The Swimming Pool Room Study. Joanne Royko Environmental Technology III Kent state University Professor Adil Sharag-Eldin, Ph. D. The Research Question. The Question: Will plants be healthy in a swimming pool room?
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Environmental Technology III
Kent state University
Professor Adil Sharag-Eldin, Ph. D
The Question: Will plants be healthy in a swimming pool room?
The swimming pool is a great place to strip down and relax. Entering the poolroom, even walking past it, one can feel the sensation of tropical atmosphere. Warmth and humidity levels mirror those of the tropics. The only problem is that there is no pleasant foliage to enjoy, and the air is infused with chlorine.
Another issue is that of human health. It is known that chlorine aggravates the respiratory system of those who have too much exposure to it. For example, some athletic swimmers later develop the conditions of asthma. However, swimming is good exercise, and many doctors prescribe it to their patients
The MACC Annex Swimming Pool Room, Important Features:
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) determined in their Indoor Air Quality Investigation Results that an inadequate level of outside air is only one ventilation problem from a list of possible causes. NIOSH described some ventilation problems as:
48% of the indoor air quality problems NIOSH investigated were solved in ways independent of the ventilation system.
As Percentage of Occurrences:
Important Recommendations to Promote Good Indoor Air Quality for swimming pool rooms from ASHRAE include:
Statement of Problems of Space and Objective
Original Hypothesis: The VOC level is too high for plant life. Unfortunately, finding information concerning safe ingestion rates of chlorine for plant life is difficult, or nonexistent. I therefore felt it necessary to restate the hypothesis to make it easier to test and compare with available information and research.
New Hypothesis: The VOC level is too high for humans; therefore the air exchange rate needs to be maintained at adequate levels in order to keep humans healthy.
The VOC level is too high for humans.
The Eco Sensor Model C-21 is a VOC meter. It has a LED indicator that warns when there is a high concentration of VOC’s. The number of LED’s that become lit shows the concentration of VOC’s between the extremes of zero and hazardous. One green light is the lowest measurement at one end, and all lights lit is the highest measurement.
What are two main factors helping the growth or accumulation of airborne VOC’s?
What inhibits the growth or accumulation of VOC’s?
How do I determine whether the air is clean enough?
What measurement need to be taken?
Return air – Supply air
Return air – Outside air
% Outside Air =
CFM * 60
Air change =
I concluded from the findings of Dr. B. C. Wolverton that plants do indeed process chemicals from the air. However, to live in a toxic space for long periods of time, each plant has to grow faster than it absorbs the chemical elements in the air. Through a process called photosynthesis, plants ingest some chemicals and store them in the leaves and branches. When the leaves and branches become chemically saturated the limb and foliage falls off and joins the ground biosphere below. The chlorine remains in the fallen plant mass, therefore chlorine is still present in another concoction. Chlorine (Cl) is an atomic element; therefore organisms in the soil won’t break it down. Therefore, it is best to dispose of dead poolroom foliage in an earth friendly manner - by not mixing it with the environment outside.
Humans produce carbon dioxide, water vapor, and contaminants including particulate matter, biological aerosols, and VOC’s. Russian and American space scientists established that humans release as many as 150 VOC’s into the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, methane, alcohols, phenols, methyl indole, aldehydes, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, volatile fatty acids, indol, mercaptans and nitrogen oxides. Acetone, ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol and ethyl acetate are the principle substances emitted through normal biological processes. According to ASHRAE, comfort and odor, criteria with respect to human body affluence is usually satisfied when ventilation results in an indoor carbon dioxide concentration of less than 700 ppm above the outdoor air concentration
When chlorine is added to water it forms hypochlorous acid (HClO), an excellent bactericide. In this solution it is known as "free chlorine," and is highly reactive. The pool water exists in perfect equilibrium when it is properly treated, and no chloramine gas enters the air. An imbalance occurs when people are added to the water. A chemical reaction occurs: chlorine mixes with human biological wastes creating chloramine (NH2Cl). Chloramine will release to the air and reach a balance in the room based on a chemical law known as the partial pressure law. In laymen’s terms, this law states how much chloramine remains in the water and how much is released to the air.
Adding more chemicals to water increases the total contaminant level until the chemical reactions reach equilibrium. In high occupancy pools, water contaminant levels can double in a single day of operation. Even the perfect chlorine feed system will suffer imbalances because it takes time to mix the large volume of water, and people come and go throughout the course of the day. The dynamics of pool chemistry go much deeper, and won’t be covered in this report. However, an air quality control system must be in place to deal with temporary imbalances in water chemistry.
The VOC level is too high for humans.
The VOC level in the swimming pool rooms are low enough to consider the IAQ as adequate. The VOC detector displayed one lit LED, indicating a zero to low quantity of VOC’s in each room.
Suggested improvements to the swimming pool room: