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Odorless Indoor Gases Can Create Safety Issues
There is a variety of potentially hazardous gases that are common to homes, business and manufacturing facilities. Many can accumulate and adversely impact occupants.
By: Clark Seif Clark
Chatsworth, CA, January 19, 2012
In September of last year, an 80 year old woman died at a Georgia McDonald’s restaurant after being found unconscious in the ladies restroom. The bleed line to a tank used to carbonate beverages, located in the adjacent wall cavity, was not properly connected. This caused carbon dioxide or CO2 gas, which is ever-present in our environment at low concentrations, to build up in the enclosed space leading to the eventual death of the woman. This tragic case in Georgia brings to light the various common gases that can be dangerous if allowed to reach high concentrations.
“There is a variety of potentially hazardous gases that are common to homes, business and manufacturing facilities. Many can accumulate and adversely impact occupants. Of particular concern are the various odorless and colorless gasses, that can go unnoticed until it is too late such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen, Halon, radon, etc.,” reported Derrick Denis, V.P. Indoor Environmental Quality at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “At CSC we regularly conduct proactive assessments and reactive emergency responses to identify imbalanced concentration of gasses of consequence. A trained and experienced visual inspection coupled with real-time air testing and/or point-in-time air sampling can quickly identify hazards, or the lack thereof. Armed with this information clients and CSC can adjust the environment to ensure the safety of all occupants,” Mr. Denis continued.
Some laws are in place to address one odorless gas, carbon monoxide. Many states have requirements for carbon monoxide sensors to be installed in new properties, but few states have addressed older residential properties built before the requirement. In California, a new law went into effect on July 1st, 2011 requiring carbon monoxide sensors be installed in all single family homes with an attached garage, fireplace or fuel burning heater. Hotels, apartments and dormitories have until 2013 to comply with the new regulations. The law is meant to decrease the 30 to 40 deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning occurring in California each year. In addition, The State Air Resources Board of the California Environmental Protection Agency estimates 175 to 700 California emergency room and hospital visits have occurred due to carbon monoxide inhalation over the past three years.
Clark Seif Clark has sponsored an educational video about carbon monoxide dangers in the home. It can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/
To learn more about how CSC can help with indoor air quality (IAQ) or other environmental issues, please visit http://www.csceng.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 807-1118.
About Clark Seif Clark (CSC)
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address environmental, IAQ, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.