Part One: The Buildings Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning HVAC system
Part Two: The Source of Pollutants
Part Three: Moisture and Humidity Levels
The Source of Pollutants
One of the keys to improving indoor air quality in a facility is identifying and minimizing pollutants. These pollutants can come from both indoor and outdoor sources.
The quality of the air in the facility is affected by these pollutants, and as stated in Part 1 of the series, indoor air quality can directly impact the health and productivity of your workers.
Here are some of the pollutant source categories you should be aware of:
Biological contaminants can include mold, bacteria, viruses, pollen, pet dander, pollen, cockroaches and dust mites. All of which come are living things or come from living things. These contaminants may result from inadequate cleaning, improper humidity levels, water spills or they can be brought in through ventilation or occupants.
Many of these contaminants are small enough to be inhaled by building occupants, causing health problems. Contaminants like mold, dust mites, and pollen are common allergy triggers. Contaminants can cause allergic reactions and asthma episodes.
Chemical pollutants can include smoke, chemical spills, gases (carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide) and emissions released from facility equipment.
These are solid or liquid substances in the air that you can’t see but they can be harmful to health. Particles include dust, dirt or other substances in buildings.
- When it comes to managing pollutants, it’s important that you assess your building conditions and identify which pollutants your building may be affected by.
- Evaluate the cleaning and maintenance process to ensure that the building is cleaned as thorough as possible.
- Monitor humidity levels to make sure molds won’t grow. If there are cases of mold, have them cleaned or removed.
- Educate and train staff on indoor air quality practices.
- If pests are a problem, use only necessary pest control practices, and non-chemical methods.
- Invest in indoor air quality products.
- Evaluate HVAC system design, operation and maintenance and integrate indoor air quality practices.
- Establish a smoke-free policy.
- Properly isolate areas where renovations or remodeling activities are conducted.
- Track health complaints to assist in solving indoor air-related issues.