Why can’t I just exhaust my dirty air to the outside?

The primary risk to exhausting contaminated air to the outside—besides possibly adversely affecting the community—is breaking air quality regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These regulations apply to the environment, rather than to workplace air, which OSHA regulates. If too many contaminants are put into the air in too short a time, your company might have a compliance problem.

Another problem with exhausting dirty air is that it often encounters a lot of workers and equipment on its way out the building. If the air is carrying toxic substances, those workers will be exposed, risking their health and OSHA compliance. Dirty surfaces can cause slip hazards, unsightliness, and malfunction problems with equipment.

A less critical but still common problem with exhausting dirty air is the prevalence of dirty roofs where exhaust vents are located. Besides being unsightly, this creates an extra housekeeping burden.

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