Indoor Air Quality

The University of Louisville is committed to providing a work environment that is free of recognized hazards and to investigating complaints that may be related to poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

Indoor air quality (IAQ) involves the contents of indoor air that could affect the health and comfort of building occupants. Though specific regulations have not been developed for IAQ in the work place, the Environment, Health and Safety Department (EHS) considers recommendations from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

An IAQ investigation is like detective work - defining the problem, looking for clues, and finding a solution through a process of narrowing the possible causes, and developing and testing hypotheses.

To Report an Indoor Air Quality Problem, you should do the following:

  1. For Temperature, odor or small complaints, suspected water leaks or visible mold:

    1. The occupant reports their concern to Physical Plant through the work order system.

    2. Physical Plant will investigate and determine the source and make any necessary repairs.

    3. Physical Plant will defer the complaint to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS) if they cannot remedy the problem.

    4. DEHS will interview building occupants and conduct a building survey

    5. The occupant will complete a Request for IAQ Investigation and an Occupant Survey (Word) and submit the request form to the DEHS Service Account

    6. The occupant may be requested to complete an IAQ Log (Excel) to track odors, or conditions to better assist in the investigation.

  2. For IAQ complaints with no visible odors, leaks or mold:

    1. The occupant will complete a Request for IAQ Investigation and an Occupant Survey (Word) and submit the request form to the DEHS Service Account

    2. DEHS will interview building occupants and conduct a building survey

    3. The occupant may be requested to complete an IAQ log to track odors, or conditions to better assist in the investigation.

    4. DEHS may contact Physical Plant when necessary if issues with the HVAC or other building systems are identified during the investigation.

These steps work to assist in determining an appropriate remediation strategy. Investigation and remediation of IAQ concerns is a joint effort between Physical Plant, DEHS, and the occupant(s) reporting the problem. Most IAQ problems or complaints can be remedied quickly. However, complex situations (e.g., large areas of complaints, mechanical malfunctions, intermittent odors, etc.), may take more time to reach a resolution.

For more information on UofL IAQ procedures, see: Guidelines for Reporting & Responding to Indoor Air Quality Concerns in Offices, Classrooms, Shops, Labs & Athletic Facilities (PDF)

Everyone can do their part in improving Indoor Air Quality in your workplace by practicing the 3 C’s of IAQ. as described in Indoor Air Quality and Promoting Healthy Workplace Conditions in Campus Buildings (PDF):

1st “C” is CLEANING:

Because microbial growth thrives in wet or humid conditions, cleanliness in the office spaces and common areas can assist in improving air quality and promoting a healthy and comfortable living environment free of mold, pests and insects.

2nd “C” is CLIMATE:

Controlling room climate is essential to the success of managing indoor air quality and comfort.

3rd “C” is COMMUNICATION:

Communication of any leaks or water intrusion to Physical Plant is required immediately, as it only takes 24-48 hours for mold or mildew growth.

Natural gas leak or sewer odor emergencies should be reported IMMEDIATELY to Physical Plant Work Control: Belknap - (502) 852-6241, HSC - (502) 852-5695, or to Public Safety at (502) 852-6111 after hours or on weekends.

 

Additional Information

AIHA - The Facts About Mold NIOSH - Indoor Environmental Quality
AIHA - Consumer Links Indoor Air Quality & Promoting Healthy Living Conditions in Residence Halls (PDF)

Department of Environmental Health And Safety

Main Office

1800 Arthur Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40208

Phone

tel (502) 852-6670

fax (502) 852-0880

Department of Environmental Health And Safety

Radiation Safety Office

319 Abraham Flexner Way

Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Phone

tel (502) 852-5231

fax (502) 852-8911

Office Hours

M-F 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

No holiday hours

IH Service Account

dehsih@louisville.edu

IBC Service Account

biosafe@louisville.edu