (based on install elevation) constantly disinfecting the air in the space. Remarkably effective when air is mixed by the HVAC system fan. Air also constantly mixes by normal convective currents and occupancy. Alone an In-duct 254mn UV-C indirect air purification is somewhat less effective. Then a constant direct umbrella, as it is slightly slower preventing in-room close highly common person-to-person aerosol (airborne) transmission. When designed and installed correctly, an Umbrella configuration 280nm LED, UV-C device is a field-tested, proven safe, and highly effective solution.
Providing continuous 24×7 protection. These systems are more robust to purchase, install, but simple to maintain, and inexpensive to operate. When installed in conjunction with other system solutions mentioned, the overall efficacy of your solution is dramatically increased.
Common application mistakes, inadequate arrays, poor location, inadequate dosing (potency levels), and exposure duration (dwell time) = Efficacy. (effectiveness) The most common reason for application failure, the incompetent inexperienced contractor failed to correctly evaluate the needs, size (incorrectly priced), and or maintained.
- BIS Needle Point Bipolar Ionization System (GPS Commercial Industrial Systems)
A generally safe, proven method, non-ozone producing technology, excellent at sanitizing and combining airborne particulate, making it easier to collect, in a correctly designed and configured HVAC unit air filtration media system. When you combine the two, amazingly effective technologies. Your particular system may not require additional or be able to lower the percentage of required (O/A)-outside air. This technology provides an added significant plus, you are introducing positive ions into your (IAQ) environment. Note one miss statement UV is active not passive.
This particular technology has many variations. We do not recommend any other configuration, other than a Very LOW / NON-OZONE PRODUCING GPS Commercial Systems, which is designed to uniformly mount, across the dry side of the evaporator coil. Correctly sized, by the manufacturer to match the CFM, actual coil size, duty cycle, the capacity of the equipment, and occupancy. The HVAC system is in compliance with ASHRAE 62.1
These systems are more expensive to purchase, install, inexpensive to maintain and operate. Recommended being installed in conjunction with other system solutions mentioned, to maximize the efficacy of your total application solution. (Currently not an ASHRAE accepted method of cleaning / disinfecting HVAC system air.) We strongly recommend this system as well as any other methodology disclosed be considered in conjunction or combination to achieve quality IAQ / IEQ results. Healthy indoor air is everyone’s responsibility!
Common application mistakes, inadequate arrays, poor location, inadequate dosing (potency levels), and exposure duration (dwell time) = Efficacy. (effectiveness) The most common reason for application failure, the contractor failed to correctly size (incorrectly priced) and or maintain.
- Air Filter Media critical first line of common defense. (repetitively filtering out as much aerosol airborne particulate as possible)
Regardless of the air filter media manufacture, for commercial applications recommend Pleated HVAC unit returns air filter media of no less than 2” deep preferably, 4”. Minimum of a MERV-13 with impregnated activated carbon. On high-risk exposure applications, preferably MERV-15 or better. You shall notice the filter media shall load up significantly faster than previously. Typically requiring changing out media, (filters) 25-35 days on average.
- Assure the filter media has a tight fit, to reduce filtration blow-by. May require adjusting the unit fan speed. Strongly recommend when x-ray machines, chemicals, VOC’ s or Radon gas are present / in use in the space, consider deploy activated carbon impregnated air filter media.
- Use extreme caution, before removing the filter media, turn off the air handler and ALL (if any) air treatment systems. Don your PPE protecting your entire face, wear disposable gloves when handling and disposing of, immediately bag the spent media (filters) and gloves and disposable masks. Rinse reusable face shield.
- Combining all or some of the above-proven technologies provides an extremely effective, common occupancy IAQ tool.
These systems are fairly inexpensive to purchase, install, maintain, and operate. When compared to the cost of the HVAC systems. Alternative of adverse public safety perception and general risk exposure liability .
- Recommended being installed in conjunction with other system solutions as mentioned.
- Validation Process (the third party says is it working and functioning properly)
- Have a qualified, accredited, third-party, certified industrial hygienist, pull the air quality and surface swab samples, manage the (3)-three-hour limit chain of custody transfer of evidence process, to an accreted, independent third-party testing laboratory. Establish an existing condition operational baseline (benchmark) established, before deployment and abatement solution.
- Have the same third-party industrial hygienist pull air quality samples, surface swab samples, and repeat the same laboratory testing process, establishing post-deployment operational testing performed to validate the level of efficacy.
- Careful risk consideration should be given, in larger multi-unit or if an application requires constant exposure monitoring, validation compliance, and rigorous QC justification. Installation of constant monitoring (IAQ)-indoor air quality validation instrumentation should be considered.
