The conventional way to check for air pollutants is with an Indoor Air Quality Test. Indoor air quality describes how the inside air could affect a person’s health, comfort, concentration and ability to work. It can include temperature, humidity, lack of outside air and exposure to other chemicals. OSHA does not have a standard in place on indoor air quality but they do have a set of guidelines in place. Some of the guidelines OSHA has in place are; comfortable temperature and humidity, adequate supply of fresh outdoor air, and control of pollutants from inside and outside of the building such as welding fumes.
Common Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality.
Employees working in buildings with poor indoor air quality may notice unpleasant or musty odors or the buildings may feel hot and stuffy. Some workers may complain about symptoms that happen at work and go away when they leave work. Fever, cough, and shortness of breath can be symptoms of a more serious problem. The most common causes of IAQ problems in buildings are:
- Not enough ventilation, lack of fresh outdoor air or there is contaminated air being brought into the building.
- Poor maintenance and proper care of ventilation, heating and air-conditioning systems.
- Leaks, flooding or high humidity could lead to dampness and moisture.
- Work activities, such as construction or remodeling.
- Indoor and outdoor contaminated air.
Indoor Air Quality Testing.
There is not a single test to check for indoor air quality but a responsible employer should check measurements of temperature, humidity and air flow. Inspection and testing of the ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems should be performed in order to verify that your current system is working properly. A building walk-through to check for odors and look for water damage, leaks or pest droppings may be helpful. If any leaks are detected they need to be eliminated. Standing water in humidifiers, air conditioning units, on roofs and in boiler pans could become contaminated with bacteria or fungi that will then need to be eliminated. In some circumstances, specific testing for radon or for asbestos may be required as part of building occupancy. In schools asbestos needs to be checked every three years and re-inspected every 6 months as specified in the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).
How can AMI Environmental protect employees and the reputation of business?
At AMI Environmental, our main goal is to assist businesses and create a safe working environment, while adhering to government regulations. With decades of experience, our Industrial Hygiene Professionals purpose is to help our clients not only protect your workers but also manage risk. Allowing you to then enjoy the peace of mind knowing your employees will be protected from harm. AMI will work to establish and maintain a safe work environment, including surveying your facility for risks; provide testing within your facility; maintain testing protocol; and assist in the recording process. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Doug Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org.