ION Science Industry Blog

The latest industry news, knowledge and opinion.
VOC
28 February 2019

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)

 

 

Poor air quality and ventilation are key contributing factors to Sick building syndrome (SBS), an illness diagnosed by a collection of acute symptoms whilst in a particular environment.

Possible SBS symptoms according to the NHS include:

  • headaches
  • blocked or runny nose
  • dry itchy skin
  • dry and sore eyes
  • rashes
  • tiredness and difficulty concentrating
VOC
28 February 2019

Work, Home, Outdoors

 

 

Multiple inspiring innovations are being integrated globally across the built environment to address the ongoing issue of air quality. Each year in the UK, around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution.

Living among busy roads and industrialised areas is creating vulnerability in the public’s health and stretching the healthcare system. In Greater Manchester outdoor air pollution is costing the regional economy close to £1bn a year, plus reducing life expectancy by six months due to the high levels of pollution in the congested city area. 

As a result of modern day activities and lifestyle habits we are being exposed to higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), in our work place, in the home and equally in the outdoor environment.

VOC Clean Air
28 February 2019

Clean Air Strategy 2019

 

To further address the health and safety and environmental issues surrounding air pollution, in January 2019 the UK government launched a Clean Air Strategy to outline how they will tackle all sources of air pollution, making air healthier to breathe, protecting nature and boosting the economy.

The government confirms their plans for dealing with all sources of air pollution, making our air healthier to breathe, protecting nature and boosting the economy.

VOC Clean Air
28 February 2019

Environmental issues

 

 

 

Air pollution is now something we are all aware of and is often included alongside UV levels on weather forecasts.

VOCs are themselves directly an air pollutant but also have secondary effects. When sunlight and heat react with VOCs, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides (gasses released from many industrial process and vehicles) ozone is generated and smog is formed.

VOC Health & Safety
28 February 2019

Health and Safety issues

 

Whilst many VOCs have no adverse effects on health and the environment, some are harmful. Health effects include eye, nose and throat irritation from short term exposures (think about a whiff of super glue) and long-term exposure to very low concentrations you are not aware of (parts per billion) may cause damage to liver, kidneys, central nervous system and cancers.

As VOCs exist as a gas at room temperature the main exposure route is through normal respiration. Exposure to harmful VOCs can happen at home, outdoors or in the workplace.

Soil Remediation
11 July 2018

Subsurface Gas Monitoring

 

So, what can be done to mitigate the potential drastic effects?

Whether a landowner, developer or regulator the objective is identical; namely to ensure that any existing or proposed development remains or takes place safely.

10 July 2018

Environmental Factors That Can Influence Gas Migration

 

Rapid changes in atmospheric pressure influence the risk of gas entry into properties. As atmospheric pressure decreases the likelihood of gas entry into the properties on the site increases. This relationship was evident from early monitoring in a vacated Gorgebridge property (see figure 1).

The highest concentration of CO2 represented by the blue line, were recorded when the atmospheric pressure, represented by the dotted red line, was lowest and had fallen rapidly.

3 July 2018

Migration Pathways

 

Migration pathways include pore spaces (e.g. in sands or gravels), fractures, joints, bedding planes and fault lines.

Anthropogenic influences can increase permeability, for example, by activities such as mine grouting, air blast rotary drilling, blasting and mining. All of these can have potentially catastrophic effects on pathways and ground gas movements. In addition, anthropogenic influences include sewers, granular backfill around services, cable ducts, pipes, service ducts, drains and voids such as inspection pits, under floor spaces and basements, all of which may provide preferential ground gas migration pathways.

Soil Remediation
2 July 2018

Soil/Gas Risks

 

Uncontrolled subsurface gas migration and emission poses a number of risks to the environment and human health & safety from anthropogenic sources (the general term for gases originating in human activity) such as:-

  • landfill waste

  • abandoned coal mining

  • shale gas production

  • contaminated land from past industrial use (some dating as far back as Victorian times)

  • pipeline leaks from current industrial processes such as oil refining & chemical manufacture

  • Coal bed methane

Soil Remediation
26 April 2018

Urban Remediation

 

Urban regeneration (revitalization in the US) is a common strategic objective for Governments and Cities alike.  Take the London 2012 Olympics as a prime example. 

The enabling works cleaned up an area of East London which was heavily contaminated as a result of former industrial activity.