The purpose of this program is to establish written policies and procedures to be used at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the management of indoor air quality (IAQ).
The requirements of this written program apply to all campus indoor environments where University employees work. This program also applies to contractors and their subcontractors who have been hired to work on campus.
North Carolina State University is committed to providing a work environment that is free of recognized hazards and to investigating concerns that may be related to unacceptable indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality may be affected by multiple factors including, but not limited to, more tightly sealed buildings, the use of synthetic building materials and furnishings, the use of air purifiers and other pollutant sources, such as room air fresheners, and the use of various chemicals for pesticide management and cleaning.
Most IAQ complaints from building occupants are related to respiratory irritation, headache, odors, or fatigue. These concerns may be associated with chemical vapors, dust generated in the work environment, materials infiltrating from outside sources (such as pollen or engine exhaust), contaminants associated with fungal growth (mold) or other factors such as elevated carbon dioxide levels.
Responsibilities and Notifications
What you can do to prevent indoor air pollution
- Keep all HVAC supply and return grills open: the amount of ventilation is compromised by obstructing these openings
- Inform your supervisor of any troublesome odors or air quality concerns.
- Check with the IAQ Program Manager before you use air purifying units and other air scrubbers. These units may add chemical pollutants such as ozone to the air
- Refrain from using candles, air freshners and any “air freshner” sprays in the work area, as stated previously, they may add to the chemical burden
- Keep the personal use of colognes and perfumes to a minimum, they may be irritating to some individuals
- Avoid the application of pesticides, the use of these chemicals is limited to Facilities Operations pesticide applicators on
Environmental Health and Safety Center (EHSC)
Designate an Industrial Hygienist as the University’s IAQ Program Manager to investigate IAQ concerns of employees, contractors, and building occupants. The work area and building will be evaluated for probable sources of contaminants, such as chemical use and storage; general housekeeping; recent renovations and/or new furnishings, activities in work area, and the building HVAC system. The IAQ Program Manager will also address employee health concerns, symptoms, and sensitivities related to indoor air quality. Contact the IAQ Program Manager at 919-515-6862 or email the Occupational Health Manager.
- Contact IAQ Program Manager if building occupants experience irritations or odors that may be related to indoor air quality.
- Share results of IAQ investigations with pertinent staff members.
- Contact IAQ Program Manager and Human Resources for questions regarding temporary relocation of personnel during mold remediation, or if accommodations for employees experiencing IAQ-related symptoms are necessary.
Building and Department Liaisons
- All reports of IAQ problems and risks (e.g., odors, significant mold growth, faulty building humidification systems, water damage) should be forwarded to IAQ Program Manager and Facilities Operations Zone supervisor. In the event of major flooding or water damage, contact the Facilities Operations Zone supervisor as soon as possible for water extraction and drying of building materials. See link for flood safety: Flooded Area Safety and Sanitation.
- Ensure the timely execution and completion of stated action items as listed in IAQ Program Manager’s investigation reports.
- Notify building occupants of building construction/renovation projects that may contribute to indoor air quality concerns.
- Review and activate the odor and dust control procedure as necessary. See link: Odor Prevention and Dust Control
- Design and construct buildings so as not susceptible to water intrusion and in compliance with relevant building codes.
- Utilize preventative maintenance practices to keep spaces clean and dry, with the correct amount of fresh air, humidity and temperature in maintaining comfort and air quality.
- Provide water extraction services during water intrusion and flooding events.
- Follow accepted guidelines for remediation of water damaged and mold contaminated materials.
- Notify building liaisons of building construction/renovation/maintenance projects that may contribute to indoor air quality concerns.
- Consult with the IAQ Program Manager at EHSC for projects that could affect indoor air quality.
The basic factors that affect IAQ are indoor air pollutant sources; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; pollutant pathways; and occupants.
When flooding of an area has occurred, either from internal sources, heavy rains or sewer backup, important steps must be taken to assure the health and safety of individuals involved. Visit Flood Response Guidance for detailed information
Mold and Biologicals:
See the Environmental Health and Safety Mold Remediation Guidelines for more information. Contact the IAQ Program Manager at 919-515-6862, or email Occupational Health.