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
- 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
- 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
- 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
919-513-0647 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
and Biologicals: Mold, mildew, dust mites, animal and insect parts are
all agents that can adversely affect indoor air quality. Moisture-related
problems in buildings can result in the growth or amplification of biological
or microbial organisms such as mold, mildew, dust mites and bacteria. Exposure
to these organisms can increase risk of allergic illness, trigger asthma, cause
respiratory infections, or have other health effects. Typical sources of
moisture are structural leaks, plumbing leaks, flooding, and HVAC-related
humidity control problems. Proper cleaning and building maintenance, especially
moisture control, are essential in the control of mold and other biological
For more detailed information, see:
CDC_NIOSH Dampness and Mold
NC Public Health: Mold
US EPA: Mold
AIHA Mold Facts
NC State University: Moisture
Control and Prevention Guide
Organic Compounds: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted from
paints, solvents, building materials, air fresheners, dry-cleaned clothing,
aerosol sprays, adhesives, fabrics and many more sources. In fact, indoor air
may contain several hundred different VOCs. Some of these VOCs can cause eye,
nose, and throat irritation; headaches; loss of coordination; nausea; and other
more severe illnesses.
Ventilating & Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems: HVAC
systems should be designed to meet the needs of a specific building based on
its design, use, and occupant activities. The HVAC system should filter the
air, heat or cool as necessary, and control relative humidity during the
cooling season. Some systems also introduce outdoor air during this process to
dilute building contaminants. A poorly maintained HVAC system can allow water
to build up in the unit, creating conditions where the system itself can become
a reservoir for biological contaminants. Inadequate systems can also allow high
moisture levels that foster the growth of mold and mildew. For these reasons,
it is very important that HVAC systems be inspected on a regular basis to
ensure that the systems are clean and functioning as designed.
US EPA Indoor Air Quality
US EPA IAQ Large Buildings
US EPA IAQ Office Buildings
US EPA IAQ Ventilation Factsheet