What is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is defined as air quality within the buildings and structures that would impact the health and comfort of its occupants. Factors that can affect indoor air quality include:
- Temperature variations
- Humidity levels
- Microbial contamination
- VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
- Particulates (dusts from construction activities, poor housekeeping etc.)
Exposure to poor indoor air quality can cause health effects to occupants such as dizziness, nausea, headaches, upper respiratory irritation, dryness and irritation of skin. Some of the common IAQ issues throughout the hospital can be prevented through proper housekeeping practices, preventive maintenance of the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning system), and dusts control during construction and renovation projects and use of local exhaust ventilation in laboratories.
How should Indoor Air Quality complaints be reported?
All indoor air quality complaints should be directed to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). The complaints will be investigated by EHS and recommendations will be made to correct the issues.
Currently, there are no IAQ standards set by any regulatory agencies. However, there are recommended guidelines from different agencies such as the EPA and OSHA and professional organizations such as ASHRAE and NIOSH.
If any employee experiences health issues related to poor air quality, please visit Workforce Health and Safety (WHS) and also contact Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) for an assessment of the environment.