YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airmen from the 374th Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineering flight completed a ventilation survey within the Mortuary Affairs embalming station at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 17, 2017.
The survey entailed checking the air flow of the ventilation system next to the embalming tables are working properly to protect the workers from breathing in potential hazards.
“Doing this is very important because the ventilation system is an engineering control point in place to reduce the chemical vapors,” said Staff Sgt. Andre Aguilar, 374 AMDS bioenvironmental engineering technician. “If it breaks down, there wouldn’t be anything in place to control what goes in and out of the ventilation system.”
To complete the survey, the Airmen use a ventilation meter to read the air flow from the vents of the embalming table. This allowed them to calculate the air flow through the area to determine how much air is being exhausted. Once the Airmen received the calculations, they went back to their office to check the information to confirm that the system is meeting standards.
“Inspecting ventilation systems is imperative for us to help base personnel stay healthy and not become patients at the hospital,” said Airman 1st Class Julius Dinkins, 374 AMDS bioenvironmental engineering technician.
Performing this survey helps the flight accomplish their mission of identifying workplace hazards, evaluating the risks associated with that hazard, collecting exposure data through various sampling methods, implementing controls and ensuring that the controls are adequate.
“This survey is ensuring that the engineering control and ventilation system is providing an adequate amount of air flow to exhaust the chemical vapors to reduce formaldehyde exposures to an acceptable level,” Aguilar said.
The bioenvironmental engineering flight continuously performs ventilation inspections across the base throughout the year to ensure personnel can safely complete the mission.