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Biosafety Page


Indoor Air Quality

The quality of the air inside a building is affected by a variety of comfort, physical, chemical and biological factors. Factors influencing the indoor air quality of a room or building include:

  • Comfort issues (temperature, humidity, "stuffiness")
  • Supply of fresh air to the building
  • Accumulation of particulate, biological or chemical contaminants originating from within or outside the building

Comfort Factors

While the University aims to provide work areas where as many people as possible can work at their highest level of productivity and effectiveness, this goal is balanced against the physical and engineering constraints of the work areas. It is not possible to provide complete comfort to 100% of the population of every workspace due to individual sensitivities.

If there appear to be problems with temperature, humidity, a feeling of stuffiness or not enough fresh air, report the concern to Facilities Customer Service Center at 258-8000.

Mold or Other Biological Contaminants

Growth and accumulation of mold or other biological contaminants can be a problem when there has been water or moisture intrusion that results in surfaces being wet or damp for extended periods of time. This is particularly problematic when outdoor sources of water, such as rain or groundwater, are involved. Under such circumstances, mold can grow in sufficient quantities to cause some allergic response.

When conditions like this develop, it is important to address the water intrusion or source of moisture as soon as possible and treat or remove damaged materials. Report such problems to the Facilities Customer Service Center at 258-8000 as soon as possible for consultation and corrective action. As appropriate, Facilities will contact EHS for advice or inspection.

Odors or Suspected Chemical Pollutants

In the event of an unexpected and/or unusual odor in a work area, the source of the odor should be identified as soon as possible. Begin by asking other building occupants about work or activities may be going on that could be the cause. If the source cannot be identified, or if the odors are extreme or are causing acute reactions to building occupants, contact EHS at 258-5294. EHS staff will respond and will help to identify the source and recommend actions.

If there is evidence of chemical contamination of the space, EHS will assist in determining the nature and amount of contamination and will compare this information to Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulatory limits and recommended standards from other recognized organizations.

For More Information

For concerns related to comfort issues or water intrusion or damage, contact the Facilities Customer Service Center at 258-8000.

For concerns related to unresolved water damage, suspected mold conditions, unresolved odors or other indoor air quality concerns, contact EHS at 258-5294.


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