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Environmental Quality Investigation
Transcript of Environmental Quality Investigation
Our mission is to assist our environment by going
Cleaning in NBHS
Certain rooms in our school are cleaned more frequently than others.
VOC's Used at NBHS
There are many examples of VOC's used in our school such as:
Indoor Air Quality
First, to assess the air quality of our environment, we studied the methods of transportation used at NBHS. This causes concern, as vehicles emit large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Why is this alarming?
Hundreds of cars are driven every school day
Humans produce CO2 with skyrocketing expenses
As a result, the Earth is experiencing global warming.
The staff was asked to report any dusty or blocked vents.
The staff was asked if students often suffer from eye/throat irritation.
Hold a "Carpool, Walk, or Bike to School Day"
VOC's in Cleaning Chemicals-
Suggest replacement products to the custodial staff including
-Liquid Sunshine, a VOC free surface cleaner
-The Amazing Whip It, an earth friendly multi-surface cleaner
The staff was asked to report the following objects in their rooms.
To survey Indoor Air Quality, we have studied the following:
-The NBHS school buses are not allowed to idle their engines for longer than three minutes
-No restrictions on other vehicles
-There is no Driver's Ed program nor do we participate in any activities or programs that promote safety when walking or biking to school.
-Transportation is damaging to human health
-There is an increased risk of death
-Risk of non-allergic respiratory symptoms and diseases
-Risk of various types of cancer
New Britain High School and Transportation Effects on Humans
Now whats the issue?
-Water damage proves abundant at NBHS
-Elevated CO2 levels are common at NBHS
-Computer Labs raise humidity levels as well as CO2 levels
-Dusty vents prevent circulation
-Common air fresheners have devastating effects
The staff was asked to report the following: mold, mildew, and water damage in rooms.
Mercury and Chemical Safety
VOC's in Cleaning Chemicals
VOC stands for "volatile organic compound".
They have harmful effects on the respiratory system.
NBHS has taken initiative to reduce these dangers by following city and state regulations that involve issues such as:
Many teachers also contribute to cleaning their rooms by using a surface cleaner on desks and chairs.
Green Earth Floor Cleaner
- alcohol alkoxylate: reduces VOCs
- tetrasodium iminodisuccinate: (unable to find information)*
- sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate: (unable to find information)*
Green Earth Peroxide Cleaner
- 1 methoxy, 2 propanol: VOC (annual average is 19 micrograms per
Quat Stat Disinfectant
- whole product has a VOC concentration of 33%
Fresh. Floor 1
VOC's are found in:
-lacquers/ paint strippers
-glues and adhesives
-copiers, printers, correction fluid, and carbon-less copy paper
Mercury, along with other common chemicals, have negative effects on human health as well as the environment.
Legislation has overlooked the obvious problem that students come into contact with harmful chemicals used by teachers every day.
Common Cleaning Chemicals Teachers Use
Ongoing Water Damage
Lift Off #3 Graffiti Remover
Fantastik Heavy Duty
Clorox Cleaner Plus Bleach
409 All Purpose Cleaner
Effects of Mercury on People
Health risks depend on type and amount of exposure.
Short Term Exposure Results in:
Cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increase in blood pressure or heart rate, a metallic taste in the mouth, eye irritation, headache, and vision problems.
Long Term Exposure Results in:
anxiety, excessive shyness, anorexia, sleeping problems, loss of appetite, irritability, fatigue, forgetfulness, tremors, changes in vision, and changes in hearing.
Cycle of Mercury
Mercury improperly disposed by humans finds its way to the environment's water and soils.
Mercury that seeps into bodies of water gets absorbed by fish.
Animals such as birds eat contaminated fish and either die or suffer serious health risks.
Finally humans eat either the contaminated fish or birds and suffer serious health risks previously listed.
(Mercury can not be cooked out of fish and other animals).
"A Coating Composition Having a Low Volatile Organic Compound Content." Google Books. Google Patent: Patent WO2008063829A1, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.
Environmental Protection Agency, "An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)." EPA., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014.
"Material Safety Data Sheet." Kelly Solutions. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
“Reducing VOCs from Surfactants in Coatings.” PCl Magazine. n.p.,n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
"SODIUM DODECYLBENZENE SULFONATE." Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.
"TETRASODIUM IMINODISUCCINATE." EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.
Indoor Air Quality-
Rossman, Ronni E. "08.07.09: The Effect of Vehicular Emissions on Human Health."08.07.09: The Effect of Vehicular Emissions on Human Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
Johnson AJ. Cognitive Facilitation Following Intentional Odor Exposure. Sensors. 2011.
Masters, Coco. "How "Fresh" Is Air Freshener?" Time. Time Inc., 24 Sept. 2007. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
"Carbon Dioxide Emissions." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 08 May 2014.
"Effects of Transport-related Air Pollution." WHO/Europe |. Ed. M. Krzyzanowski, B. Kuna-Dibbert, and J. Schneider. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 9 May 2014.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle. N.p.: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Dec. 2011. PDF
1 Bus produces...
1500 pounds of carbon dioxide per year
739.73 pounds of carbon dioxide per school year
4.11 pounds of carbon dioxide per day
1 Passenger Vehicle produces...
11243 pounds of carbon dioxide per year
5544.5 pounds of carbon dioxide per school year
30.80 pounds of carbon dioxide per day
Why is this important?
Transportation is the second largest source of carbon dioxide
Green Team Approved Cleaners
Earth Friendly Window Kleener
BioShield Glass Cleaner
Earth Power's Herbal Disinfectant
Power Herbal Disinfectant
Proper Disposal of Mercury Chemical Spills
•Sprinkle powdered sulfur or zinc on the spill site and check for any mercury you might have overlooked
•Set aside anything that you suspect might have been exposed to the mercury for testing and continue to air out the room
-proper mercury and chemical cleanup
-removal of mercury containing products
-proper chemical storage
-substitution of dangerous chemical cleaners
•Contain the spill by using a barrier such as kitty litter or a towel, etc.
•Evacuate the area and don’t allow children around. Double bag all your personal items.
•Turn off ventilating systems or air conditioning systems so that if any of these have been affected, it will not spread throughout the building.
•Close interior doors leading directly to the spill and open all the room’s windows to exhaust the room.
•Dress in clothes that could be discarded in case of contamination and wear rubber gloves
•Gather all necessary cleaning supplies and pick up all visible mercury droplets with an index card and a dustpan
•Place the collected mercury carefully in an unbreakable plastic container which you should then place in a plastic bag for additional safety
•Younger fish tend to have lower concentrations of mercury.
•Mercury can not be cooked out of consumable fish because it is concentrated in the muscle tissue of fish.
• In studies in Wisconsin, reductions in loon chick production has been found in lakes where mercury concentrations in eggs exceed concentrations that are toxic in laboratory studies.
Mercury's Effect on the Environment
Indoor Air Quality-
Start an after school program where students can clean vent covers for volunteer hours
Mercury and Chemical Saftey-
Inform teachers on unsafe chemicals in their classrooms and suggest safer chemicals
An example of mercury poisoning on a person is the Alice & Wonderland character, Mad Hatter
"Health Effects of Mercury Exposure." . ATSDR, 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 10 May 2014.
"Mercury Releases and Spills." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 25 Apr. 2014. Web. 14 May 2014.
"Mercury Spill Response -- Cleaning Up Small Spills." Mercury Spill Response -- Cleaning Up Small Spills. Wisconsin.gov, 6 Aug. 2013. Web. 12 May 2014
"State Mercury-Added Product Ban & Phase-out Guidance." NEWMOA. 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 9 May 2014.