Q: What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
A: Indoor air quality relates to air indoors that affects a person's comfort, health, or ability to work. The Occupational Health & Safety Administration don't currently have any standards or regulations pertaining to indoor air quality. However, OSHA does provide information and guidelines pertaining to IAQ. Certain states like California, Maryland, New Jersey, & New York have their own guidelines and can be found by contacting your state health department.
Q: What is considered a good indoor air quality?
A: Every workplace is different, but air quality can be controlled with the right equipment and practices. Good IAQ should revolve around the following:
- Comfortable temperature and humidity.
- Adequate supply of fresh outdoor air.
- Control of pollutants from inside and outside.
Q: What are the most common causes for poor IAQ?
A: Air quality can be changed and affected in many ways that can damage the health & safety of employees. The most common causes of bad indoor air quality are:
- Poor maintenance of air control equipment.
- Dampness and moisture.
- Contaminated air.
- Worker activities (i.e. remodeling, plumbing, construction)
Q: How can I identify IAQ problems at my workplace?
A: Recordkeeping is your best friend when it comes to identifying bad indoor quality in your workplace. Finding trends from the following questions below can help you identify any problems you may be having:
- Are you having symptoms at work that go away once you leave your workplace?
- Did symptoms start when new projects around the building began or any other big event?
- Do coworkers or visitors have the same problems?
- Has a doctor diagnosed you with an illness related to IAQ?