Fresh Air vs. Ventilation and High Quality Filtration
According to the American Lung Association, more and more homes are not getting proper ventilation. Opening the window and letting in ‘fresh’ air does not guarantee proper ventilation for your home or business. In fact, it may do the opposite.
We label those little clumps under the bed ‘dust bunnies’, but how harmless are they?
Dad’s working in the garage cutting granite tile for his do-it-yourself kitchen project. What’s he inhaling? Your child is playing on the floor of your home and he sucks on his dirty fingers. A neighbor who worked in a stone quarry for years is diagnosed with incurable silicosis.
David Layton and Palomar Beamer, professors of environmental policy at the University of Arizona, have been studying the components of dust. Beamer states:
Dust is a hodgepodge of all sorts of things. It would be impossible to make a list of all the possible items.”
Take your average household dust cocktail for example: A potpourri of flaked human skin, animal fur and dander, decomposing insects, plant particles, mold spores, lint and fiber, food particles, soil, soot, and worse yet, lead, cadmium, arsenic, DDT, mercury, formaldehyde, asbestos, flame retardants, paint particles, adhesives, and sawdust. Of course this will differ according to age of the house, the climate and the people (and pets) who live in it and their activities; such as smoking, cleaning, cooking.
Do you ever throw open the windows to let in some ‘fresh air’? About 60% of dust comes from outside. Unless you live in a very rural area, that fresh air often has the opposite affect. Dust, pollen, industrial emissions, smoke, all waft in on the breeze.
If a child puts their fingers in their mouth while playing on the floor, they can ingest 10 grams of dust a day! Toxic dust particles could affect brain development and reproductive hormones.
Stay ahead of dust with frequent vacuuming, wipe surfaces with absorbent washable material. Don’t be messy with food – your household insects will chow down and multiply. Their droppings and decomposing skeletons will provide their own special zest to your dust.
Are you noticing a large amount of dust accumulation? ABEL Heating and Cooling can estimate the ventilation and air quality of your home and recommend any needed changes to your HVAC system.
And try not to freak out. Dust bunnies are still only bunnies; you may just want fewer of them.
Dust, Crystalline Silica, and Other Occupational Hazards
Inhalation of silica dust can cause fibrosis or scar tissue formation in the lungs, reducing the ability to extract oxygen from the air. There is no cure for this disease – thus PREVENTION is the ONLY answer. A complete and efficient ventilation, air filtration, dust removing HVAC system is a must.
Control of exposure to dusts and silica in commercial buildings is a key priority of safety management. Common symptoms of silicosis include shortness of breath and severe cough. Advanced stages display weakness, bluish lips or earlobes, fever, weight loss, night sweats, chest pain, and respiratory failure.
Airborne contaminants can include gases, vapors, dust, particles, sprays, mist, smoke and fumes. One of the key concerns is occupational lung diseases like silicosis. Added to silicosis is the possibility of cancer, asthma, and other non-respiratory illnesses.
Crystalline silica is a natural component of the earth’s crust and is a basic form of sand and granite. Sources of crystalline silica include granite work, sandblasting, jack hammering or rock/well drilling. Others are concrete or brick mixing, cutting and drilling, and tunneling operations.
HVAC Ventilation is Key
To keep dust from affecting workers, start with the source equipment, such as water managed or dustless tools. Employees themselves can wear dust filtering respirator masks. But air quality is of the utmost importance in preventing dust exposure to workers.
Components generating dust:
- Mining, masonry, construction.
- Foundry and metallurgical process.
- Casting and molding.
- Removal of paint and rust (especially with sand and blasting).
- Grinding, etching glass and ceramics.
- Processing chemicals like pesticides, rubber, plastic and pharmaceuticals.
- Working with soil and agro-chemicals.
- Preparation and processing dry powdered foods.
Again, PREVENTION is the KEY. Does your commercial or industrial business have the best ventilation and filtration system available? This is not something that ‘fresh air’ can do, nor can a few fans placed here and there do the job. Your ventilation and air purification system should be specific to the needs of the products you manufacture or work with. This is what ABEL Heating & Cooling can provide. And don’t overlook the prevention of dust particles that may be flammable or combustible.
Take control of the air you breathe!
Call in the experts to properly install and maintain a ventilation and filtration system that will ensure 100% safety for your employees. Zoning, ducting, and placement are critical in keeping dust from being inhaled or combusting.
Once you have your system in place and are eliminating dust indoors and out, it’s important to keep the equipment in top mechanical repair, or you could experience costly shut downs and health issues for your workers.
Here at ABEL Heating & Cooling, we have a CEIC air quality certified trained expert who can inspect your home or business for dust contaminants, and determine whether your HVAC system is effectively eliminating exposures caused by the above culprits. Call us at 952-472-COOL (2665) or Contact Us.