Hotels and Indoor Environmental Quality – A Critical Component
The professionals at Clark Seif Clark (CSC) provide hotels and resorts with indoor environmental quality testing and consulting solutions.
It’s important that those in the lodging industry take IEQ seriously for the health and safety of guests and their employees.
Last month, media outlets reported that workers from a hotel in Michigan took to the streets with signs warning the public about health hazards and mold where they work. They claim it could threaten the wellbeing of hotel guests and fellow workers. According to the news reports, the problem began earlier this year and employees state that the conditions have not been addressed.
News about this event has brought unwanted attention and a public relations challenge for the hotel. With the busy summer lodging season at hand, events such as this are the last thing a hotel, resort or motel wants to have happen. It also brings to light the importance of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) for both employees and guests.
The Michigan workers specifically had concerns over mold which is a potentially serious concern in any type of building. In addition to mold, there are a number of other common IEQ issues that hotels may encounter. They include:
· Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Cleaning products, pesticides, building materials and furnishing are a few examples of materials that could off-gas these chemicals into the air.
· Asbestos & Lead – Some older properties still contain these materials which can become a hazard as they age or are disturbed.
· 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 in large hotels 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 compounds 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 potentially dangerous microbes.
· Gyms – Hotels with gyms can provide an environment conducive for the spread of community acquired infections such as MRSA when sweaty bodies come into direct contact with shared equipment, mats and towels.
· Polluted Exterior Air - Air intakes or open hotel room windows near busy highways, dumpsters and loading areas can cause air quality issues indoors.
· Radon – Many parts of the country suffer from high radon levels. Although a guest staying for a night or two on the first few floors of a hotel may have few concerns, employees who spend year after year working at the property could be at risk.
· Bed bugs – In recent years, bed bugs have been found even in all types of buildings that provide lodging. These insects can cause itching, loss of sleep and could even hitch a ride back to a guest’s home.
“It’s important that those in the lodging industry take IEQ seriously for the health and safety of guests and their employees,” said Franco Seif, President of Clark Seif Clark. “CSC’s environmental and building science professionals provide testing and consulting services across the country. These services allow those in the lodging industry to identify potential problems and develop corrective actions to provide superior indoor environmental quality.”
CSC recently sponsored a video about IEQ and hotels that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/9aGJ76qN_ag
To learn more about mold and other indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, health and safety issues, please visit www.csceng.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 807-1118.
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address environmental, IAQ, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.
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