“What Did You Breathe Today?”

In response to rising concerns about indoor air and environmental quality, Baxter Group, Inc. is launching its “2019 Breathe Healthy Initiative”.  The goal is to provide our community with education and information to protect ourselves, our families, our employees, or our building occupants from indoor environmental contaminants.

Indoor pollutants such as asbestos, mold, lead-based paint, radon, and a variety of indoor environmental contaminants impact the health of thousands of people every year.  Small preventative measures can make a huge difference in the health of our indoor environment and those that reside in it.  This Initiative is intended to inspire and motivate us to seek preventative maintenance and address areas that could impact the health of our environment.

Most all commercial buildings and many homes built before 1980 contain some form of asbestos-containing material.  Painted building components in many homes and buildings built before 1978 contain lead.  One out of every 15 homes in the US experience elevated radon levels, the second leading cause of lung cancer in our nation.  Mold does not need water to propagate.  Humidity levels above 60% provide the perfect environment for the growth of mold.  Whether we live in a new home or older building, indoor environmental conditions can impact the health of the building and its occupants.

Understanding and controlling some of the common pollutants found in homes, schools and offices has become ever more important since we are now spending much of our time indoors.  Pollutants can include chemicals, gases, and living organisms such as mold and pests.  Some pollutants can cause health issues such as sore eyes, burning in the nose and throat, headaches, nausea, and fatigue.  Other pollutants can cause or worsen allergies, respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and cancer.  Some pollutants can be especially harmful to children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems.

Simple steps can be taken to improve our air quality and reduce their health risks.  Examples would include controlling the source of contaminants, properly ventilating, changing filters regularly, controlling the humidity, performing regular housekeeping tasks with the proper equipment and supplies, and performing regular maintenance that protects our environment.  An example of using proper cleaning equipment would be to have a HEPA filter on our vacuum cleaners.  A HEPA filter is designed to remove 99.97% of airborne particles measuring 0.3 microns or greater in diameter. Examples of regular maintenance would include repairing leaking pipes, fixing or cleaning gutters and downspouts, cleaning or replacing filters in our HVAC unit and dehumidifiers.  Lack of such regular maintenance can lead to moisture issues, which can then lead to mold contamination or the deterioration of our building components.  Mixing high humidity with pollutants can lead to viral and bacterial diseases as well.

Whether you are responsible for the environment of your home, rental property, or building . . . whether you are a facilities manager, property manager, landlord, construction or renovation professional . . . You will want to visit the “2019 Breathe Healthy Initiative” page of Baxter Group’s website at www.baxtergroupinc.com or sign up for their e-newsletters and E-book related to this initiative by emailing jm@baxtergroupinc.com.

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