IAQ & MOLD:
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
According to the
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), approximately 70%
of the U.S. work force (89 million people) work in non-industrial,
non-agricultural, indoor work environments.
Over the past 25 years, health complaints related to these indoor environments
have received increasing attention due to changes in building construction
(i.e., tight buildings), litigation issues, and media attention.
Indoor air quality or IAQ is used to describe indoor environments (i.e., office
buildings) that may cause adverse health effects or discomfort to building
Many factors can contribute to indoor air quality issues, including:
system deficiencies (i.e., poor maintenance, insufficient outdoor air,
building materials, furnishings, equipment;
outdoor combustion sources;
maintenance and housekeeping;
sources (i.e., relative humidity>70%, water leaks, condensation, etc.);
& Mold growth.
What can you
do if your building has IAQ issues?
Here are the
procedures that our professionals follow to identify any potential issues:
walk-through of the building to identify possible sources of the problem.
Look at both exterior and interior parts of the building, ventilation
systems, and areas of potential contaminants.
following: interview building occupants; identify possible pathways and
sources of exposure; and review previous testing or sampling data,
maintenance records, or other pertinent information.
monitoring to confirm the presence or to identify levels of potential
report with results the walk-through, sampling analysis, and recommendations
to address the problems.
in meetings (with client representatives and building occupants) to increase
awareness of IAQ issues and communicate with building occupants.
amount of outdoor air as recommended by the American Society of Heating,
Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
maintenance procedures. Conduct routine cleaning and maintenance of
ventilation systems to include changing of filter regularly, proper drainage
of pans, cleaning of cooling and re-heat coils, proper location of intakes,
humidity and temperature levels (ASHRAE recommended range of 30 to 60% RH
and 68 °F to 79 °F).
IAQ program to include the following:
respond to IAQ issues;
or renovation activities;
activities such as smoking lounges, pest control, housekeeping, etc.; and
Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of chemicals used in the building like cleaning
with building occupants regarding the following:
information including guidelines and regulations;
building-related IAQ issues;
building activities (renovation, abatement, repairs, pest control, etc.);
testing data; and
design or layout of the building and its systems.
periodic or annual testing of IAQ parameters (temperature, relative
humidity, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, etc.).
documentation of building activities (renovation, abatement, remediation,
housekeeping, etc.), sampling and testing data, ventilation system records
(testing and balancing maintenance, design changes, problems, etc.),
occupant complaints and issues, etc.
If you have any questions about IAQ, mold, or if you would like to learn more
about our services, please contact Sampa Das Ostrem, Certified Industrial
Hygienist, at (217) 299-0598.