Most are not aware that bacteria and viruses never really, just go away. That bacteria inadvertently left inside of a camera, left on the lunar surface retrieved two and half years later, lived in the vacuum of space. That laser printer, and more so that really neat 3-D printer in the office, produce off gassing and particulate.
Lack of a good vapor barrier actually effects the indoor air quality /environment of a building. Promoting mold and bacteria growth, ask anyone who has experienced a bad EIFS or Stucco job. Placed cardboard boxes on a dry concrete floor only to discover several days later, the box became damp. Where is that musty odor coming from?
Our business is 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 compound off gassing and carbonized particulate. When typical common cleaning chemicals, are exposed to fire or open flame, they are yielding derivative gases, and are present everywhere both indoor and outdoor.
Ambient exposure levels based on geographical location, population, density of domiciles, workplace, public places, potency, propagation, and saturation. All living organism 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 air borne 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 workman using a masonry saw, blowing out the abrasive concrete dust on to you and your vehicle, is actually prohibited by OSHA. Contractors are subject to heavy $$$$ 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 are heavy, settling low in confined spaces not at the ceiling. Creating serious potential health risks, to all building occupants, as well as their friends, and families.) Hopefully, they aren't ill, it is called Orofecal transmission. Hopefully, you are getting the point about everyday exposures.
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 term in a literal sense, of being exceptionally clean spaces. That would be partially correct, with several major, very 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 air borne micron size particulate (dust) with 4~16" thick HEPA supply air filtration media. Return and O/A outside air filter media 4~6" thick MERV 13~16 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.
Maintaining either, a positive or negative air pressure, depending on application. Provide a precise level, of cleaned, fresh and (some cases sterilized) air changes, to assure the purity level (O2, CO, Co2) 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 land fill, off a busy interstate highway.
Same holds true, for the air you breath, water you drink, and food you consume. For the most part, "dust" is just that, quite innocuous. The problems start when people, animals, fish, sea food, fowl, chemicals, then introduce a significant volume pathogen into the equation, multiplied 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 serous global consideration to contend with.
Thusly infecting humans, rodents, fowl, animals of husbandry, and domestic pets spreads itself by transmitting primarily air borne (aerosol), via 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 air borne, 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 proactive solution approach.
Clean-up you 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 roof top units-(RTU), station / air handler units-(AHU), make up air handlers (MUAH), 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 certificate of occupancy or health department inspections, IS A MATTER OF FACT. Most Establishments could NEVER, meet or afford, currently enforced IAQ is actually IEQ compliance levels of (10)-ten air changes per hour.
Surprisingly, a significant number, were discovered without any air 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 been exposed to behind. Have your systems maintenance completed properly. As if your heath, 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 every posed 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 actually getting in return? Are they actually genuinely concerned for my safety? Are they familiar with any of these methods and technologies? If the outside air is actually working?
Do you actually understand how critical air changes are and why? When was the last time the CO, Co2, VOC, 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 even existed?
Is your system equipped with an (ERV) energy recover 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 look 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 the maintenance. Check your lease for the term suitable use, then send a letter to the landlord facilities manager, asking for a written IAQ response.
Pose these questions, does the system meet current OSHA Covid workplace compliance? What are the type of air filters? When were 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 was checked for iron algae, legionellosis, cryptosporidium or other pathogens? Similarly, the same holds true of potable public and well water systems. Water that has not flowed for long periods of time 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, 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?
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, 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. 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.
A safe, highly proven highly effective, inactivating microorganism by destroying nucleus acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving unable to perform cellular functions, excellent surface, air sanitizing, no side effects. There are several highly effective methods in deploying this decades proven safe, and effective technology. Currently available in 250-254 to 265-285nm, in both florescent cathode and new high output LED with violet technologies.
Applied in a direct Surface Sanitizer application.
HVAC equipment, Air handlers, Rooftop inside of equipment.
Refrigerated Walk-In Boxes
Refrigerated Reach-In / Deli Cases (Convenience Store)
Potable water supply.
Cooling tower piping.
Wastewater systems, cascaded sterilizer.
Applied in a medical office, laboratories, biopharma, supermarkets, food processing, restaurants, bars, restrooms, trash room, sewage pumps, etc.,
Installed in an umbrella or "Halo" configuration. Installed and operating at the ceiling level, above the occupied space, at a safe constant, low intensity, but extremely effective, uniform, safe, indirect exposure propagation saturation configuration.
Upper-Room UV-C 265-285nm with Violet LED long Life Air Scrubber / Purification
UV-C fixtures that irradiate the air above (based on install elevation)
constantly disinfect the upper air volume.
Most effective when air is mixed by fans and HVAC ventilation,
but air also constantly mixes by normal convective currents.
In-duct UV-C indirect air purification is somewhat less effective than
direct upper-room, as it does less to prevent in-room close,
highly common person-to-person aerosol (air borne) transmission.
Upper-room UV-C is a field tested, proven safe and highly effective solution,
when it is designed and installed correctly.
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 mistake, inadequate arrays, poor location, inadequate dosing (potency levels), and exposure duration (dwell time) = Efficacy. (effectiveness) The most common reason for application failure, incompetent inexperienced contractor failed to correctly evaluate the needs, size (incorrectly priced) and or maintained.
A safe, proven method, non-ozone producing technology, excellent at sanitizing and combining air borne 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 percentage of required (O/A)-outside air. This technology provides an added significant plus, you are introducing positive ions into your (IAQ) environment.
This particular technology has many variations. We do not recommend any other configuration, other than a 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, capacity of the equipment and occupancy.
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.)
Common application mistake, inadequate arrays, poor location, inadequate dosing (potency levels), and exposure duration (dwell time) = Efficacy. (effectiveness) The most common reason for application failure, contractor failed to correctly size (incorrectly priced) and or maintain.
impregnated activated carbon. Regardless of the air filter media manufacture, for commercial applications recommend, Pleated HVAC unit return 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 or VOC's are in use in the space, 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, ware disposable gloves when handling and disposing, 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, alternatives of adverse public safety perception and general risk exposure liability.
Recommended being installed in conjunction with other system solutions as mentioned.
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. Creating an existing conditions operational base line (benchmark) established, prior to deployment.
Have the same third-party industrial hygienist pull air quality sample, surface swab samples, and repeat the same laboratory testing process, establishing post deployment operational testing performed to validate 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, DDC Honeywell Triduum and or other management systems. Typically, these systems are testing quarterly, managed, and calibrated yearly.
Currently, approximately less than 7% of businesses and 2.5% 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 oxsimertry, 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. Without deploying active constant countermeasures, you are wasting your time, money, health, and everyone's livelihood depending on your decision, by missing the fundamental differing point of an effective solution.
The information provided are 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 mutations. That are all realistic, economically feasible, efficient, environmentally clean 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 requirement for reopening restaurants are only going to make a bad situation a lot worst. Most counties have instituted benchmarking Co2 emissions footprint/ energy reduction programs. Cause and effect, energy required to meeting those standards, with present HVAC systems, in some cases as much as 40% increase, in both power and fossil fuel usage. Other options require opening windows and installing fans to push and pull the outside air through the space. Some locations in the city, air is dirtily than what was originally the space. They really need to consider new, currently available, simple, more efficient, solutions in solving this and future IEQ problems. You need to ask yourself this question, how much longer, what's next, am I prepared?
We evaluate 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 solutions, at fair and reasonable price.
American Society of Heating Refrigeration Air Conditioning Engineers
ASHRAE PARTICULATE SIZE CHART