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Improve indoor air quality

March 1, 2012

Workers exposed to poor indoor air quality may experience headaches, shortness of breath, coughing or nausea. The Environmental Protection Agency offers the following advice for improving indoor air quality:

  • Maintain a good working relationship with building management.
  • Make sure air supply vents are not blocked by furniture or equipment.
  • Manage pollutant sources, such as smoking, remodeling and renovation materials, housekeeping and pest control products, or exhaust fumes from loading docks or garages.
  • Isolate areas chosen for remodeling or renovation activities to minimize exposure to pollutants or schedule activities for weekends.
  • Moisture and relative humidity can cause mold and other contaminants to thrive. Respond quickly to leaks, floods and other incidents.
  • Provide educational opportunities for staff members that establish clear pollutant source management procedures.
  • Speak with a physician if any health problems occur to discuss possible symptoms caused by indoor air-related problems.
  • Store food correctly and dispose of garbage quickly.
  • Minimize outdoor particles of dust or dirt that may be drawn into a building from outside, but may also be produced from sanding wood, drywall, printing, copying or operating equipment.
  • In the event that an employee reports a symptom believed to be caused by poor indoor air quality, investigate the ventilation system and consider help from a qualified professional.