Indoor Air Quality

Many of the indoor air quality (IAQ) issues we are asked to look at  today are perceived issues rather than real health risks. Often, more complaints around IAQ are raised during the changing of the seasons due to weather changes and mechanical system inefficiencies. But to definitely determine whether your IAQ poses potential health problems for your employees, it’s important to perform an evaluation and possible testing, which in turn can give your employees peace of mind.

What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

In the world of Industrial Hygiene, Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of air in a building. IAQ is affected by a variety of considerations including:

  • Indoor air pollutants
  • Poor performing or outdated HVAC equipment
  • Ineffective controls of HVAC systems
  • Changing of the seasons
  • Poor housekeeping procedures
  • A lack of fresh air introduction into the building

A confluence of these conditions can negatively affect the health and comfort of a building’s occupants. During the change of the seasons, going from hot to cold, or heating season to air-conditioning season, complaints arise because systems may not have been turned on as quickly as stakeholders would have liked. In other cases, odors and even visible mold can create issues, especially for those with allergies. 

What are The Regulations for IAQ?

The negative effects of poor IAQ can be immediate or long-term, depending on the level of exposure, with symptoms ranging from irritation to headaches to respiratory issues. In many cases, the most immediate and costly impact of poor Indoor Air Quality is the emotional distress the issue causes many of the building’s occupants which affects morale and productivity, especially if the issue is not addressed in a proactive manner. 

Both EPA and OSHA have input into IAQ issues and guidelines but there are essentially no real regulations for the quality of indoor air which only confuses the issue more. We have found that involving the occupants of the building in the process of evaluating the IAQ of the building can be a very important aspect of solving IAQ issues but it must be handled in a prudent and thoughtful manner so as to have a successful outcome and that outcome is generally that all of the occupants, or at least the majority of them feel safe coming to work every day.

Make Sure Your IAQ is Within Regulation

To learn more about our Health & Safety Consulting and how The Lawson Group tests and monitors Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), schedule a free consultation by filling out the form below:

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