Sewer Gas and Ozone
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The oxygen we breathe is made of just two oxygen molecules, ozone on the other hand is composed of 3 oxygen atoms. In the upper atmosphere ozone blocks out harmful UV light, thus protecting living organisms below. At ground level ozone is an air pollutant that can have harmful effects on our respiratory system. In fact, ozone is a component of smog pollution. Asthmatics are especially at risk from the effects of ozone exposure. Despite claims of safe levels of fresh smelling ozone emitted by ozone producing machines, some ozone machines have been found to produce ozone at levels that may result in respiratory irritation in some persons. It is true that ozone can break down smoke, odors, and other air contaminates, but the break down product follows the most basic laws of physics and does not disappear from existence. Instead some of these products have been found to end up in the air where they can serve as irritants to sensitive persons. According to the EPA, some health effects of overexposure to ozone are:
(1)Decreases in lung function.
(2) Aggravation of asthma.
(3)Throat irritation and cough.
(4) Chest pain and shortness of breath.
(5) Inflammation of lung tissue.
(6) Higher susceptibility to respiratory infection.
OZONE LEVELS IN GENERAL:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires ozone output of indoor medical devices to be no more than 0.05 ppm. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that workers not be exposed to an average concentration of more than 0.10 ppm for 8 hours. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends an upper limit of 0.10 ppm, not to be exceeded at any time. EPAs National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone is a maximum 8 hour average outdoor concentration of 0.08 ppm. For more info please visit: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html.
ABOUT OF NITROGEN DIOXIDE
Nitrogen dioxide is composed of one nitrogen atom for each two oxygen atoms. Incomplete combustion in vehicles or gas-burning appliances can create this pollutant, and improper venting of such combustion gases from gas appliances, loading docks, and parking garages can result in the gas entering into the indoor environment. Nitrogen dioxide is a respiratory irritant.
LEVELS OF NITROGEN DIOXIDE IN GENERAL:
Average level in homes without combustion appliances is about half that of outdoors. In homes with gas stoves, kerosene heaters, or un-vented gas space heaters, indoor levels often exceed outdoor levels. No standards have been agreed upon for nitrogen oxides in indoor air. ASHRAE and the US. EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards list 0.053 ppm as the average 24-hour limit for NO2 in outdoor air.
ABOUT HYDROGEN SULFIDE:
Hydrogen sulfide, also known as sewer gas, is the gas that produces rotten egg or sulfur-like odors in well water, sewer systems, rotten eggs, and other areas where water and organic compounds have a lack of oxygen. In buildings hydrogen sulfide sometimes becomes a problem when plumbing system sewage vent pipes are not vented to the exterior. Occasionally instead they vent into the attic after a new roof is installed, when a cracked vent pipe leaks sewer gas, or when a clogged one allows such gases to back up. Often hydrogen sulfide becomes a problem when this gas backs up from sewage drain pipes after the water has evaporated from a drain pipe's P trap. It may lead to complaints of eye & throat irritation, cough, and shortness of breath.
HYDROGEN SULFIDE LEVELS IN GENERAL:
According to Wikipedia ".0047 ppm is the recognized threshold, the concentration at which 50% of humans can detect the characteristic rotten egg odor of hydrogen sulfide."10 to 15 ppm is the borderline concentration for eye irritation. OSHA and NIOSH have established workplace limits for hydrogen sulfide. OSHA established an eight-hour permissible exposure limit-time weighted average (PEL-TWA) of 10 ppm and a 15-minute short-term exposure limit (PEL-STEL) of 15 ppm for exposed workers. NIOSH established a limit of 300 ppm as the immediately dangerous to life and health concentration.
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