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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

The quality of the air we breathe inside a building can be effected by a wide range of physical, chemical, and biological properties.  The Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) for a room or building is a result of the interactions between all these influences.  Helpful information about indoor air quality is available from the Environmental Protection Agency.

While there is no specific OSHA regulation specific to indoor air quality, workplace safety concerns related to this issue are addressed under the OSHA General Duty Clause.  OSHA also provides this Indoor Air Quality Safety and Health Topic.

Factors that influence IAQ:

  • Comfort factors (e.g., temperature, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide)
  • Inadequate supply of outside air
  • Contamination from outside the building through air intakes, infiltration, open doors, and windows (Refer to the Nashville Daily Air Quality Index and Pollen Count.)
  • Contamination arising from sources within the building
  • Microbial contamination of ventilation systems or building interiors

VEHS Services

VEHS provides a wide variety of services related to indoor air quality investigations. Some of our IAQ related services include:

  • Inspect for excess moisture, presence of mold, and odor
  • Review historical details pertinent to building and occupant symptoms (often provided through the Occupational Health Clinic)
  • Air flow measurements
  • Measurement of comfort factors which include temperature, carbon dioxide, relative percent humidity, and other factors/contaminants as determined
  • Recommendations for remedial actions or follow-up studies based on the above investigation and monitoring

Important:  If you are experiencing medical symptoms that are thought to be caused by an indoor air quality problem, then you must seek medical attention.  Employees should go to the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic (OHC) and students should go to the Student Health Center (SHC).  Employees and students should go to the Emergency Department, if the incident occurs while the OHC or SHC are closed.

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