Air Quality Management
Small factories may contribute to air quality problems through activities and processes such as:
- energy consumption that requires the burning of fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and results in the release of climate changing greenhouse gases and air pollution
- the release of fumes, odours and emissions from products or processes that are used
- the use of motor vehicles for transportation of goods.
Air quality management includes looking after the air inside your premises, as well as reducing the impact of any of your activities that could affect the air in your local neighbourhood.
Air pollution can be caused by dust, smoke, odours, fumes or gases coming from your business activities or from products and equipment you use. Some of the sources of air pollution from your business could be exhaust fans, combustion units, chimneys, extraction systems, motor vehicles, and odours and emissions from chemical substances.
Emissions, fumes and odours
The chemical products or processes that you use may result in air emissions, fumes and odours that could cause health, safety and environmental problems. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in organic solvents, for example, evaporate into the atmosphere and can lead to photochemical smog formation.
Reduce and control your factory's air emissions by:
- regularly servicing air filtering and control equipment
- investigating the availability of less toxic materials to replace the materials you are currently using
- keeping solvent containers sealed when not in use to limit evaporation and prevent excessive odours and loss of materials.
- Monitor your transportation costs, set targets to reduce the number of trips that are taken each day and maximise vehicle loads.
- Keep your vehicles well maintained to maximise fuel efficiency.
The production and use of energy from nonrenewable resources (oil, gas and coal) results in the emission of greenhouse gases and air pollutants (carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) that adversely affect the environment. Manufacturers should find ways to minimise their energy use by using alternative energy sources, maximising natural lighting and heating, and by choosing appliances and equipment that use less energy.
Start by identifying where you are using most energy and how you might be able to reduce this use. Small things can make a big difference - such as installing more efficient lighting and turning off lights when not in use. Refer to Energy and Water Use, for more information on how to reduce your energy consumption.
- Your local council
- DECC Environement Line, Tel: 131 555
- Yellow Pages - look under 'Air conditioning' and 'Filters'.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011