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The NIOSH approach to conducting indoor air quality investigations in office buildings.
Bierbaum-PJ; Gorman-RW; Wallingford-KM
Energy Technology XVI, Proceedings of the Sixteenth Energy Technology Conference, February 28 through March 2, 1989, Washington, D.C., Government Institutes, Inc., Rockville, Maryland 1989 Feb; :347-359
The quality of the air inside workplaces has become of increasing concern to the office worker and as of December 1987, 484 investigations have been made by NIOSH on behalf of workers in this regard. The methodology currently used during such studies was reviewed and some of the data gathered from these studies was presented. In industrial situations a good starting place has been to identify the agents in use at the site. Such is not the case with indoor air quality determinations at office buildings. Three response levels were developed. First, a self help evaluation was offered by sending the requestor materials and offering to help through phone consultations. Secondly, an initial evaluation was performed by NIOSH and recommendations were provided for solving the problems identified. Thirdly, NIOSH could conduct a full scale investigation. For background assessments, NIOSH gathered by phone as much information as possible and requested copies of any reports of prior surveys. For the initial site assessment, a common protocol included five separate steps or parts: opening conference, walk through evaluation, personal interviews, phase-I of environmental monitoring, and a closing conference. An additional site assessment may be performed, if necessary. From the investigations so far conducted, the symptoms and health complaints reported by the workers are too diverse and nonspecific to identify a causative agent. The types of problems identified included contamination from the building material, microbiological contamination, contamination from outside the building, contamination from inside the building, and inadequate ventilation.
Indoor-air-pollution; Office-workers; Air-quality-control; Closed-building-syndrome; Construction-materials; Ventilation-systems; Workplace-studies; Microorganisms; Indoor-environmental-quality
Energy Technology XVI, Proceedings of the Sixteenth Energy Technology Conference, February 28 through March 2, 1989, Washington, D.C., Government Institutes, Inc., Rockville, Maryland
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division