Indoor Air Quality

Factors Influencing Air Quality

The quality of the air inside a building is affected by a variety of comfort, physical, chemical and biological factors. Factors influencing the indoor air quality of a room or building include:

  • Comfort issues (temperature, humidity, "stuffiness")
  • Supply of fresh air to the building
  • Accumulation of particulate, biological or chemical contaminants originating from within or outside the building

Addressing Indoor Air Quality Concerns

In the event of an unexpected and/or unusual odor in a work area, identify the source of the odor as soon as possible. Begin by asking other building occupants about work or activities that may be going on that could be the cause. If the source cannot be identified, or if the odors are extreme or are causing acute reactions to building occupants, contact EHS at 258-5294. EHS staff will respond and will help to identify the source and recommend actions.

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Comfort Factors

While the University aims to provide work areas where as many people as possible can work at their highest level of productivity and effectiveness, this goal is balanced against the physical and engineering constraints of the work areas. It is not possible to provide complete comfort to 100% of the population of every workspace due to individual sensitivities.

If there appear to be problems with temperature, humidity, a feeling of stuffiness or not enough fresh air, report the concern to Facilities Customer Service Center at 258-8000.

Mold or Other Biological Contaminants

Information on reporting and response to mold and microbial growth concerns can be found in the Health and Safety for the Campus Community section of the website.

Odors or Other Suspected Pollutants

In the event of an unexpected and/or unusual odor in a work area, identify the source of the odor as soon as possible. Begin by asking other building occupants about work or activities that may be going on that could be the cause. If the source cannot be identified, or if the odors are extreme or are causing acute reactions to building occupants, contact EHS at 258-5294. EHS staff will respond and will help to identify the source and recommend actions.

If there is evidence of chemical or dust contamination of the space, EHS will assist in determining the nature and amount of contamination and will compare this information to Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulatory limits and recommended standards from other recognized organizations.