401. Air Emissions
Many colleges and universities own and operate a variety of equipment that can affect air quality. These include fleet vehicles, trucks, rental cars and vans, gas-powered forklifts and low speed vehicles.
- Ensure that regular engine maintenance is conducted on these vehicles.
- Establish a range of transportation programs that minimize the use of personal vehicles and college/university vehicles whenever possible.
- Exhaust gases must be collected and vented outside building during routine vehicle maintenance.
- See also Vehicle Fuel Use
- Consider alternative fuel vehicles.
- Minimize diagnostic run time.
401b. CFCs in A/C Units
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), along with other chlorine- and bromine-containing compounds, have been implicated in the accelerated depletion of ozone in the Earth's stratosphere. CFCs were developed in the early 1930s and are used in a variety of industrial, commercial, and household applications. These substances are non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-reactive with other chemical compounds. These desirable safety characteristics, along with their stable thermodynamic properties, make them ideal for many applications such as coolants for commercial and home refrigeration units, aerosol propellants, electronic cleaning solvents, and blowing agents. Production and use of Chlorofluorocarbons experienced nearly uninterrupted growth as demand for products requiring their use continued to rise.
- Equipment containing CFCs and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) must be purged before disposal can take place. It is illegal to knowingly vent CFCs and HCFCs into the atmosphere.
- Contact the HVAC to coordinate and arrange for purging of this equipment.
- Compressor oil must be recovered and proper disposal confirmed before equipment is disposed of.
- Refrigerants must not be exposed to open flames. Refrigerants in the presence of open flame will produce phosgene gas. This can occur when open flame boilers and refrigeration equipment share the same equipment space.
- See also the BMP for Compressed Gas Cylinders Storage.
- Future design should attempt to isolate or partition open flame equipment and refrigeration/cooling equipment.
- Field technicians dealing with refrigerants must have proper training and EPA certification.
- Prior to disposal, contact the designated HVAC refrigerant coordinator.
Chemical air emissions can result from routine and non-routine lab operations. Examples of lab operations that result in air emissions of chemicals include:
- Exhaust from fume hoods, chemical storage cabinets and storage rooms;
- Breakage, spills and leaks;
- Bench-top operations; and
- Glassware cleaning and rinsing.
It is important to have an inventory to identify and quantify potential air emissions.
- If lab operations result in air emissions, make sure they have been identified, measured, and documented.
- Determine and record any changes in emission levels since the last inventory.
- Maintain an up-to-date site plan or blueprint showing all existing sources of air contaminants.
- If the lab emits air contaminants to the outdoor atmosphere (through stacks, vents, exhausts), make sure that a plan approval, operating permit, or exemption was obtained and documented, if required.
- Regularly observe and document emissions from emission points to determine whether smoke or odors are produced.
- If air emission control devices exist, ensure that inspections and maintenance (e.g., checking for belts) are performed on a regular basis.
- Ensure that chemical (including waste) containers are not left open on bench-tops or in fume hoods. Containers should be kept closed to eliminate fugitive emissions and evaporative losses.
- Recycle toner cartridges through vendors who supply copiers or the UT Arlington Recycling Program.
- Recycle ink jet cartridges through UT Arlington Recycling Program.
- Contact the EH&S Hazardous Waste Section for disposal of all hazardous materials.
- Use “dry” copy machines whenever possible. If using copiers that require solvents or ammonia for operation, be sure that adequate ventilation is available.
- Prior to disposal, contact the EH&S Hazardous Waste Section at 272-2185.
401d. Laboratory Animals
Laboratory animals can generate toxic gases as by products, such as ammonia and methane. These gases may be toxic to the animals and humans, and harmful to the environment. In other cases, greenhouses may need to be “fumigated” for small-scale pest control using other toxic materials.
- Ensure adequate ventilation of animal housing areas, especially during maintenance operations.
- If ammonia vapor levels are irritating to humans, airborne evaluations must be conducted.
- When fumigating cages or other structures, be sure to notify affected individuals appropriately, and ensure adequate posting of doors and other areas. Limit access as appropriate.
401e. Dust Air Emissions
Airborne dust can be generated during a number of operations. This includes construction, renovation, or demolition operations. Effects of this dust can be irritation, degradation of air quality, and health effects of susceptible individuals.
- Utilize wet methods whenever possible when handling and adding moisture during the early phases of mixing.
- Consider use of dust masks during mixing.
- To minimize health effects, establish a comprehensive health and safety program, including medical surveillance of appropriate individuals.