July 18, 2008, Newsletter Issue #98: Office Air Pollution Can Cause Health Problems

Tip of the Week

Offices can have significant problems with indoor air pollution. They may have poor ventilation from commercial air quality systems that don't run properly. Here are some steps to take to ensure the quality of air in your office:

- If you are concerned about indoor air pollution in your workplace, talk with other employees about their experiences and observations.
- Ask management to keep a record of your complaint and the complaints of other workers.
- Talk with your physician. If your company has a physician, make an appointment.
- Ask company management to contact the Environmental Protection Agency for guidance. The EPA publishes "IAQ Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM)," which offers tips for managing issues related to indoor air quality, or IAQ.

The primary causes of bad indoor air quality usually are the presence of polluting substances; problems with heating and cooling systems; and improper use of a building. The EPA reports an increase in the number of indoor air quality complaints since the 1990s. The increase coincides with a better awareness by the public of health risks associated with poor indoor air quality.

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Jerry Mayo