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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.

CERL Services

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.