Mitigate volatile organic compound (VOC) levels through the implementation of advanced air filtration/purification strategies.
This WELL feature requires the use of carbon filters to reduce indoor levels of VOCs.
Building materials, furnishings (e.g., carpets and furniture finishes), fabrics, cleaning products, personal care products, adhesives, solvents and air fresheners can all emit VOCs or semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) into the indoor environment. VOCs include benzene (classified by the U.S. EPA as a known human carcinogen), formaldehyde and other chemical compounds, which at high concentrations can lead to irritation of the nose and pharynx and have been associated with leukemia, childhood asthma and other respiratory disorders. VOCs found in carpet cleaner, cleaning supplies and pest control mechanisms can be detrimental to children’s lungs. Health effects can also include damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.
Carbon filters are designed to absorb these volatile pollutants and remove the largest particles. They can also remove 60% to 70% of ozone from the passing air, a pollutant that is associated with irregular heartbeat, poor lung function and irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and skin. The use of air-cleaning devices is generally linked to reduced allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms. Certain circumstances justify greater investment in air purification strategies. For example, proximity to highly traveled roads or manufacturing plants and seasonal variation can affect outdoor air quality, increasing ozone and VOC content and, in turn, diminishing indoor air quality. Similarly, climates with high humidity levels and inadequate ventilation can foster the development of mold and spores in indoor environments. For optimal performance, air filtration systems need to be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The implementation of advanced air filtration/purification strategies is an effective method to reduce levels of VOCs indoors, which is important for decreasing human exposure to harmful contaminants.
Implement Carbon Filtration (1 point)
Verified by MEP, On-going Maintenance Report, Photographic evidence
For All Spaces
The following requirements are met:
Projects utilize one of the below to remove VOCs from indoor air:
- Activated carbon filters or a combination of particulate/carbon filters in the main air ducts to filter recirculated air.
- A standalone air-cleaning device that utilizes a carbon filter to treat the air (one device per area coverage as specified by the manufacturer).
Evidence that the filter or device has been replaced or maintained according to manufacturer's recommendation is submitted annually through WELL Online.
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