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  1. #1

    Serious HVAC trouble. Need some help.

    The County of Montgomery remodeled a newspaper print shop and turned it into the Tags/License Dept now that employes about 75 people. Started out as sleep/fatigue and turned into eyes burning. CO2 isnt a factor,R22 isnt leaking out into area(i had to ck these), airflow is ok. Turns out that they ran an air quality test and found traces(below toxic amount allowed) of Benzine. Which comes from ink and the products that are used for cleaning. Of course the people PANIC. Now we've installed air ion generators to help reduce the benzine. Anyone else ever had this or know of anything to help???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    6,538
    Fresh air change rate? In a previously polluted area, +15 CFM of fresh air per min per occupant.
    75 X 15 = 1,250 cfm of fresh air minimal to purge any pollution. When unoccupied, an air change in 3 hours based on FT^3.
    Ozone not good for occupied space.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Fresh air change rate? In a previously polluted area, +15 CFM of fresh air per min per occupant.
    75 X 15 = 1,250 cfm of fresh air minimal to purge any pollution. When unoccupied, an air change in 3 hours based on FT^3.
    Ozone not good for occupied space.
    Regards TB
    This particular area holds 5 people. With total of 2050sqft. Dont know much more than that as of now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Lubbock Texas
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    773
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Fresh air change rate? In a previously polluted area, +15 CFM of fresh air per min per occupant.
    75 X 15 = 1,250 cfm of fresh air minimal to purge any pollution. When unoccupied, an air change in 3 hours based on FT^3.
    Ozone not good for occupied space.
    Regards TB
    As usual Teddy you are way off base. The benzine is either coming from a large laser printer operation that isn't vented or there has been a spill and it was covered during the construction. The source will have to be found so it can be remediated by a professional.
    I herd of one similar to this a few years back and they found old bottles of ink in bulk in the bottom of one of the closets. Some of the bottles were broken and had spilled on the carpet and leaked under the house contaminating the dirt under the house. All of the Sheetrock, lumber and some of the dirt had to be removed.
    Benzine is nasty stuff and the ionization units will do little good. Ionization coagulates 2.5nm-10nm particulate and drops it out of the air. The oxidation process is very week and not effective with heavy concentrations loads. And most ionizers do not produce ozone.
    The premise of ventilation is that the OA is clean or of sufficient quality to be used for dilution. Traditional ventilation is somewhat being threatened by the fact that the EPA is changing the requirements for outdoor air quality which is creating non-attainment zones in what is now becoming a significant portion of the country. That means that buildings in those areas will need to clean up the OA before they bring it into the building.
    www.genesisair.com
    Genesis Air Inc.

  5. #5
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    Altmar, New York, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by genesis View Post
    As usual Teddy you are way off base.
    why would you say something like this? why not just start out with "you need to find the source" or something not so offensive. hopefully this thread will not turn into an argument and maybe get this guy some help.

  6. #6
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    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stepup1979 View Post
    This particular area holds 5 people. With total of 2050sqft. Dont know much more than that as of now.
    Assuming you got rid of any pollutants that you can find, OK. Most IAQ experts suggest a minimum of 7 cfm of fresh air ventilation per occupant plus 1 cfm of fresh air per 100 sqft. of floor area. This should be at minimum amount of fresh air and should be during hours occpancy..
    Its a start. If there is a pollutanting process, I suggest exhaust ventilation at the source like you would exhaust a kitchen range. Smokers should have twice as much ventilation. If there is some pollutant you can not find I would increase the ventilation rate 2-3 times. Also it is important to maintain <50%RH to mold and other biological growths.
    I must have offended the non fresh air lords or something.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lubbock Texas
    Posts
    773
    Quote Originally Posted by snupytcb View Post
    why would you say something like this? why not just start out with "you need to find the source" or something not so offensive. hopefully this thread will not turn into an argument and maybe get this guy some help.
    My sarcasm directed to Teddy is on the statement (fresh air minimal to purge any pollution) We are grown men and have been fighting this argument for years in this forum. And most likely will continue to do so. You wont find a better resource that Teddy Bear in humidity control.

    I test and investigate several buildings a month looking for how the airborne contamination (biologic or VOC) gets into a building and document the the transmissions throughout the buildings. You have to be open minded in this type investigation and just follow the facts. (And when I see CO levels at 5ppm outside of a building high ultrafine particulate levels, elevated TVOC and Ozone levels. I am going to reccomend treating the outdoor air entering the building.
    (The area I am speaking of in this case is the majority of the San Francisco Bay area.)

    Gentleman in the many of the cases I investigate the outdoor fresh air is the problem. Untreated fresh air into commercial buildings can be a major issue. And the HVAC system is your transmission devise. ASHRAE Position Document June 2009 http://www.ashrae.org/docLib/2009090...asesPDFrev.pdf

    In most cases conventional ASHRAE fresh air practices are sufficient. But we are seeing more and more housing and commercial buildings built in EPA non attainment areas where the outdoor air needs to be reviewed and contaminate levels considered before designing systems in these areas.


    In the case of Stepup mentioned in this thread benzine is a dangerous contaminate that is sourced from within the building. And to recommend fresh air to flush the building to dilute the benzine is dangerous and has many liabilities attached to it. The source must be found and removed in this case.

    Under the proposed revised Carcinogen Risk Assessment Guidelines (U.S. EPA, 1996), benzene is characterized as a known human carcinogen for all routes of exposure based upon convincing human evidence as well as supporting evidence from animal studies.
    The premise of ventilation is that the OA is clean or of sufficient quality to be used for dilution. Traditional ventilation is somewhat being threatened by the fact that the EPA is changing the requirements for outdoor air quality which is creating non-attainment zones in what is now becoming a significant portion of the country. That means that buildings in those areas will need to clean up the OA before they bring it into the building.
    www.genesisair.com
    Genesis Air Inc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,833
    more outside air
    more air changes per hour
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    514
    New carpet? carpet glue has benzine as well from what I can remember.
    "Who am I? I'm the unsilent majority big mouth!" - (Paulie in Rocky 4)

  10. #10
    Loving the input fellows. I believe that the co2 ppm is around 700 p/room. They(contractors) supposedly removed the ink barrels and whatnots during remodeling. But left the slab that the printer was on. Dont know why but..its politics and historic downtown(sarcasm)! Anyways.. they found some particles in a mech room that looked somewhat like black dust chunks hanging from ceiling(about1/2inx1/2 size). Removed particles, treated and repainted that area. But the ladies that are occupying the space are still having problems and smelling the same stuff. I think the biggest prob is finding this stuff in order to remove. But dont want to cause a scare and dont want to spend the $ to do so. IMO

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Ocean Pines, MD
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    Moved this thread to IAQ where hopefully it will get more exposure, no pun intended.

  12. #12
    su
    Take out the ionizers. They are more than worthless in that they may be increasing the indoor air pollution by adding to the indoor air chemistry in a negative way.

    I think you have the source in that the slab where the printing press was located was not removed. The benzene from the printing process probably is saturated into that slab. The best solution would be to remove the slab.

    It sounds like the chances of that happening are pretty low. Alternatively, more fresh air would help. You might also try an air purifier with a high amount of granulated carbon (Austin Air, for example.) Activated carbon does a good job of removing benzene from the air.

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