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Indoor Air Quality: What is Actually in the Air?

Indoor Air Quality: What is Actually in the Air?

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ABM Industries, a leading facility management provider in the United States, released an informational white paper on indoor air quality and facility resilience. Stark Tech Group, is a technology company with expertise in IAQ, Well Buildings, and Master Systems Integration.

Over the past year or so, monitoring indoor air quality has increasingly become a hot topic and high concern when talking about health and wellness. Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants1. We know that the air on Earth is made up of approximately 99% Nitrogen and Oxygen, but what else is in the air inside of a building that may impact the health of occupants?

There are four main categories of types of airborne contaminants found within buildings – Particulate Matter, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Carbon Dioxide, and Carbon Monoxide2. Particulate matter refers to fibers, metals, soils, and dusts, as well as viral and bacterial pathogens and fungi. These types of contaminants can be transferred via people, building materials, interior furnishings, smoke, and more. Filtration and disinfection are two techniques used to combat these contaminants.

VOCs are chemicals that can be emitted as vapor or in a gaseous form, and can be transferred via building materials, furnishings, paint, carpeting, and other processed chemicals. Filtration systems can be implemented as stand alone or attached to the fan filtering units within your building to “clean” the air, filtering harmful particulates outside before bringing in clean air for occupants to breathe.

For example , Carbon Dioxide is a colorless, odorless. While standard levels of CO2 are not harmful to occupants, an elevated level of CO2 will cause drowsiness, headaches and dizziness, and can invoke asthma attacks. It’s recommended to have your HVAC systems assessed to ensure they are operating effectively and operating in compliance with ASHRAE’s minimum ventilation requirements.

In another example, Carbon Monoxide – a very serious health hazard – is a gas that can cause fatigue and chest pain at a low concentration, and impaired vision and coordination, headaches, confusion, nausea, and even death at a high concentration. CO can be transferred via heaters, stoves, boilers, furnaces, or leaks – so it is extremely important to consistently monitor your building equipment and keep up with servicing and maintenance on these assets.

Stark Tech Group specializes in Facility Health & Wellness and has certified experts in Well Buildings. Through best-in-class technology, expertise, and grit, Stark works with our customers to customize solutions that address the appropriate measures and procedures to keep your buildings healthy and your occupants safe and comfortable. As we enter the spring season, now is the perfect time to check your HVAC and Cooling Systems.

Stark Tech Group specializes in turnkey solutions with capabilities and expertise in building controls & automation, mechanical and electrical equipment, and facility data intelligence.

Sources:

  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Introduction to Indoor Air Quality
  2. ABM Building Value, “Indoor Air Quality and Facility Resilience; Creating Safer, Healthier Indoor Spaces,” February 2021
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