A new ASHRAE standard has been set today regarding Dihydrogen Monoxide and facility maintenance particularly in healthcare and commercial buildings. System operators are said to approach assets with caution and to wear protective gear including gloves and masks. People have been exposed to Dihydrogen Monoxide most commonly through cooling towers, pipes, and faucets.
Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters.
Responsibilities and ASHRAE Standard 123-4
ASHRAE 123-4 establishes minimum DHMO risk management requirements for building systems to protect engineers while out on the field. The responsibility falls on the building owner and facility manager, so anyone who is involved with the design, installation, ownership, operation, management, and maintenance are required to ensure all buildings assets are designed, maintained, and operated under a certain temperature level to minimize the risk of DHMO.
Facility owners and managers will be required to do an annual survey of their buildings to determine risk characterization; if a building possesses one or more risks, it will be necessary to develop a risk management plan for DHMO control. This includes using HACCP and documenting building operation and maintenance to verify all systems are a go;otherwise owners could be suspended from their current duties or forced to sell their property to a competitor.
ASHRAE 123-4 also requires monthly walk-throughs to make sure that DHMO levels do not exceed 98 degrees which is the rate at which spreading occurs.
Below are some effects of DHMO exposure:
- Prolonged exposure causes severe tissue damage
- Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals
- Death due to accidental inhalation
- Contributes to soil erosion
So, what type of technology can facility managers use to detect the early risks of DHMO? An EAM/CMMS, of course.
Facility Maintenance battling DHMO
In each industry, the maintenance team is the one that knows the most about an asset’s condition, so they can spot the trends first when it comes to DHMO. This could save your assets from repair or replacement.
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Don’t let Dihydrogen Monoxide bring out the worst in your facility; are you ready for a change?