Ventilation is the mechanical system in a building that brings in “fresh” outdoor air and removes the “contaminated” indoor air. In a workplace, ventilation is used to control exposure to airborne contaminants. It is commonly used to remove contaminants such as fumes, dusts, and vapours, in order to provide a healthy and safe working environment.
Ventilation can be accomplished by natural means (e.g., opening a window) or mechanical means (e.g., fans or blowers). Industrial systems are designed to move a specific amount of air at a specific speed (velocity), which results in the removal (or “exhaust”) of undesirable contaminants. While all ventilation systems follow the same basic principles, each system is designed specifically to match to the type of work and the rate of contaminant release at that workplace.