Indoor Air Quality
There are many types of indoor pollutants that have been implicated in indoor air quality (IAQ) problems. For more information on each type of pollutant please click on the links below:
It is important to recognize that comfort and or illness may not be related to indoor air quality. Noise, lighting, ergonomic stressors, and job related psycho-social stressors can also contribute.
Communicating IAQ Problems
All IAQ investigations begin with a call to the Facilities & Operations Work Order Management. When an IAQ problem is caused by a situation, such as inadequate ventilation or excessive mold, then the problem may require a more detailed investigation. This may involve a contracted Industrial Hygienist and/or an upper level maintenance representative from Facilities & Operations. Sometimes the remedy may call for an extensive project and may be delayed by the need for non-routine sources of funding.
- Report poor indoor environment conditions to Facilities & Operations Work Order Management at firstname.lastname@example.org or 824-6490.These conditions include but are not limited to stuffy air, heating and cooling problems, annoying odors, wet surfaces, etc.
- Report water intrusion into buildings as soon as possible to the Facilities & Operations Work Order Management at email@example.com or 256-824-6490. The longer a material stays wet the higher the likelihood of excessive mold growth on the material.
- Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety when IAQ problems are persistent and if you have questions.
Preventing IAQ Problems
- Limit the use of products that produce odors or volatile solvents to specifically designed rooms and ventilation systems such as fume hoods, snorkel exhaust, etc.This applies to equipment that produces heat and odors as well.
- Minimize generation of dust or aerosols in the work area and insure the proper ventilation for dusts and aerosols is used.
- Maintain good housekeeping in work and break areas.Throw away old plants, garbage, food and clean up all spills immediately.
- Carpeting in offices and work areas should be cleaned frequently.
- Add water to floor drains and other drains that are not used frequently to prevent sewer odors from entering the building.
- Smoke at least 25 feet away from all campus buildings.
- Do not turn the air conditioner down to low.Cold air causes humidity to condense out of the air and dampen surfaces providing a water source for mold to grow.
- Do not open windows when air conditioning or heating is running.This allows moisture into the room.
- Do not place wet items, e.g., umbrellas, shoes, etc. in your office, leave them in the hallway or other place to dry.
- Remove live plants from the office environment.Live plants harbor many molds in the soil and may release large amounts of spores.
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