Regulatory Compliance Solutions
What is IAQ?
Simply put, IAQ is Indoor Air Quality, the quality of the air we breath indoors in our homes, offices, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities.
Americans have become increasingly aware of pollution and the impact we as a people have had on our environment. As a result, we have taken positive steps to reduce the levels of contaminants in our air, water, and soil. Some of the steps we have taken include forming the USEPA and other regulatory bodies that promulgate and enforce environmental regulations. No doubt, the effect of these agencies and the regulations have been instrumental in reducing the amount of pollutants released into our environment. More important to our overall effort to protect our environment is our individual awareness that people are the real polluters and that we, as a people, can make a difference.
In the last several years, we have become aware of a new type of pollution (actually, it has existed for a long time). Sick building syndrome, radon, second hand smoke, asbestos, and lead in paint are all terms that have become common. We are now recognizing that indoor pollution is a major problem.
Scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Interestingly, people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. In short, we may be spending most of our time in the more severely polluted atmosphere.
As stated, indoor air pollution is really not new. We have just become more aware of it. Indoor air pollution includes: environmental tobacco smoke; radon; combustion products; household products, household chemicals; and biological contaminants such as bacteria, molds, mildew, viruses, animal dander and cat saliva, house dust mites, cockroaches, and pollen. For many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.
Are you, your family, or your workers exposed to indoor air pollution? Of course. Many indoor air contaminants are naturally occurring. Furthermore, we have increased the likelihood of indoor air contaminants accumulating by weatherizing our homes and offices to save energy. Yes, energy conservation is a good idea. However, it does contribute to indoor air quality problems if there is not sufficient ventilation.
Do you think you may have an indoor air quality problem in your home, office, apartment, or other building? An Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) investigation can help you determine if there is a problem that should be addressed. Frequently, indoor air quality problems in large commercial buildings cannot be effectively identified or remedied without a comprehensive building investigation conducted by an experienced professional company. These investigations include written questionnaires and consultations in which building investigators assess the history of occupant symptoms and building operation procedures. In some cases, the investigators may quickly uncover the problem. More often, however, the investigators will need to come to the building to conduct personal interviews and look for possible sources of the problems. The investigators inspect the design and operation of the ventilation system and other building features. When appropriate, the investigators may take measurements of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and microbial contaminants. Once the problem is identified, the consultant can make recommendations to eliminate the or remediate the problem.
There are many sources of information available on indoor air quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the U.S. Public Health Service, and OSHA are just a few. Additionally, August Compliance Solutions, Inc. offers free telephone consultations to help you determine if a problem exists and what course of action you should take. Please check CONTACT INFO for information on contacting us at ACS.
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