- Device efficacy/output monitoring, typically these systems and devices, are interfaced into a facilities BMS, BIS, BAS, Honeywell Tridium, and or other automation / management systems. Typically, these systems are monitored daily maintained quarterly, managed, and calibrated yearly.
Currently, approximately less than 10% of businesses and 3.9% of all buildings have taken some level of effective action. OSHA has issued mandatory workplace safety directives. Checking an individual’s temperature, use of pulse oximetry, wiping down surfaces, and hand sanitizer dispensers. Enforcing 80% of people to social distance, quarantine, don some sort of highly questionable efficacy or hygiene face-covering helps; but does little to effectively abate the core problem. People primarily spread/carry human pathogens.
- This current pandemic has exposed just how fragile our socioeconomic vulnerabilities are to ANY biological incursion. We all need to start thinking slightly different. Without deploying active constant automatic occupied and unoccupied countermeasures, you are wasting time, money, health, and everyone’s livelihood. Depending on your decision, by missing fundamental differing point of employing high efficient and effective proactive solutions.
The information provided is proven viable solutions, with existing technologies, which are proven effective, against a virtual plethora, of molds, bacteria, and viruses, inclusive of SARS-COVID-19 and its mutations. Those are all realistic, affordable, economically feasible, efficient, environmentally clean, low CO2 safe solutions. It renders down to your personal choice, to continue to be part of the problem or the solution. If it has not become blatantly apparent, this is not a short-term, shot in the arm, social-economic problem. Some of the current state and local public health departments’ requirements for reopening restaurants and other venues are only going to make a bad situation a lot worst.
Most cities and counties have instituted DOE / EPA based benchmarking Co2 emissions footprint/ energy reduction programs. (Cause and Effect) The energy required to meeting those standards, with present HVAC systems, in some study cases, will escalate costs as much as 50%, in power, maintenance and fossil fuel usage.
Current ASHRAE is revising 62.1 O/A fresh air per person requirement, from 17 CFM to 34 CFM (50% increase). A scalable reference, a typical 200,000 sq. ft. mixed use office building, 400 sq. ft. per ton, 500 ton load = AOC $ 360,000.00 @ 0.15 kwh or 0.95 therm. Same building now at 300 sq. ft. per ton, 667 ton load = AOC $ 400,000.00 @ 0.15 kwh or 0.95 therm. Degree days and Rh, are a mitigating factors, peak load energy contracts and distribution, transmission. Hopefully the building distribution service, transformer capacity and building wiring, are not affected, but are highly unlikely. There are better economic options to consider.
Other mandated heath department require, opening windows and installing fans to push and pull the outside air through space. In some locations in the city, the air is far dirtily than what was originally in the space. They need to consider new, currently available, simple, more efficient, solutions in solving this and future IEQ problems. You need to ask yourself this question, what’s next, are we truly prepared? Historically society selects the in-obviously the most expensive, politically based management by crises, reactive vs. most costs effective, well planed, efficient, existing, effective technologies. Proactive solutions, cold facts, either you believe in the science and engineering, or you do not.
Three pillars of sustainability
What would a sustainable world look like? The world community adopts sustainable development 1979 First World Climate Conference opens up the science of climate change 1987 Brundtland Report consolidates decades of work on sustainable development 1992 Rio Earth Summit rallies the world to take action and adopt Agenda 211993 Convention on Biological Diversity puts the precautionary principle to work 1997 Kyoto Protocol takes the first step toward stopping dangerous climate change 2000 With Millennium Development Goals, social justice meets public health & environmentalism 2006 Al Gore brings climate change to the mainstream with An Inconvenient Truth 2012 Rio+20 takes stock on 2+ decades of efforts at sustainable development Environmental Sustainability Ecological integrity is maintained, all of earth’s environmental systems are kept in balance while natural resources within them are consumed by humans at a rate where they are able to replenish themselves.
Sustainability Ecological integrity is maintained, all of earth’s environmental systems are kept in balance while natural resources within them are consumed by humans at a rate where they are able to replenish themselves.
Sustainability Human communities across the globe are able to maintain their independence and have access to the resources that they require, financial and other, to meet their needs. Economic systems are intact and activities are available to everyone, such as secure sources of livelihood.
Sustainability Universal human rights and basic necessities are attainable by all people, who have access to enough resources in order to keep their families and communities healthy and secure. Healthy communities have just leaders who ensure personal, labor and cultural rights are respected and all people are protected from discrimination.
- We evaluate buildings and occupancy conditions, consider risk exposure, provide viable complete deliverable solutions for commercial, retail, industrial, manufacturing, multi-family high rise, pharma, medical facilities, and many other applications. Providing knowledgeable, cost-effective, high efficiency solutions, at a fair and reasonable costs.
American Society of Heating Refrigeration Air Conditioning Engineers
· ASHRAE PARTICULATE SIZE CHART