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Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality (IAQ) involves the contents of indoor air that could affect the health and comfort of building occupants. Though specific regulations have not been developed for IAQ in the work place, the MSU Office of Environmental Health & Safety considers recommendations from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

An IAQ investigation is like detective work - defining the problem, looking for clues, and finding a solution through a process of narrowing the possible causes, and developing and testing hypotheses.
 

To report an indoor air quality problem, you should do the following:

1. For temperature, odor or small complaints, suspected water leaks or visible mold:
  • The occupant reports their concern to Facilities Management through the work order system.
  • Facilities Management will investigate and determine the source and make any necessary repairs.
  • Facilities Management will defer the complaint to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety if they cannot remedy the problem.
  • Environmental Health and Safety will interview building occupants and conduct a building survey.
  • The occupant may be requested to complete an IAQ log to track odors, or conditions to better assist in the investigation.

2. For IAQ complaints with no visible odors, leaks or mold:
  • The occupant will submit a work order for the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).
  • EHS will interview the complainant, building occupants and conduct a building survey
  • The occupant may be requested to complete an IAQ log to track odors, or conditions to better assist in the investigation.
  • EHS may contact Physical Plant when necessary if issues with the HVAC or other building systems are identified during the investigation.

These steps work to assist in determining an appropriate remediation strategy. Investigation and remediation of IAQ concerns is a joint effort between Facilities Management, EHS, and the occupant(s) reporting the problem. Most IAQ problems or complaints can be remedied quickly. However, complex situations (e.g., large areas of complaints, mechanical malfunctions, intermittent odors, etc.), may take more time to reach a resolution.

Everyone can do their part in improving Indoor Air Quality in your workplace by practicing the 3 C’s of IAQ as described in Indoor Air Quality – Promoting Healthy Workplace Conditions in Campus Buildings.
 

1st “C” is CLEANING:

Because microbial growth thrives in wet or humid conditions, cleanliness in the office spaces and common areas can assist in improving air quality and promoting a healthy and comfortable living environment free of mold, pests and insects.


2nd “C” is CLIMATE:

Controlling room climate is essential to the success of managing indoor air quality and comfort.


3rd “C” is COMMUNICATION:

Communication of any leaks or water intrusion to Facilities Management is required immediately, as it only takes 24-48 hours for mold or mildew growth.
Natural gas leak or sewer odor emergencies should be reported IMMEDIATELY to Facilities Management Work Control: 606-783-2066 or MSU Police 606-783-2035 after hours or on weekends.