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Improving Air Quality in Your Community

Outdoor Air - Industry, Business, and Home: Hospitality Industry (Lodging Sector) - Additional Information

Information provided for informational purposes onlyNote: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

This information will help you gain a better understanding of the lodging sector. The topics below address the following questions:

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What is the lodging sector?

The hospitality industry encompasses a wide range of services and activities such as lodging, restaurants, food services, and convention centers. The lodging sector consists of hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts.

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What kinds of pollutants are emitted from the lodging sector?

Lodging properties can emit pollutants such as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). These pollutants can contribute to health problems that may affect guests, employees, and the community.

  • Cleaning supplies, synthetic materials, paints, and pesticides can release HAPs and VOC. Although emitted indoors, these air pollutants will also eventually leak into the outdoor air through doors, ventilation systems, and other openings. Once outside, chemicals in these substances can react in the air to form ground-level ozone (smog), which has been linked to a number of respiratory effects. EPA has developed an extensive Web site related to ground-level ozone.
  • Ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons may be released by improperly maintained heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units, refrigeration units, and fire extinguishers. These substances can react in the atmosphere and deplete the ozone layer.

For more information on the toxicity of these pollutants, check out information in EPA's Health Effects Notebook and on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). EPA also has more information available at its Air Toxics Web site.

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How can I help the lodging sector reduce air pollution?

  • Make Connections
    • Get to know local lodging property managers. They know best about the materials and operations used in their businesses and the regulations with which they must comply.
    • Keep local media aware of progress by sending them updates. Publicity can reward success and attract more public involvement.
  • Make a Plan
    • One idea is to form a work group that includes local lodging property owners and operators to develop and implement workable pollution reduction plans.
  • Locate Resources
    • Find state, local, and Tribal contacts.
    • Use the resources listed on these Web pages to get help with analysis, technical information, equipment, training, and funding.
  • Encourage Lodging Properties to "Go Green."
    • A "green" lodging property is a property that is managed to be environmentally friendly through a conscious effort to reduce pollution.
      • Many people's preference to stay at a hotel that follows "green" principles may result in increased income for lodging properties.
      • Being a "green" hotel, which includes improving air quality, tells the world that the environment is important.
      • Being a "green" hotel also raises the awareness of lodging property staff and guests about the need to be as environmentally friendly as possible. When guests learn about a hotel's environmental activities, they provide positive feedback, which shows an increase in customer satisfaction.
    • Use media connections to provide coverage for successful efforts in reducing pollution. Positive publicity for successful "greening" efforts can mean increased business.
    • Visibly displayed awards or certificates stating that the lodging property is a "green" property may also increase business.
    • Motivate lodging property managers to become involved in "green" organizations for the hospitality industry such as Green Seal or the "Green" Hotels Association. Exit EPA Disclaimer
    • Encourage "green" lodging properties to become case studies that colleges, universities, and other lodging properties can use as a model for environmentally-friendly property management.
    • Check out information the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Exit EPA Disclaimer has developed about "green" hotels.
  • Encourage Standards Development

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What other Web sites related to pollution reduction in the lodging sector are available?

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