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Emerging Trend In Managing Indoor Air Quality Issues Essay Sample

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Emerging Trend In Managing Indoor Air Quality Issues Essay Sample


Every hospitality establishment wishes their business to grow and achieve more profit. Hospitality business in this paper means investment centered on establishments like hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurant, office buildings, high rise condominiums, factories , enclosed buildings like casinos, night clubs and bars. You will notice that these establishments cater to lots of people to do business. Hospitals cater to sick patients and employ health care and administrative employees as well. Hotels cater to tourists and business executives while universities and colleges cater to students and employees. There is an emerging trend in these lines of business nowadays in order to attract more patronage from customers and that is managing indoor air quality. Because of the advent of progress and modernity, the air now is laden with so much impurities and toxic gases that makes people sick and their health severely affected. Much of the problem was observed in indoor environment where the polluted air cannot move freely. Air pollutants are of different forms and kind; fungal spores, virus, bacteria, gases and second hand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) are the most common indoor air pollutants. This research paper will deal exclusively on Environmental Tobacco Smoke ( ETS), its hazards specifically related to human health, how can we manage ETS , its legal implications and ways to limit or escape its ill effects in an enclosed environment.

Likewise, this paper will propose an efficient risk management alternative to business entrepreneurs , investors and stakeholders to improve their profitability and promote the health of people who by virtue of their way of life and living frequent and live their lives in an enclosed building environment. Page no. 2 The harmful effects of ETS lung cancer deaths and asthma discomfort Second hand smoke or ETS comes from active tobacco smokers as they exhale out the smoke from burning tobacco. Smoking tobacco is addictive and the habit is extremely hard to stop. Despite the mounting scientific evidences on its ill effects, still about 54 million Americans are habitual smokers. The UNC Charlotte Newsletter reported that in 1993, The US EPA concluded that ETS is a known Group A carcinogen and responsible for about 3,000 cases of lung cancer deaths annually in non-smoker segment. 1 These death cases are those who are innocent and does not smoke. The mode of cancer acquisition is by inhaling the ETS which is not to their liking because they have to breathe the air in order to live. The ETS is made up of about 4,000 different chemical constituents and transform to harmful irritant chemicals as it ages and combine with other impurities in the air. The aged ETS can cause illnesses related to respiratory, carcer, heart ailments and aberration of fetal development. A study reported in 2006 by Jim Rosenthal revealed a positive correlation between high level of ETS exposure to abnormally high levels of hospitalization due to asthma problem.

The impact has been usually hidden in sick days, lower productivity and medical cost, but the economic impact is enormous, with an estimated decrease in productivity around 2 percent nationwide, resulting in an annual cost to the United States of approximately $60 billion.” 2 This loss in productivity is just from 100 U.S. buildings; imagine the loss due to ETS if we consider even half the number of buildings in New York or in LA. Desirable ETS level in the air Data from reliable sources Repace, J and Alfred Lowrey found out “that during the 1980s, the U.S. nonsmoking adult population’s median nicotine lung exposure (homes and workplaces combined)was 143 micrograms (μg)of nicotine daily, and that most- exposed adult nonsmokers inhaled 1430 μg/day.” 3 The two authors further revealed that the minimum acceptable level of ETS nicotine in the air in 1980 based on 8 hour exposure per day for 40 years of employment period was 7.5 nanograms per cubic meter of air in the workplace.3 From this data, it shows that for a building without proper policies on smoking, the amount of ETS nicotine in the air exceeded the minimum acceptable level and more importantly, the minimum level allowed for a substance considered to be carcinogen.

Smoking ban and provision for smoking area The U.S. government taking into consideration the hazard being posed by the ETS nicotine level has adopted a number of initiatives to safeguard the health of its citizenry. The most important initiative is that all the 50 states have now banned smoking in public places like restaurants and hospitals. 4 Official record shows an average of 9% increase in gross receipts disregarding inflation rate in bars and restaurants in downtown Boston implementing a ban on smoking and /or providing a separate room compartment for customers who want to smoke.5 It is the duty of the employer to provide a smoking area for his building and also to ensure that people should follow. The employer and employees who will defy the smoking ban will be subject to criminal and civil penalties.6 It is not clear however what are the criminal and civil penalties will be for the offenders. Across the U.S., there is no one clear penalty provision for offenders. There are still some states where confusion happened on how to implement, what government agency is responsible and what are the penalties for the offenders. It appears that the criminal and civil liabilities of offenders depend on individual state or county with their own specific version of legal penalties.

Government initiative on ventilation of enclosed buildings In June 1994, the office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ) of the U.S. Department of Labor proposed an informal hearing open to all interested parties to come up with a program related to addressing the need for a quality indoor air to safeguard the workers against the destructive ETS in an enclosed environment. 8 The office claimed that those who heed to their proposal were all calling for the immediate pull out of the initiative. On December 17, 2001 OSHA for the reason that only a very few parties heed their need for proposal withdrew their initiative. 8 In June 2000, it was concluded by panel of experts in ventilation technology that ETS level in hospitality industry can be lowered by as much as 90% using displacement ventilation.9 “ This is a dilution design strategy that eschews the turbulence mixing necessary to traditional well mixed design”. 9However, there is still much needed data to justify its usefulness before commercial use. As of the present level of knowledge, the only acceptable way to reduce ETS in the air is to ban smoking in enclosed area as recommended by the panel of experts in ventilation engineering.

