Posted on 5/19/2014 9:59 AM by Tom Lozano

Worker with headacheThe quality of the air in your building has a definite impact on the health of employees and visitors. Poor IAQ is can cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Over the long term, poor IAQ can lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. For those who are sensitive to odors, it is even more important to control your building's IAQ to ensure a safe workplace.

Just because you can't smell a foul odor doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Combustion sources, building materials, cleaning and maintenance products, humidifiers, and poor ventilation are just some of the sources leading to odor issues and poor IAQ. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental dangers and indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than the most polluted outdoor air.

Some people are more sensitive to smells than others and if someone is complaining about persistent odors, take the complaint seriously. There could be a deeper issue in your facility that is causing persistent odors, like mold.

Work with a licensed contractor to find and eliminate the source of the odor. Find an experienced contractor who can offer a variety of creative and cost-effective solutions. The first option is to try to identify the source, however, this isn't always possible because it could lead to potentially unnecessary demolition.

The next option is to improve ventilation in the facility. There are two ways to accomplish this: via natural methods, like opening windows to allow for natural air flow through the building, or mechanical methods, like utilizing industrial fans to move the air. With either option, the odors can be minimized or eliminated completely.

Another option is to utilize an ozone generator after the area is vacated. Ozone has the ability to completely destroy the molecules that cause odors. This method is often used by fire restoration experts and it is perfect for getting into small cracks in the walls, therefore eliminating any odor issues from within the building's own structure. Low levels of ozone are also effective and safe.

Using hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyls to eliminate odors is the latest technology available. It is extremely effective and has no adverse side effects. This type of technology can be installed directly in the building's existing HVAC system and allows for continuous cleaning of the air and surfaces, even reducing dust, allergens, mildew, and bacteria by up to 99%. This method of odor elimination has the added benefit of improving the health of everyone in the building, particularly those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses. It also can cut down on the spread of the common cold and flu, since the technology cleans each surface in the environment, including bathrooms and kitchens.

Tom Lozano is the executive director of Air Scrubber Plus.