Hospital Indoor Air Quality

There are hospital indoor air quality programs to improve air quality during hospital construction and operation. Air quality during construction of a hospital comes from both the air itself and the materials used to build the hospital. The indoor air quality at a hospital comes from germs introduced, chemicals used for cleaning, and off gassing of materials used to build the hospital. Concern for any commercial building’s indoor air quality should be heeded, but especially hospitals where people need all the help they can get to be or get well. With proper ventilation, filtration, and purification, indoor air quality at hospitals can be good.

Fresh air in hospitals is more important than in any other commercial building because the people residing there are already sick, and fresh air will help them — or at least not hurt them further. There are several things hospitals can do to improve their air quality, starting with implementing a program to improve and maintain good air quality.

The hospital indoor air quality program is comprised of several things for several reasons:

  • to help prevent the spread of infectious germs
  • to keep outside pollutants out of the hospital environment
  • There are many steps to such programs. The most important step is to continuously monitor and respond to the quality of the air inside the hospital. Each room virtually needs proper air filtration. You want clean air coming in and no filter air going out. This is no small task.
    On of the most common problems with air inside a hospital happens during construction. For example, building materials that get wet often can end up causing mold growth inside walls and floors. Once complete, if it wasn’t noticed and taken care of at the time, it spreads throughout the hospital through the ventilation system, if it’s not filtered. Mold can form inside without having been introduced during construction too, so monitoring for mold is important. The amount of moisture in the air is one key factor in controlling mold; the more humid the air, the more potential for mold.
    The hospital indoor air quality program uses a series of methods to improve air quality. Ventilation is extremely important. It is used to keep air circulating. It is good to know one formula to help keep patients and employees alike healthy; “bad indoor air quality + time spend indoors = dis-ease and illness” — and that’s not good for anyone. Outside air needs to be brought in to keep patients and employees from breathing stale air.
    Besides ventilation, hospital air quality also needs to filter the air moving through the building. For example, in surgery, the air quality needs to be at its highest to avoid infections. Also, if the hospital is in the inner city, chances are the air quality outdoors is quite bad as well. Sick patients carry germs (viruses and bacteria), and that needs to be filtered to keep them from passing on to others. Filtration can work to keep the air in the building cleaner.
    Improving indoor air quality, hospital or not, is something that every commercial facility needs to do. Commercial building indoor air quality needs to be continuously monitored to insure its quality. It also needs to be filtered so anyone who breathes it is safe.
    There are many governing bodies insuring that the air standards that are set forth in the laws of the federal, state and local governments get carried out. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) sets many of the regulations that commercial institutions need to keep in mind. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) conducts studies to analyze the safe levels of air quality problems.
    Hospital or not, air quality is an issue that needs to be addressed by each individual out there. The quality of air breathed is essential to your health. Measurement tools as well as air filtration and/or purification systems can help to improve the quality of air and therefore improve the health of many people, or at least not make anyone’s health worse.

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