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IAQ recommendations

To ensure indoor air quality concerns are addressed, Human Resources has developed the following recommendations for occupants, departments and facility managers to assist in ensuring indoor air quality issues are resolved and the buildings meet legislative regulations and guidelines.

General recommendations

USQ sections should ensure existing local exhaust systems in areas such as copy rooms, chemical storage areas, laboratories, workshops, etc, are active. Departments should also consider substitution with less volatile materials or implementing at-source control of air contaminants, since this can have a major impact on indoor air quality. Where possible, construction, painting and roofing should be performed while areas are unoccupied.

During renovation activities, ventilation systems should be operated 24 hours a day. Using increased ventilation during and after these activities will reduce the impact on indoor air. USQ utilises “low emissions” construction materials in all its renovations and construction projects whenever possible but it may be helpful when planning renovations to schedule application of volatile materials such as paint, sealing, waterproofing and glues for the end of the day or end of week application.

Ventilation

Do:

  • Keep a few centimetres between walls and furnishings, to prevent humidity build-up.
  • Talk to Campus Services before you adjust the thermostats (this may affect temperature elsewhere) or turn off/close unit ventilators because you are too hot or cold.
  • Dispose of garbage promptly and properly
  • Maintain a log of symptoms – include the time, date, location etc.

Don’t:

  • Block return ducts or air supply vents
  • Cover up air return grilles
  • Place refrigerators, computers or printers too close to thermostats
  • Arrange furniture in a way that makes cleaning difficult

Cleanliness

  • Report spills and water leaks for immediate clean up
  • Make sure food and liquids are stored in tightly sealed containers.
  • Keep your work area free of dust accumulating materials, such as fabrics and stacks of papers.
  • Minimise clutter

Communication

  • Learn about staff members' sensitivities to indoor air contaminants and determine if there are sources in the work area that can be better controlled or removed.
  • Report your IAQ concerns to your supervisor and maintain a log stating time of day, date, locations, symptoms and occurrence of IAQ issue.
  • Be patient—some IAQ issues can be difficult and expensive to identify and correct.

Personal Factors

  • Consider the potential for allergens or irritants that may be released from personal belongings that you bring to the area.
  • Examples include plants, upholstered furniture, carpets, chemicals, fragrances, ozone generating air cleaners, and humidifiers.
  • Recognize that people with allergies, asthma, and other sensitivities may be affected by the particles or gases released from these materials.