Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
As Americans, we spend nearly 90% of our time indoors. Indoor air is not always safe and
comfortable especially in work settings. Although there are some applicable standards
promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it is now
clear that both comfort and human health can be affected by long-term exposure to pollutant
levels well below published standards. Air pollutants are generally inhaled and initially impact
the respiratory tract. OSHA points out that 14 minutes per employee work day (3% real cost) in
efficiency can be lost due to poor indoor air quality conditions. This can calculate into a major
cost and expenditure to any type of business operation. The cost and legal issues of indoor air
quality are today not tomorrow.
The Building Environment
There are various types of facilities such as nonindustrial (office buildings & schools),
industrial workplaces, and health care facilities (hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, etc.). Although
generally designed for different uses, they all have common parameters of measurement
regarding indoor air quality (IAQ). Included are Carbon Dioxide, Relative Humidity,
Thermal Comfort and Odors.
Indoor air pollution can be caused by an accumulation of contaminants that occur inside the
building, although some originate outside. Common sources include Respirable particles,
Asbestos, Pesticides, Tobacco Smoke, Radon, Formaldehyde, Volatile Organic Compounds
(VOCs) and Combustion Gases. A variety of air contaminants can be hazardous to human
health in a building.
Chemical Contaminants - Noninfectious Organic
Various chemicals (especially those with perceptible odor) used in work processes are
known to be hazardous to personnel and the work environment if not properly handled or
ventilated. Such vaporous chemicals can effect the immune system. Included in this category
would be chemicals such as Acetic acid, Benzene, Formaldehyde, Nitrous oxide, and
Xylene. These type of chemicals do carry health warnings and can be part of a multiple
parameter air problem in a site or building.
Biological Contaminants - Infectious Health Agents
Living viruses, bacteria, micro fungi, and protozoa can grow in other organisms to cause
disease. Most are airborne in nature. This means that the species become airborne in sufficient
quantity to result in disease, survive transfer through the air, and cause infection through
inhalation. Species known to occur as pathogens include Aspergillus, Cladosporium,
Penicllium, Scedosporium, Strachybotrys chartarum and Trichoderma among others.
EnviroAnalysis examines special microbial sources such as water spray systems, humidifiers,
fancoil units, porous insulation in HVAC systems, and water-damaged spaces. Samples are
conducted both indoor and outdoor using a wide variety of sophisticated instrumentation to
determine the concentration and kinds of airborne agents.
The ventilation system within a building is dynamic and varies according to design use,
specifications and maintenance. Primary functions of the system include
(1) restriction of air movement in and between various departments;
(2) specific requirements for ventilation and filtration to dilute and remove contamination in the
form of odor, airborne microorganisms, filtration to dilute and remove contamination in the form
of odor, airborne microorganisms, viruses, hazardous chemical and radioactive substances;
(3) various area requirements regarding temperature, relative humidity and odor control; (4) the
design sophistication needed to permit precise control of environmental needs. The system is
required to perform all these functions in light of code necessity and budgetary constraints. The
core needs of ventilation efficiency are an important basis of EnviroAnalysis's service profile.
EnviroAnalysis, Inc. has assembled a diversified team that has been following IAQ
issues and problems for close to a decade. We have continued to study and understand the issues
of indoor air. Our approach begins with a review (site survey) and review of facts to determine
the correct compliance strategy. By conducting comprehensive surveys, review of processes,
work practices, ventilation efficiency and engineering controls, EnviroAnalysis will
establish a program and strategy applicable to your facility needs as well as on-going periodic
The company is currently assisting clients nationwide to determine their IAQ needs. We
have also conducted educational seminars on Indoor Air Quality issues in conjunction with
regulatory requirements. Call or E-mail us
today for further information. EnviroAnalysis can help you evaluate your facility needs
and put our extensive knowledge to work for you.