Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
In an effort to eliminate the hazardous levels of carbon dioxide that can be found within the air; local, state and federal governments are all taking steps to help decrease the amount of CO2 emitted. The Kyoto-Protocol entails an agreement between various countries stating that they’ll cut back on CO2 emissions. Other considerations have been addressed including potentially placing a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. This trend should encourage residential homes, small businesses and major corporations to decrease pollution and to conserve energy whenever possible.
- ASHRAE and OSHA standards both report that while not necessarily hazardous, the amount of carbon dioxide in a home should remain under 1,000 ppm.
- The MNDOLI (Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry) has set workplace safety standards of 10,000 ppm for an 8-hour period and 30,000 ppm for a 15 minute period.
- OSHA has set the occupational standard to 10,000 ppm for industrial applications and exposure over an 8 hour period.
- ASHRAE indicates that classrooms and conference rooms should provide 15 cubic feet per minute or CFM of fresh air (which translates to 1,000 ppm of CO2), for every occupant.
- In office spaces and restaurants 20 CFM per occupant should be allocated (800 ppm of carbon dioxide).
- An ASHRAE standard entails that hospital rooms should designate 25 CFM (420 ppm of carbon dioxide) per occupant, and 30 CFM (350 ppm of carbon dioxide) in operating rooms.
- In laboratory applications, the regulated ventilation rate per person should be 20 CFM (800 ppm of carbon dioxide) according to the ASHRAE Standard 62–1989.