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Indoor Air Quality Awareness Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)

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Presentation on theme: "Indoor Air Quality Awareness Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Indoor Air Quality Awareness Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)

2 Outline IAQ Definition Mold Basics Moisture Sources The OEHS Mold/IAQ Management Plan Mold/IAQ Investigation How You Can Help

3 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)? According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA): Indoor air quality (indoor environmental quality) describes how inside air can affect a person's health, comfort, and ability to work.

4 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)? American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Acceptable Indoor Air: Air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations and which a substantial majority (usually 80%) of the people exposed do not express dissatisfaction -ASHRAE

5 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) IAQ Most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors Many spend most of their working hours in an office environment Pollutants in an indoor environment can increase the risk of illness May include temperature, humidity, lack of outside air, exposure to chemicals, or mold

6 Mold Basics Diverse group of organisms that are present everywhere – soil, water, and air Some are beneficial such as Yeast and Medicines May or may not produce odors Some species reproduce by means of spores

7 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Mold Basics Spores may or may not cause health problems in individuals –Symptoms are vague and include runny nose, eye and skin irritation, headache, flu-like symptoms, fatigue –Immune suppressed and the young and elderly immune systems may be more susceptible to adverse health effects Large counts indoors vs. outdoors or extensive growth constitutes a problem Grow on food and other surfaces that contain sufficient moisture when right conditions exist

8 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Moisture Sources Water and Potential Mold Pathways –Roof and Building Envelope –Pipe Chases –HVAC Systems Air Handlers Ducts –Leaks from Hot Water Tanks –Sewage Backflows –Condensation –Broken Water Lines –Infiltration Through Building Construction Materials

9 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) The OEHS Mold/IAQ Management Plan IAQ Problems are Identified By: Building Occupant Complaint First Report of Occupational Injury/Illness Routine Inspections Facilities Services Request

10 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Mold/IAQ – Investigation Protocol Overall Objectives –Gather information (interviews, questionnaires, and surveys) to locate potential causes –Determine symptoms of those with health issues or possible work related illness –Determine control measures and remediate the problem –Conduct preventive maintenance –Be proactive to prevent issues

11 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Mold/IAQ Investigation Initial Assessment Documentation of Complaint Gathering background information through: - An interview with individual(s) knowledgeable about the problem An IAQ questionnaire to obtain pertinent data about the problem, particular circumstances or activities surrounding the problem A review of a First Report of Occupational Injury/Illness and any other correspondence provided

12 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Mold/IAQ Investigation Building Characterization Gathering Information on: - Building Composition - Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems - Building Blueprints/Diagrams

13 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Mold/IAQ Investigation Walkthrough Survey To ensure that the information collected is accurate Provide an assessment of the overall condition of the building and its systems Determine if building systems are functioning properly Identify Specific Problem Areas - Specific pollutant sources or pathways (equipment, chemicals) - Improper cleaning procedures - HVAC problems (cleanliness, location of intakes, moisture problems)

14 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Mold/IAQ Investigation Intermediate Assessment – Sampling If visible mold growth is present: SAMPLING IS NOT NECESSARY Sampling is very complex & hard to quantify molds Sampling only performed: –For documentation of remedial efforts to include conditions before, during and after remediation –20-25% of individuals are experiencing adverse health effects that are believed to be due to work environment conditions

15 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Problems With Quantifying Molds No established exposure limits for molds Human Responses Range from none to serious for a mold Exposure limit for one mold/bioaerosol may be entirely inappropriate for another Not possible to collect and evaluate all bioaerosol components using a single sampling method

16 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Mold/IAQ Investigation Control Strategy Control/fix water intrusion or moisture Dry out wet materials ASAP Decisions about appropriate remediation strategies often can be made on the basis of a visible inspection. Establish plan to prevent future leaks and water episodes Follow-up Assessment Assess complaints after problem has been corrected

17 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP? Increase Your Awareness Immediately report potential problems to Facilities Services to ensure prompt clean up and dry out of water intrusion Properly Maintain Existing Building Systems Do Not Open Windows Do Not Change Thermostats Do Not Block Vents Clean Up Spills Contact the OEHS and Facilities Services

18 Tulane University Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Kim Chapital Manager – Occupational Health (504) Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OHS) Take Quiz


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