What do woodworkers, artists, dentists, nail technicians, and welders all have in common? Yes, they work with their hands. But that is not all. Those who work in these professions all produce indoor air emissions by just going about their daily duties.
Artists who paint or make pottery may breathe in fumes or particulate matter So many dentists when they use laughing gas or drill teeth to fill cavities. Woodworkers can inhale particle dust; nail techs vapors from glues and polishes. Welders heat up metal that can emit noxious fumes into the air. The list of jobs, professions, and tasks performed that can create indoor air quality problems goes on and on.
As most business owners know, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHAct) requires employers to comply with standards created under it. It requires that employers be reasonably aware of the possible sources of poor air quality and that they should have the resources necessary to recognize and control potential hazards. 2
Most business owners take seriously this responsibility for creating a safe and healthy workplace. They uphold OSHA compliance by keeping their factories, studios, and manufacturing floors clean and they maintain their machines and equipment. But to truly protect their employees from risk of illness and other hazards, the indoor air quality must be free of pollutants or all their other efforts will fall short of real protection. 1
The bottom line? Airborne pollutants create a poor IAQ. Experts agree that in most cases, the most effective way to keep air clean and healthy is to eliminate pollution at the source. 3 This proven method of indoor air cleaning is known as source capture.
At its most basic, source capture may be defined as the process of removing gas, smoke, fumes, and particles where emissions originate.
This process prevents pollutants from dispersing into the surrounding air, the effects of which can cause worker illness, risk of fire and explosion, and an unclean indoor environment.
The top three benefits to source capture are:
Improved worker health: Enhanced productivity & worker retention
Reduced operating costs: source capture equipment is less expensive to purchase, run, and maintain than large area (ambient) cleaning methods.
Reduced energy costs: source capture products are smaller, thus use less energy than ambient systems.
There are several types of source control products used in the industry. The most common include:
These systems isolate contaminants and remove them from a worker’s breathing space.
In addition to the professions and applications mentioned at the outset of this article, any trade or occupation that involves cutting, mixing, or burning, or deals with chemicals or substances that emit fumes, mists, or vapors, are also effectively handled by source capture systems.
The type of source capture product that is right for a given job and task will depend on a variety of factors including the application and the building infrastructure. At Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc. we provide source capture air cleaning systems for our customers. We have numerous options to choose from, such as our SP-800 mobile fume extractor, our S-981-2B bench-top fume extractor and our model SCDD-3450 downdraft table. For more information, contact us for your free estimate with one of our clean air experts.