Tourism, Hotels and Indoor Environmental Quality in Puerto Rico
Zimmetry Environmental provides indoor environmental quality testing and consulting services to identify and resolve issues in hotels across the Caribbean.
The building science professionals at Zimmetry Environmental have years of experience helping to make sure that hotels and resorts across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean provide their guests with superior IEQ.
Tourism has long been an integral part of the economy in Puerto Rico with millions of visitors to the islands each year. Most of these tourists stay at any one of the islands’ many resorts, hotels or motels. This activity generates millions of dollars for Puerto Rico’s GNP and employees tens of thousands of area residents.
Whether on a family vacation, visiting relatives or on a business trip, travelers to Puerto Rico expect their hotel or resort to provide good indoor environmental quality (IEQ). The IEQ of any place that provides lodging is important for the health and wellbeing of both guests and employees. As is the case with all buildings, hotels and resorts can face a myriad of potential indoor environmental quality challenges. Some of the more common items include the following:
· Mold – Water leaks, flooding and elevated humidity levels are a few of the reasons why mold could begin to grow and cause health concerns.
· Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Cleaning products, pesticides, building materials and furnishing are a few examples of materials that could release VOCs into the air.
· Allergens – Mold, bacteria, pet dander, insects, rodents, dust mites and latex are all common allergens that could cause allergic reactions in people.
· Legionella – Cooling towers have been known to harbor Legionella bacteria, the cause of Legionnaires’ disease. Other sources include plumbing systems, fountains, hot tubs and decorative pools.
· Pesticides & Cleaning Chemicals – These materials can release chemicals into the air and leave behind potentially dangerous residues.
· Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) – Although smoking is now regulated in many places and some hotels ban or limit smoking to specific rooms, secondhand smoke is a known carcinogen and can leave irritating odors.
· Pools – In recent years, recreational water illness (RWI) outbreaks of acute gastrointestinal illness have been increasing. Fecal matter in pools can harbor such pathogens as E. coli and other dangerous microbes.
· Gyms – Hotels with gyms may provide an environment conducive for the spread of community acquired infections as sweaty bodies come into direct contact with shared equipment, mats and towels.
· Polluted Exterior Air - Building air intakes or open hotel room windows near busy roadways, dumpsters or loading areas can cause indoor air quality issues.
· Asbestos & Lead – Some older properties still contain these materials which can become a hazard as they age or are disturbed.
· Bed bugs – In recent years, bed bugs have been found even in the most exclusive hotels. They can cause itching, loss of sleep and could even hitch a ride back to a guest’s home.
“The building science professionals at Zimmetry Environmental have years of experience helping to make sure that hotels and resorts across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean provide their guests with superior IEQ,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “To help educate property managers, maintenance professionals, housekeeping staff and tourists, Zimmetry recently sponsored an educational video about IEQ in hotels.”
To view the video, visit: http://youtu.be/9aGJ76qN_ag
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and indoor air quality, environmental and compliance testing and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.
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- Paul Cochrane
- Cochrane & Associates, LLC
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