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UV Light And Indoor Air Quality - IAQ

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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.

#1BETTER INDOOR AIR: ANOTHER GOAL OF THE 90s

#2 AIR CONDITIONING, REFRIGERATION, & HEALTH

#3 THE ANTIBIOTICS CRISIS

#4 WHAT IS SICK BUILDING SYNDROME?

#5 UV LIGHTS FIGHT SICK BUILDING SYNDROME

#6 THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE

#7 PLANT CLOSES DUE TO DISEASE (CLEVELAND)

#8 SCIENTIST SAYS GERMS CAUSE HEART DISEASE, MENTAL ILLNESS

#9 A RAY OF LIGHT FOR BLOOD SUPPLY REVOLUTIONARY PROCESS KILLS HIV

#10 TESTIMONIALS

1) BETTER INDOOR AIR: ANOTHER GOAL OF THE 90s

While 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

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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.

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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.
Time Magazine, January, 2001.

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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.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine 1999:56:397-402.

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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.”
Occupational and Environmental Medicine 1999; 56:397-402.

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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 technology now.
Engineered Systems Magazine, copyright 2000.

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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.
AP

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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.
AP Jan 2001.

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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.

For third world nations where AIDS is more common and blood testing more primitive, the technology promises a quick and inexpensive method for stopping the spread of the lethal disease. The process rids donated blood of everything that is DNA-driven, from malaria to hepatitis. … The process is promising partly because it’s simple. … Impact beyond the blood supply. … The company has high hopes for the method as a cancer treatment. The technique is being tested in trials designed to create a vaccine against the Epstein-Barr virus. By exposing the coronary artery tissue to the compound and then the light, the arteries may stay open after an angioplasty. When you can turn off DNA with the touch of a light switch, … “the mountain is endless.”
USA TODAY Newspaper stories

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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 UV lights in a school.
Lexington, KY

"The UV light is keeping my house free of mold and germs. Thank you!
I nearly died from toxic mold. I was sick for two years before I figured out what was causing me to get dehydrated and having to be rushed to the hospital for fluids."

Joanne
Houston, TX

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