indoor air quality

Indoor Air Quality Presented by Katherine Cavanaugh, CSP Manager, - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Indoor Air Quality Presented by Katherine Cavanaugh, CSP Manager, Occupational Safety and Health & Loss Control University of Maryland Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability & Risk Objectives Indoor air quality

  1. Indoor Air Quality Presented by Katherine Cavanaugh, CSP Manager, Occupational Safety and Health & Loss Control University of Maryland Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability & Risk

  2. Objectives  Indoor air quality introduction  Discuss primary concerns typically associated with indoor air quality (IAQ)  Case studies of indoor air quality surveys  Current IAQ initiatives at UMD

  3. Indoor Air Quality Can Impact  Heath  Well-being  Productivity

  4. What is indoor air quality?  What is “good indoor air quality”?  What are some challenges for staff when investigating IAQ concerns?

  5. “Good indoor air quality”  Indoor air with acceptable ventilation (according to ASHRAE standards).  Sources of indoor air contaminants are minimized.  75% or more of building occupants are comfortable at work.

  6. General IAQ Pollutants  Chemical  Particles (non-biological)  Biological

  7. Chemical  Products used in the building  Chemical spills  Pesticides  Construction supplies  Products of combustion (CO and Formaldehyde)

  8. Particles (non-biological)

  9. Chemical and Particulate Health Effects  Particulate health effects vary  Silica  Total dust  Depends on chemical  Consult SDS

  10. Biological  Bacteria  Viruses  Mold/fungi  Dust mites  Animal dander  Pollen

  11. Biological Health Effects  Allergenic  Respiratory system irritation  Asthma  Molds can cause localized skin or mucosal infections.  Some may be more susceptible than others.

  12. Mold Facts  Mold can be found almost anywhere.  Mold requires moisture to grow.  All molds have the potential to cause health effects.  Health effects vary and are dependent on the individual.


  14. Mycotoxins  Molds can produce mycotoxins  What we know is limited to effects after ingestion.  Mycotoxins are not always present when mold is in a building.  More research is needed on this topic.

  15. Primary sources of IAQ problems (500 IAQ investigations by NIOSH)  Inadequate ventilation – 52%  Contamination from inside the building – 16%  Contamination from outside the building – 10%  Microbial colonization – 5%  Contamination from building fabric – 4%  Unknown sources – 13%

  16. Encouraging Good IAQ Office Behaviors  Purchasing furniture with low VOC/Formaldehyde  Keeping HVAC in mind during renovations  Exclude the use of air fresheners/ionizing air cleaners  Reporting floods/water-intrusion promptly  MOISTURE CONTROL is the key to MOLD CONTROL

  17. Proactive IAQ Practices  Building is under slight positive pressure (air comes out of the building when exterior doors are opened.)  Monitor carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity  Regularly maintain HVAC system  Regularly conduct inspections  Roof  Walls  Foundation  Windows

  18. Conducting an IAQ Survey Interviews and Investigation

  19. Challenges with IAQ Surveys  Building history.  Sometimes are called in months or years after the issue was first observed.  The source(s) of the concern can be hidden.  Coordination with personnel.

  20. What do you do first?  Interview employees  Interview building personnel  Visual inspection  Data/Sample collection (if warranted)

  21. Building Personnel Interviews  What is the configuration of the HVAC system?  What preventative maintenance is performed on the system?  Any recent floods/moisture intrusion?  If so, what was the cleanup response?  More questions  cleaning chemicals  furniture purchased  recent alterations

  22. IAQ Survey Tools

  23. Air Sampling for Mold  Air samples run for 2-10 minutes  Dependent on time of day and weather  Can cause false alarm or assurance

  24. Mold Regulations – Where are they?  Currently there are no federal or state regulations for mold remediation.  Developing regulations is difficult because there are no typical buildings.  Accepted industry guidelines have been developed by the EPA, AIHA, and IICRC.

  25. EPA and Air Sampling for Mold  There are no federal limits for mold in building air.  This includes standards or threshold limit values (TLV).  The EPA states if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary.  Surface samples may occasionally be obtained to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated.

  26. CDC and Air Sampling for Mold  Current evidence indicates allergies are the diseases most associated with mold.  The susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold.  Sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining an individual’s health risk.  If an individual is susceptible to mold, and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk, and it should be removed.  Standards for judging acceptable or tolerable quantities have not been established.

  27. Visible mold growth on materials indoors is not an acceptable condition and should be corrected

  28. Questions Before Remediating  Are there hazardous materials present?  Are there existing moisture problems in the building?  Have building materials been wet more than 48 hours?  Are there hidden sources of water or is the humidity too high (high enough to cause condensation)?  Are building materials or furnishings visibly damaged?  What is the area (SF) of materials affected?

  29. Mold Remediation Plan Area LESS than 10 square feet  Can be performed in-house  Enrolled in University Respiratory Protection Program  Departmental involvement varies  Requires specialized training for front line staff and supervisors  Recommends repairing the sources of moisture.  Remove or clean affected materials.  Repair as necessary.

  30. Mold Remediation Plan Area GREATER than 10 square feet  Performed by an outside contractor.  Repair source(s) of moisture.  Containment (environmental controls) and personal protective equipment in use.  Remove and/or clean affected materials.  Reconstruct as necessary.

  31. Verification Inspection  Performed by qualified personnel  No visible dust/debris  No moisture-affected materials  No visible mold growth

  32. Case Studies McKeldin Library HJ Patterson

  33. Flood Response  Respond to clean water within 24-48 hours  UMD FM has an incident response unit on call 24 hours  Specialized training for area maintenance personnel in FM  Residential Facilities has trained housekeeping staff in mold remediation for <10SF.  Refer to EPA “Mold in Schools and Commercial Buildings”  Check subfloor under carpeting or other flooring.  Remove cove base from walls if carpeting is affected  If drywall is wet, remove it.  REMEMBER: ALWAYS CHECK ASBESTOS INVENTORY  SOP developed to address ACM in emergencies

  34. HJ Patterson Renovation IAQ concerns during construction

  35. Diesel Fumes  Occupants in offices near the elevator closest to the construction were observing diesel fumes intermittently.  Odors were strongest when generators and diesel powered equipment was operated next to the adjacent wing.

  36. Why were they observing the fumes indoors?

  37. Observations  Offices were directly adjacent to the elevator and the stairwell.  Both the elevator and stairwell entrances were next to areas where equipment was in operation.  Air moved from the elevator shaft/stairwell into the hallway towards the offices as the return was down the hall.

  38. Contractor and FM Responses  The contractor installed plastic sheeting over the stairwell and elevator entrances. This would allow for easy egress in emergencies, but would block diesel fumes from being entrained indoors.  FM switched the outdoor air intake for the space to the opposite side of the building.

  39. Observations  Brick dust was observed in the hallway  The partition was no longer effective  Dust suppression methods were not in use during drilling activities

  40. MacGyver was wrong. Duct tape does not fix everything.

  41. ESSR and FM Responses  Foreman who responded by cleaning up the brick dust using wet methods.  Contractors built new barrier.  FM reported they would inform the contractor wet methods or HEPA vacuum attachments should be used when performing masonry work.  Response would be a bit different in 2019 with the new Silica regulation.

  42. McKeldin Library – What We Knew  Mold growth on books during the cooling seasons.  Several studies had been performed (with air testing)  HVAC upgrades were installed  Dehumidifiers and fans were in use  Problem continued

  43. Responses  Books were inspected and sequestered (cleaned by a specialty contractor)  Several supply registers were redirected

  44. Conditions Observed  Data showed relative humidity levels above 70-80%  Supply air blows directly onto books  Construction dust from recent activities was not being controlled


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