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6 Pollutants that can be found in a hospital environment

Posted on October 28, 2013
by Susana Escamilla


The most important objective for any hospital while renovating or maintaing their indoor environment is making sure that the patients and staff are in a healthy environment. There are several products that can be found in the hospital that emit a variety of air pollutants.Since the pollutants that can are emitted can be be dangerous,The Clean Air Act, requires standards for these pollutants. The six principal pollutants are carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide.

Carbon Monoxide: A colorless odorless gas emitted from combustion processes.

Lead: A metal naturally found in the environment and in many products

Nitrogen Dioxide: Reddish-brown gas with a pungent and irritation odor

Ozone: Ground level or “bad” ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight.

Particulate matter/Particle Pollution: Particle pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles.

Sulfur Dioxide: Used in many manufacturing processes and present in industrial emissions

The majority of these pollutants are in boilers, emergency generators and sterilizers. Using portable containment products can help keep airborne particulates in a hospital environment. It is important to keep in mind to maintain regular schedule maintenance of hospitals so that they may be in compliance with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. An interesting article I read from stated that if state clean air standards had been met, hospitals spending would have been $204 million less. If one industry can meet the standards not only will it help the people involved in the industry but the health of others. At AirTek, we help hospitals maintain certification and help them with other indoor air solutions.

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