INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution is caused by an accumulation of contaminants
that come primarily from inside the building, although some
originate outdoors. These pollutants may be generated by a
specific, limited source or several sources over a wide area, and
may be generated periodically or continuously. Common sources
of indoor air pollution include tobacco smoke, biological
organisms, building materials and furnishings, cleaning agents,
copy machines, and pesticides.
Health Problems and Ventilation
Harmful pollutants from a variety of sources can contribute to
building-related illnesses, which have clearly identifiable causes,
such as Legionnaire's disease. HVAC systems that are improperly
operated or maintained can contribute to sick building syndrome
(SBS); SBS has physical symptoms without clearly identifiable
causes. Some of these symptoms include dry mucous membranes
and eye, nose, and throat irritation. These disorders lead to
increased employee sick days and reduced work efficiency.
Indoor air quality services address the myriad factors which
influence enclosed areas, such as: airborne particulates;
formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds
(VOCs); ventilation system problems; cleaning materials;
hazardous materials/wastes; microorganisms (incl. mold/fungi)
and small animals, birds and reptiles.
Services include: facility inspection to identify potential hazards
and contaminant sources; occupant interviews; evaluation of the
building ventilation system; sampling for suspect contaminants;
and, recommendations for corrective action in work practices,
ventilation and other identified problem sources.