NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Indoor air quality.
Occupational and environmental health: recognizing and preventing disease and injury, 5th edition. Levy BS, Wegman DH, Baron SL, Sokas RK, eds. Philadelphia PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005 Nov; :415-426
The focus of occupational health has been transformed in many ways by the increasing proportion of the workforce employed in offices and other kinds of public facilities, merging in many respects with the concerns of environmental health. Once considered safe by crude comparison with industrial settings such as construction, mining, and agriculture, experience has proved that these indoor environments are not free of significant health hazards. Moreover, the workers engaged in these sectors are neither experienced with environmental risks, nor as well prepared in general to think about hazards of work as their industrial counterparts were even long before the modem regulatory era. Because almost all previous attention has focused on the kinds of conditions and hazards that arise in more traditionally dangerous settings, the regulatory framework has not evolved forms of controls that ensure, at least in law, that work will be safe. This chapter is divided into two sections. The first deals with the spectrum of problems that occur indoors in nonindustrial buildings, focusing on common features of implicated facilities. The second deals with the spectrum of clinical complaints related to low-dose chemical exposures (relative to doses that occur in industry), which have received increasing attention. Although these problems of chemical sensitivity most often occur in association with indoor nonindustrial environments, they may also be seen in a range of other work settings as well as in the non work environment. Their distinguishing feature is the occurrence of symptoms or other clinical problems at levels that are far below those at which knowledge of toxicology would predict effects and typically far below accepted standards in industry for human exposures (see Chapter 13). These somewhat vexing problems have challenged many of the cherished paradigms of occupational health about what is safe and what is not and form a special challenge for the occupational medicine specialist, as well as the primary care provider whose patients may complain about chemicals at levels deemed "safe."
Air-quality; Air-quality-control; Air-quality-monitoring; Air-quality-measurement; Occupational-health; Environmental-health; Environmental-factors; Health-hazards
Levy-BS; Wegman-DH; Baron-SL; Sokas-RK
Occupational and environmental health: recognizing and preventing disease and injury, 5th edition
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division