Advantages of cleaner indoor air quality as a result of smoking ban. Smoking ban provides a wide array of benefits specifically in health care segment.“ William J.Fisk of the Indoor Environment Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, reported that increased indoor air quality could result in the following monetary savings: estimated potential annual savings and productivity gains of $6 billion to $14 billion from reduced respiratory diseases; between $2 to $4 billion savings from reduced allergies and asthma; $10 to $30 billion in savings from reduced sick building syndrome symptoms; and $20 to $160 billion can be saved from direct improvements in worker performance that are unrelated to health.”10 Good quality indoor air can also result to more productivity among workers and good academic performance in school. “William Fisk from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was one of the early researchers to examine IAQ effects on health and productivity. In a recent article, he established a baseline for quantifying benefits from improved IAQ and demonstrated the economic impacts of increased productivity.

Availability of air purifying gadgets Hospitality business normal reaction is to establish a smoking area for their customers so they cater to both smoking and non-smoking customers. However, the ETS coming out of the smoking area can further contaminate the outside environmental air and so the air purifiers came to cleanse ETS as it comes out to the environment. The most advanced is the Air Oasis Induct ACT for whole house purification via the HVAC Ductwork and can purify air in an area of 3,000 sq. feet. The operating cost is US$499 per 3 years. Summary It was an accepted fact that ETS is a carcinogen and was proven again from our literature research conducted with this paper. ETS can cause hospitalization and pose a lingering danger to both smokers and non-smokers.

From the information collected and basing from the state of knowledge we have at present, the best alternative is to ban smoking in hospitality areas. From the point of view of entrepreneur and stakeholders, the customers and employees be it smoker or non- smoker should be respected in order to maintain them. A win-win management decision considering the emerging trend of managing indoor air quality with specific consideration to legal responsibility and ETS should be to assign a portion of the building as smoking area. The area should be sealed and well ventilated with provision for humidity and temperature control. Sealing of the area is very important to ensure that the ETS will not pollute the air in adjacent non smoking areas of the building. The smoking area should be equipped with Air Oasis Induct ACT air purifier to ensure that the air coming out of the exhaust system of the smoking area is purified and will not pollute the air outside and hence preventing further air pollution. The cost of maintenance is only US$499 per 3 years and this just a drop from the bucket considering the volume of business it can create.


1.American Lung Association. August 2006. ALA Homepage < http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK90OE&b=3600> Fisk, William J. Proceedings of Healthy Buildings 2000 vol.4: Review of Health and Productivity Gains from Better IEQ<http//www.sensair.se/Articles/P4_695.pdf>assessed 2007 April 05 Hayes, Brian and Annette Wells. Jan. 13, 2007.Las Vegas Review Journal: Smoking ban official<http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj-home/2007/Jan-13-Sat-2007> assessed 2005 April 05 Indoor Air Quality-59:15968-16039.OSHA Homepage < http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=PEC> assessed 2007 April 05. Repace JL and Lowrey AH. 1993 Aug.13. PubMed homepage <http://www..ncbi.nlm.nih.gov./entrez/query.fegi?cmd=Retrieve&db=Pub> assessed 05 April 2007 Repace, James. June 2000. An Analysis of the Document “ Proceedings of the Workshop on Ventillation Engineering Controls for ETS in the Hospitality Industry” <http://www.dhs.ca.gov/tobacco/documents/pubs/FedOHSHAets.pdf> assessed 2007 April 05. Rosenthal, J. 2007 January 25. Allergyclean Homepage <http://www.allergyclean.com/news/Envoronmental Tobacco Smoke ( ETS) Leads to AsthmaProblems.htm> assessed 05 April 2007. Rosenthal, Jim. 2007 January 25. Allergyclean Homepage: Improving Indoor Air Quality in Classrooms Leads to Higher Test Scores<http://www.allergyclean.com/news/freshairimprovestestscores.htm> assessed 2007 April 05 Smith, Stephen. April 04, 2005. The Boston Globe: Restaurants, bars gain business under smoke ban< http://www.boston.com/ae/food/restaurant/articles/2005/04/04/restau> assessed 2005 April 05. Smoking Pollution Control Ordinance ( Ord.550&1 ( part), 1993). Madera county Homepage < <http//www.madera-county.com/countycode/-DATA/TITLE09/Chapter_9_1) UNC Charlotte. The Environment Corner e-letter: The Environmental Assistance Office for Small Business. Nov/Dec.2004. < http://www.eao.uncc.edu/Newsletter_Archive/DecNewsletterFinal.htm> assessed 2007 April 05.

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