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Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management

Indoor Air

The quality of indoor air within offices, schools, and other workplaces is important not only for workers' comfort but also for their health. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) has been tied to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.

Many factors affect IAQ. These factors include poor ventilation (lack of outside air), problems controlling temperature, high or low humidity, recent remodeling, and other activities in or near a building that can affect the fresh air coming into the building. Sometimes, specific contaminants like dust from construction or renovation, mold, cleaning supplies, pesticides, or other airborne chemicals (including small amounts of chemicals released as a gas over time) may cause poor IAQ.

"All this information is great, but what do I do about an IAQ concern?"

If you are having health effects that may be immediately life threatening; i.e. difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, confusion, or muscle weakness

Call 559.278.8400 from a campus phone or 911 from an off campus phone for immediate medical assistance from emergency responders.

For all non-immediately life threatening concerns call campus EHS/RM at 559.278.7422 and submit a work order. Investigating an indoor air quality concern can be a complex and time consuming undertaking - a science that experienced professionals spend years learning to become proficient at conducting. A specialist will contact you as soon as possible.

While waiting for a response from a specialist read the information presented here:

What to do if you suspect a problem

Pay particularly close attention to the points that you have control or power to do something about. For example scheduling an appointment with your medical care professional to eliminate potential non-work related underlying health issues that may place you at risk for serious health effects and to identify other causes of symptoms that may not be related to your work environment.

Related Information

Ozone Emitting Devices: More Harm then Good

EPA's: An Office Building Occupant's Guide to Indoor Air Quality

OSHA's: Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings

Regulatory Agency Guidance Resources

Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Indoor Air Quality

California Air Resources Board: Indoor Air Quality & Exposure

Environmental Protection Agency: Indoor Air Quality

Investigator Resource Technical Manuals


Legionnaire's Disease

General Indoor Air Quality

Ventilation Investigation