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Journal Article by ASHRAE, 1997

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A unique ventilation system was designed and built to reduce formaldehyde fumes in the large animal anatomy lab at the Vet Medical Center at Cornell University. The laboratory includes four rooms totaling 5,500 ft2 (5 110 m2). The main room has 2,300 ft2 (214 m2) and houses the laboratory where up to 60 students dissect as many as 12 horses at a time. Other rooms are a cold storage locker, an animal preparation room and a smaller lab for specialized instruction. The large animal anatomy laboratory has a history of air quality complaints despite a fairly high ventilation rate of over 10 air changes/hour. The horses are embalmed, creating a volumous source of formaldehyde and phenol vapors. Budget constraints and increasingly stringent exposure limits for formaldehyde presented a great challenge to design a ventilation system that yields acceptable air quality. The design solution included two innovative elements: air-to-air heat recovery, and focused ventilation.

Citation: ASHRAE Journal, vol. 39, no. 4, April 1997

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