UV Light And Indoor Air Quality - IAQ
|The following excerpts are from
articles regarding the UV technology as a solution to certain indoor air
quality problems. If additional information is needed, the source is listed at the
end of each article.
1) BETTER INDOOR AIR: ANOTHER GOAL OF THE 90sWhile air conditioning has now been around for decades, the concerns over deteriorating indoor air and overall indoor environmental quality hit the mainstream head on in the ‘90s. … INVESTIGATIONS, LAWSUITS INCREASE - In 1980, requests to evaluate indoor office environments made up only 8% of investigations made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. By 1992, that figure had grown to 75%. … Lawsuits regarding Sick Building Syndrome were few and far between prior to 1990. However, that began to change after 1993 when a federal judge awarded five employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency compensation for health-related problems encountered from working in a federal facility in Washington DC. That decision prompted the Building Owners and Mangers Association vice resident of government and industry affairs to proclaim: “The floodgates have opened.” In truth, the “poster child” for sick buildings was found in Polk County, FL, where a new courthouse building opened to almost immediate complaints from workers. They experienced headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Many of the workers had to be relocated and eventually, the courthouse was practically reconstructed at a cost of $35 million -- greater that its original construction cost. … NEW PRODUCTS TO IMPROVE IAQ - But not all was gloom and doom in the 90s. The rise of problems brought with it a number of solutions in the last decade. Many new products surfaced, some designed to “clean the air” – electrostatic air cleansers, media air cleansers, and ultraviolet lamps for induct use. As always, contractors play a crucial role in how air filtration impacts IAQ. Improper installation, ... or inattention to change out schedules can negate the best … strategies.
The News, April 2001
2) AIR CONDITIONING, REFRIGERATION & HEALTH...The need for devoting more attention to the problem of preventing infection from airborne bacteria in the design of hospitals and their air-handling systems, as well as the need for more information on the subject, was emphasized at the recent spring conferences held here by the Building Research Institute. (The News, May 16, 1960). A review of some recent research on the problem was presented at an air cleaning and purification symposium by Dr. V.W. Green of the University of Minnesota. … Green suggested remediation of the problem through careful system design incorporating dilution, germicides, UV irradiation and electronic air cleaners.
The News April 2001. 3) THE ANTIBIOTICS CRISIS
From the filthy, louse-ridden cells of Russia’s overcrowded prisons has emerged a
serial killer that is as devious as it is dangerous. Its name is Myco-bacterium
tuberculosis, and it sallies forth on spumes of sputum each time an infected
inmate coughs or sneezes. As many as 10% of Russia’s million prisoners
suffer active TB; in a least 1 case out of 5, the bacillus is a multidrug-resistant
strain. Now M. tuberculosis in virulent forms is stalking ordinary citizen
in Russian cities and towns, and soon, if it hasn’t done so already, it will
hitch a ride on an airplane, a bus or train and escape in the rest of the
world. … What makes the situation so desperate, experts agree, is that new
and more effective drugs are not, in themselves, enough.
4) WHAT IS SICK BUILDING SYNDROME?
Sick building syndrome is the condition of a building in which more that 20% of
the occupants are suffering from adverse health effects, but with no
clinically diagnosable disease present. These symptoms include; eye, nose,
and throat irritation; a dry cough, dry or itch skin; dizziness and nausea;
complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be
widespread throughout the building. Sick Building Syndrome is a condition of
the building; not of the occupants. … The World Health Organization
estimates that over 30% of all new and remodeled buildings suffer from Sick
Building Syndrome. In addition to calling indoor air pollution one of the
top five environmental issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has
estimated that indoor air pollution costs Americans tens of billions of
dollars a year in direct medical expenses and low productivity. … Studies
have shown that a building that has air-conditioning is more likely to have
poor indoor air quality that in one that is naturally ventilated.
5) UV LIGHTS FIGHT “SICK BUILDING” SYNDROME
New York, May 26 (Reuters Health) – The installation of ultraviolet (UV) lights in office building air-conditioning systems may help to fight the symptoms of “sick building” syndrome, including headache, fatigue and difficulty concentrating, say Canadian researchers. “This technology, which is safe and (of) relatively low cost, could be installed in existing buildings throughout North America,” suggest a team of researchers led by Dr. Dick Menzies of McGill University in Montreal. Their findings are published in the June Issue of the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Experts believe that a large percentage of “sick building” symptoms may be caused by bacteria and fungi circulating within the closed environments of modern office buildings. UV light is a known germicide. Menzies and colleagues theorized that UV light devices installed within office air-conditioning systems might reduce microbe populations.
To test this theory, they installed germicidal UV light systems in the air
systems of a large office building. The researchers then compared indoor air
quality and worker health during alternating weeks in which these UV lights
were either turned on or off. They reported “the average number of
work-related symptoms was about 20% lower with germicidal UV lights on than
off.” Furthermore, they say, “When germicidal UV lights were on, no work was
missed due to illnesses… attributed to indoor air quality, whereas when the
germicidal UV lights were off, a total of 15 hours were missed.” Workers
reported significant reductions in symptoms such as headache, difficulties
in concentration, and eye irritation during periods when the UV lights were
turned on. Testing revealed that use of UV technology “resulted in virtual
elimination of all bacterial and fungal growth on surfaces within the
(air-conditioning) system,” according to the authors. … The Canadian
research team believes “it is feasible to install and operate these
germicidal UV lights in existing ventilation systems without detection or
adverse effects among workers.”
6) THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
With the most recent generation of UVC technology, “enlightened” facilities can cut coil cleaning and energy costs while attacking other building ills as well. … UVC energy – a relatively new tool for IAQ control in HVAC systems – is proving to offer advantages beyond the enhancement of air quality. … UVC may be considered as a new type of cost-saving maintenance tool; one that can bring back and/or maintain air-conditioning cooling coils to “like new” condition – not just a product that makes biologically sick buildings well. GENRAL IAQ CONTROL – UVC devices are widely used to control mold and mildew in HVAC systems. They also reduce the spread of cold and flu viruses and other airborne-transmitted diseases, and they fight unpleasant odors. They also provide a recognized control strategy for reducing the development of Legionella or the spread of tuberculosis I health care fac8ilities, shelters, prisons, etc.
The reduction in absenteeism also promises to be significant. Researchers at
the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have estimated that U.S. companies
could save up to $58 billion a year by preventing so-called “Sick Building
Syndrome” and an additional $200 billion by improving worker productivity
through better indoor air. They also found that the financial benefits are
many times greater that the costs of making he necessary improvements to
achieve them. … CONCLUSION – Though UVC is an old, well-established
technology; its successful use in hvac systems is relatively recent. Still,
in jut a short time, new, high-output “UVC for HVAC” devices have
demonstrated an impressive ability to keep coils, drain pans, and other
areas clean for improved IAQ, reduced energy and simplified HVAC system
maintenance. As a result, some industry experts predict that use of UVC in
hvacr applications will shortly be as common as air filters. Until then,
hvacr system designers and operators can enjoy the many benefits of UVC
7) PLANT CLOSES DUE TO DISEASE (Cleveland)
A Ford Motor Co. plant sent home 2,500 workers and said it would likely remain
closed through the weekend after three workers contacted Legionnaires’
disease. Workers were told Wednesday night to leave the plant in Brook Park,
adjacent to Cleveland. Two Legionnaires’ disease victims who worked at the
plant were hospitalized, and the third was at home Thursday after previously
being diagnosed, Ford spokesman Ed Miller Said. The plant hasn’t been
confirmed as the source of the disease, but Cuyahoga County Health
Commissioner Timothy Hogan said the source could be a plant-cooling tower.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of
Health were investigating.
8) SCIENTIST SAYS GERMS CAUSE HEART DISEASE, MENTAL ILLNESS - Amherst, Mass
Paul W. Ewald’s best thinking started with an attack of diarrhea on a field trip to Kansas. A zoologist, he was studying the social habits of sparrows. But during the ordeal 24 years ago, he had time to ponder other things: Was his personal predicament simply the havoc of a germ bent on spreading itself around? Or was his body trying to flush away the germ? Was this the evolutionary adaptation of an invader or the evolved human defense against it? Healthy again, he checked the medical literature. “I realized that virtually all considerations of evolutionary processes in the medical literature were incorrect,” he said. Ewald set out to fix it. … Ewald applied the insights of 19th century evolutionary thinker Charles Darwin to help pioneer a perspective on disease now known as Darwinian, or evolutionary medicine. Ewald has concluded that mainstream medicine, fixated on genes and lifestyle, is overlooking the chief cause of the most enduring, widespread and harmful illnesses of mankind. Heart disease? He suspects germs. Cancer? He suspects germs. Mental illness? Also germs.
… For example, peptic ulcers, long tied to stress and overachieving personalities, are now widely blamed on the Helicobacter pylori bacterium and often treated with antibiotics. Cervical cancer has been traced to the human papilloma virus, which also causes genital warts. … Ewald portrays disease as primitive warfare. Viruses, bacteria and other microscopic creatures penetrate the body’s defenses. Once inside, they feast on humans, multiply, and then go looking for new bodies to overrun.
Over time, humans evolve new defenses or invent protections like antibiotics
and vaccines. However germs, which can breed new generations every half hour
or less, evolve rapidly to defeat the latest defenses. Ewald argues that new
antibiotics are bound to lose ground to fast-evolving germs. … In one of his
central insights, he said genetic diseases cannot evolve and wage battle
like germs, because human genetic mutations are too rare. If a genetic
disease is both harmful and common, it should kill off the humans who carry
it and fail to replenish itself quickly enough through mutations to persist
over many successive human generations. Therefore, Ewald reasoned,
widespread ailments like heart disease, cancer and many mental illnesses
should stem mainly from evolving germs, not bad genes.
9) A RAY OF LIGHT FOR BLOOD SUPPLY REVOLUTIONARY PROCESS KILL HIV, OTHER DISEASES
A venture that began in a scientist’s garage in Berkeley, CA, appears to be on
the verge of revolutionizing blood donations by using a beam of light to
quickly kill viral bugs, including the AIDS virus. The process, known as
Helinx, uses ultraviolet light to fire a genetic “bullet” that kills any
virus, bacterium or parasite by attacking the DNA or RNA, the strands of
genetic code at the heart of the cell. Successful tests in hundred of
patients across the nation are raising hopes that the nation’s blood supply
could soon be rid of the killer viruses and, perhaps more important, bugs
linked to similar but yet unknown diseases.
10) ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT TESTIMONIALS
Fred Roser, President, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Association of
Kentucky … In an American-Lights® Roll-Out, Mr. Roser, of Franz HVAC Services, stated that he had studied ultraviolet
light for some time. In fact he had installed ultraviolet lights in a bank
that had been experiencing a high degree of absenteeism due to any number of
illnesses. After the installation and subsequent operation of the UV air
cleaners, the absentee rate of the bank employees dropped dramatically. Only
supervisory personnel of the bank were aware of the UV system installation. The
success of the UV system in the bank convinced Mr. Roser that UV works. Mr.
Roser has subsequently installed the American-Lights® UV Air Cleaner
in his home to protect his family and is an avid spokesman for ... American-Lights® UV Air cleaner. Most recently, Mr. Roser installed the
lights in a school.
"The UV light is keeping my house free of mold and germs. Thank you!
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