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Watch out for Indoor Pollutants

Health-Plus-March-1-2011The Irish Times Health Supplement reports on the importance of ensuring adequate ventilation and controlling contaminants in homes and offices.

It reports "While clean outdoor air is important most of us spend 80 to 90 percent of our time indoors. So we should consider the quality of the air there too" "As a country we don't ventilate well and this is something we should be doing" says Caitriona O Donovan of the health friendly air division of the Airmid healthgroup, a Dublin firm that tests indoor air quality "If you don't get enough fresh air through ventilation you get a build up of contaminants in the air.

To see further press coverage please click here.

 

IOSH Indoor Air Quality Seminar Creates Huge Interest

The Health Friendly Air Division of the airmid healthgroup recently hosted an IOSH Ireland - Eastern District, Evening Seminar entitled "Indoor Air Exposure in Irish Buildings and the Law" which proved a huge success.

IOSH is the Chartered body for health and safety professionals and over 50 Health and Safety professionals attended this seminar which goes to highlight the current interest in the area of indoor air quality.

The evening commenced with an hour's presentation entitled "Indoor Air Exposures in Irish Buildings and The Law" and covered topics such as global findings, applicable legislation and health effects of exposure to poor quality indoor air. The seminar proved extremely interesting for those who provide a safe place of work, those who are involved in building maintenance or maintaining a level of indoor air quality. A key theme of the presentation was that when it comes to indoor air exposures ignorance is no defense and that this health & safety risk must be managed, controlled and documented in the company safety statement just like any other office hazard such as slips, trips and falls or working with display screen equipment. An indoor air audit will provide your organisation with a written risk assessment that clearly identifies the hazard, assesses the risk and recommends control measures for the management of workplace air.

The presentation was followed by a tour of the laboratory facilities and a vibrant networking session.

   

Specialist Team Continues to Grow

We are delighted to announce that Ingrid Apetrei has recently joined our multidisciplinary team. Ingrid specialises in mycology and molecular biology and will play an integral part in the development of our existing mould and bacteria testing and interpretation services. As a mycologist Ingrid brings vast experience in sampling and analytical techniques in aerobiology - monitoring indoor fungal spore pollution in correlation with human health and fungal identification.

As health professionals, we understand the effect that bioaerosols have on building occupant health and so our capacity to monitor for airborne and surface biological contamination is crucially important to our unique health based, integrated response to monitoring indoor spaces.

Our unique integrated response is a combination of our occupational hygienists testing and collecting samples with state of the art equipment, our scientists analysing the samples and our microbiologists, occupational health and medical specialists interpreting the results in the context of possible adverse health effects.

 

   

New 2010 Code of Practice Published

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) 2010 Code of Practice for the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations 2001 became effective on the 4th of May.The full document can be viewed on the HSA's website, click here to view.

Schedule 3 of the CoP includes proposed values the Authority intends adopting in the 2011 version of the CoP. The schedule also includes Directive 2009/161/EU - the 3rd list of IOELVs.

   

HEALTH EFFECTS OF VOLCANIC ASH

volcanoThe HSE and Department of Health and Children have said that the plume of volcanic ash from Iceland is not considered to be a significant risk to public health in Ireland while the Department of Transport has said that the Environmental Protection Agency monitoring programme has found no evidence of volcanic ash. The World Health Organisation has advised people with lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma to stay indoors if volcanic ash does start to settle.

The Health Service Executive review of the possible health effects of the volcanic ash has said signs of volcanic ash in the air included itchy or irritated eyes, runny nose, sore throat or dry cough. The sulphur dioxide in the ash could give rise to a smell similar to rotten eggs. The Asthma Society of Ireland said there was no need for undue concern at the moment, but if the situation changed, people with respiratory conditions may notice their symptoms worsening. This depended on factors such as the concentration of particles in the ash, the level of exposure to the ash and the individual's asthmatic history.

   

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HFA on About The House

video_icon Watch the HFA team carry out an indoor air survey on RTE’s About The House

HFA on RTE Drivetime

audio_iconListen to health friendly air programme founder, Dr Bruce Mitchell, being interviewed on RTÉ about indoor air issues in offices.