Clearwater, FL — Indoor environmental screening of the home or work environment is important for individuals with allergies, chronic sinusitis, rhinitis, emphysema, asthma, atopic dermatitis, immune deficiencies, etc. In keeping with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) 1997 recommendations, it is desirable to identify and remove common allergens and modify the home or office to reduce the level of ubiquitous (common) allergens.
Before one can remove allergens and/or pollutants effectively, it is essential to understand if they exist and in what quantity. For the over 50 million of Americans with respiratory allergies, asthma or COPD, their work or home indoor environment can oftentimes be the source of allergens that can trigger allergic reactions.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Allergy facts web site:
- Allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever, is a common condition that causes symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, watery eyes and itching of the nose, eyes or the roof of the mouth.
- These nasal allergies are estimated to affect approximately 50 million people in the United States, and its prevalence is increasing affecting as many as 30 percent of adults and up to 40 percent of children.
- 8.3 million American children have respiratory allergies.
- An estimated 9.5 million American children have skin allergies.
- 17.6 million adults and 6.6 million children were diagnosed with hay fever in 2012, the last time statistics were updated.
- More than 13.4 million visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient departments and emergency departments were due to allergic rhinitis.
Some of the more common indoor allergens associated with allergic reactions include: bacteria, mycotoxins, endotoxins, mold, dust mites, latex, pollen, pets, rodents and cockroaches. Fortunately, Pure Air Control Services is available to provide environmental allergen/microbial testing services to identify baseline conditions of allergens in schools, work environments and homes.
“By understanding the nature of the indoor allergens one can actively seek to reduce asthma and allergy triggers and improve symptoms year-round,” said Rajiv Sahay, Ph. D., FIAS, CIAQP, Director of Laboratory Services at Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab), a division of Pure Air Control Services.. “One thing that people tend to forget about when the weather is cool regular hygiene maintenance is not performed,” said Dr. Sahay. “Ensuring that these A/C systems are functioning optimally steam clean coils and regularly change air filtration can greatly minimize the indoor allergens load in the area which is serviced by the associated A/C system.”
For people who suspect allergens in their office and/or home, Pure Air Control Services provides the following tips to reduce indoor allergen exposure:
- Building envelop breaches – Check for signs of roof leaks, water damage and mold growth throughout the entire office and or home for infiltration the uncontrolled inward leakage of outdoor air through cracks, interstices or other unintentional openings of a building/home, caused by pressure effects of the wind and/or stack effect
- Seal all cracks, crevices and leaks in the building
- Develop a proactive legionella plan as per ASHRAE 88-2015
- Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner when vacuuming floors and walls (needs to be a true HEPA filer at 99.97% at .03 microns)
- Install high MERV filters and change routinely (according to filter recommendations)
- Consider using a high efficient portable air cleaning device (stay away from ozone producing air cleaners)
- Maintain a positive building or home pressurization (southeast) at a neutral level to positive between 2-5Pa.
- Maintain the HVAC system at optimal hygiene condition
- Steam clean evaporator coils and cooling tower coils at 350 degrees (Only GREEN / no chemical methods)
- Clean HVAC system ductwork according to NADCA standard 2016
- Maintain the office environment at an upper limit of 0.012 Humidity Ratio as per 2013 ASHRAE Handbook – Fundamentals
- Keep windows and doors closed to minimize infiltration of outdoor allergens
- When cleaning, use GREEN products that do not emit harsh chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
For more information on Pure Air Control Services or testing for baseline IAQ conditions in your work or home environment contact 800-422-7873.
About Pure Air Control Services:
Alan Wozniak founded Pure Air Control Services, Inc. in 1984 as a small mechanical contracting firm and today sets the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis and remediation. Pure Air has serviced more than 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.
Pure Air Control Services’ nationally performed environmental services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; a CDC ELITE Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; and HVAC/Mold Remediation Services, HVAC Restoration Services, among other indoor environmental services.
The company’s expanding client roster includes the General Services Administration (GSA); Allstate Insurance; Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Carrier Air Conditioning; Naval Air Warfare Center, Orlando; and Naval Air Station – King’s Bay, Georgia, US Postal Service (USPS) and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air Control services the reliable leader in IAQ.
For more information on Pure Air Control Services, Inc. and/or its IAQ services offering please call (800) 422-7873 or Contact Us.