Indoor Air Quality
EH&S offers indoor air quality (IAQ) services designed to help identify sources of discomfort or illness, providing guidance to other departments and contractors who assist in mitigating any identified issues.
IAQ complaints can be caused by building materials, building operations, maintenance processes, external environmental sources, personal items brought indoors, lack of sanitation, and other sources, including the following:
- Dusts and fumes from renovation projects (e.g., paint, tar, etc.)
- Pet dander carried on clothing, or animal or bird droppings, or insect parts
- Odors from scented candles and other devices or perfumes/colognes
- Off-gassing from new furnishings, carpets, etc.
- Dry sewage drain traps that allow sewer gases to enter the building
- Re-entrainment of vehicle exhaust through building openings
- Migration of odors or fumes from other work locations within the building
- Inadequate temperature control, humidity control, or air distribution leading to drafty or stuffy rooms.
- High concentration of office equipment (i.e., copiers, fax machines, printers, etc.) in small or poorly ventilated work areas
- Personal factors, such as common cold, allergies, etc.
If you have IAQ concerns, please contact Ashley Koehler at 901.678.2740.
MOLD INFORMATION FOR BUILDING OCCUPANTS
Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture is present. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; however, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling the moisture levels. It is important to report moisture issues quickly to eliminate the moisture and reduce the risk of mold growth. Report visible mold to EH&S for investigation.
Here are some tips for avoiding mold growth in your building:
- Report stained/bowed ceiling tiles to your supervisor or Physical Plant for an investigation of the water source.
- Report condensation seen forming on windows, walls, or pipes to your supervisor for investigation and action.
- Report water infiltration around windows or exterior walls to your supervisor and Physical Plant for investigation and repairs.
- Do not block or shut vents or building air returns.
- Do not over water plants. (Periodically break up dirt around the plant to avoid mold overgrowth in the dirt.)
- Clean-up water spills immediately.
- Minimize accumulations of paper, cardboard, and other cellulose-based materials.
- Clean your work area routinely.
- Avoid concentrating materials and equipment within offices and other small or poorly ventilated locations.
- If carpet is present in your work area, have it cleaned regularly.
- Avoid portable humidifiers.
Indoor Air Quality Links
- A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace - Courtesy of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool for General Buildings - Courtesy of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool for School Buildings - Courtesy of NIOSH
- Indoor Environmental Quality - Courtesy of the CDC, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings - Courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Mold Resource Center - Courtesy of the American Industrial Hygiene Association
- Preventing Mold-Related Problems in the Indoor Workplace - Courtesy of OSHA