Indoor Environmental Quality

Health Hazard Evaluations

Worker operating machinery on roof

The Health Hazard Evaluation Program helps employees, unions, and employers learn whether health hazards are present at their workplace and recommends ways to reduce hazards and prevent work-related illness. NIOSH evaluations are done at no cost to the employees, unions, or employers.

NIOSH researchers have performed many IEQ evaluations. To learn about our evaluations, go to the HHE database and search on a related term.

Year Published and Title
(2021) Indoor environmental quality and health concerns among employees of a public elementary school.
The NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program received a confidential request from employees of a public elementary school because they were concerned that they might be experiencing a greater burden of general and reproductive medical conditions than was typical. Employees were concerned that these medical conditions were related to something in their work environment, specifically mold or other causes of poor indoor environmental quality at the school. During our visit we visually inspected every room in the school and their associated HVAC systems; measured temperature, relative humidity, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide levels in various areas; and interviewed employees about their work and their health.
(2020) Respiratory and other health concerns at a law enforcement office building with indoor environmental quality issues.
Water intrusion throughout the law enforcement building envelope resulted in hidden mold in wall cavities and under flooring. Hidden mold is consistent with employee reports of musty odors, especially after rains, and health symptoms. The county has taken action to prevent further water intrusion through the foundation, including re-grading the ground to direct water away from the exterior building. The concrete slab will need to dry out and then be tested again for moisture before installing compatible replacement flooring.
(2019) Indoor environmental quality with limited surface sampling for metals at an office building.
In December 2017, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Health Hazard Evaluation Program received a request from the union representing employees working in an office building. Employees were concerned about air quality throughout the building. Employee health concerns included breathing issues; eye irritation; skin lesions, and allergy attacks that they attributed to dampness and mold in the building, and particulates from the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems.
(2018) Chemical exposures during optical media production.
The Health Hazard Evaluation Program received a request from the employer at an optical media production company who was concerned with the chemical odors generated during the production of compact discs and digital video discs. The company manufactured optical media using primarily resin, lacquer, ink, and screen wash chemicals. We evaluated employee exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs); spoke with managers and employees; observed workplace conditions, processes, and practices; and evaluated ventilation systems.
(2018) Odors in a pet care product manufacturing office.
The Health Hazard Evaluation Program received an employer request from a manufacturer of pet care products. Employees were concerned about exposure to odors that were reportedly traveling from the production area to the office area within the building, and whether these odors could harm their health. We looked for moisture, water damage, and inspected the wall that separates the office area from the production area. We measured carbon dioxide, temperature, relative humidity, ventilation airflow and checked the air pressure relationships.