This following is the North Dakota State University IAQ Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Please read it thoroughly.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) OUTLINE
The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to provide the North Dakota State University buildings with the optimum level of indoor air quality (IAQ).
North Dakota State University is dedicated to providing a safe workplace and this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was developed from and relies on applicable components of
The objectives of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) include the following:
North Dakota State University is committed to providing each employee a safe place of employment. North Dakota State University will take actions to keep the workplace free of recognized hazards that cause, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm and, when available, will employ feasible means that will eliminate or materially reduce the recognized workplace hazard.
North Dakota State University recognizes the impact that indoor air quality has in the workplace. In an effort to provide the North Dakota State University Community with the optimum level of indoor air quality, the Office of Safety and Environmental Health has developed an indoor air quality Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). In addition, North Dakota State University will designate an indoor air quality (IAQ) Coordinator, Office of Safety and Environmental Health, 1801 - 15th Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58105, 231-7759.
Factors associated with poor indoor air quality problems can include:
Contaminates commonly found inside buildings include:
Contaminates commonly found outside of buildings include:
Fungus (mold), a common bioaerosol contamination, occurs in buildings that are susceptible to water leaks and other sources of moisture. Contaminants can also be introduced into buildings from stagnant water in HVAC air distribution systems and cooling towers. In general, prevention of microbiological contamination is accomplished by controlling sources of moisture.
Building components treated with a variety of chemicals and preservatives are common sources of indoor air quality problems. Glues and adhesives from new carpeting and formaldehyde, to new particleboard and upholstery, may off-gas and become sources of contamination.
Typical symptoms arising from poor indoor air quality often mimic those symptoms commonly associated with a cold, flu, or allergies. These symptoms may include upper respiratory irritation, congestion, headaches, nausea, fatigue and itchy or watery eyes. According to the EPA, there are two common ailments associated with poor indoor air quality:
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity:
is another term often used when a person believes they are sensitive to very low concentrations of a variety of chemicals, and the exact diagnosis is rarely defined in this condition.
A primary goal of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) includes actions that focuses on identifying and resolving IAQ issues in a manner that prevents them from reoccurring, and avoids the creation of other problems.
The following resources provide in-depth, step-by-step actions that are effective in combating IAQ problems:
Supervisor investigates reported issue and attempts to determine cause, and
IF the cause of IAQ issue is identified and confirmed by visual inspection, (i.e. water leak)
IF cause of IAQ issue is UNKNOWN or can not be confirmed by visual inspection, then
Supervisor completes "Supervisor IAQ Questionnaire" and submits completed questionnaire to IAQ Coordinator
The Phase I IAQ Investigation is a three step process which is completed by, or under the supervision of the North Dakota State University IAQ Coordinator. The steps include:
The questionnaire is used to obtain information about the nature of the employee complaints and symptoms and also to determine the magnitude of the problem. During the walk-through, building ventilation systems may be evaluated and potential sources of contamination are identified. The IAQ hypothesis form evaluated this data in an attempt to determine the cause or source of the IAQ concern.
If the immediate cause or source for the IAQ concern cannot be identified and confirmed at the completion of Phase I IAQ Investigation, a Phase II IAQ Investigation may be initiated and conducted by or under the supervision of the North Dakota State University IAQ Coordinator.
During a Phase II IAQ Investigation, common indoor air quality parameters including temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels may be measured. The most commonly cited quantitative measurements of indoor air quality are provided by ASHRAE, American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers, as presented in standard 62-1989.
Carbon dioxide (CO2), a major product of human respiration, is used as an indicator to evaluate the performance of ventilation systems. Ordinary outside air in urban areas normally contain about 350 to 400 parts per million (ppm). ASHRAE standard 62-1989 (Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality) recommends that CO2 levels be maintained below 1000 ppm.
Temperature ranges of 73 F to 79 F during the winter months, and 69 to 75 during summer months are recommended by ASHRAE. These guidelines are intended to achieve thermal conditions in a given environment that at least 80% of persons who occupy that environment will find it acceptable or "comfortable."
Relative humidity levels can affect the release rate of many indoor contaminants, their concentrations in the air, and the potential growth of microbial organisms. Humidity can also have a direct effect on worker comfort. In ASHRAE 55-1981, a "comfort chart" shows an acceptable range of humidity to be from 20 to 60%.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and toxic gas. Incomplete combustion of liquid fuels (gasoline, kerosene or propane) solid fuels (wood, charcoal, and coal), or natural gas produces CO. Indoor levels of CO are generally similar to levels found in the air outside of the occupied building. The current regulatory permissible exposure limit (PEL) as set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is 50 ppm.
If the immediate cause or source for the IAQ issue cannot be identified and confirmed at the completion of Phase II IAQ Investigation, a Phase III IAQ Investigation may be initiated and conducted by or under the supervision of the North Dakota State University IAQ Coordinator.
A Phase III IAQ Investigation is performed when a definitive cause for the symptoms cannot be determined from previous investigations. Phase III IAQ Investigations consist of extensive and more specific monitoring and sampling for chemical and /or microbial contaminants in accordance with Building Air Quality – A guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers methodologies, standard and customary industrial hygiene practices and NIOSH and OSHA sampling and analytical procedures.
All results, conclusions and recommendations will be documented and reported to all effected employees. If the immediate cause or source for the IAQ issue cannot be identified and confirmed at the completion of Phase III IAQ Investigation and employee/occupant concerns still exist, expertise from outside North Dakota State University MAY become involved.
North Dakota State University IAQ Coordinator will initiate actions to maintain a safe workplace by evaluating and controlling recognized hazardous conditions and activities that may cause injury to an employee. The response to, and evaluation of workplace safety related to IAQ issues will rely on the North Dakota State University Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) & applicable elements of Occupational Safety and Health Administration, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air conditioning Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health standards and recommendations.
At any time during response to an indoor air quality concern, and/or upon completion of a workplace evaluation, and/or when information from any source becomes available to indicate the presence of work place hazard(s) that may cause injury: North Dakota State University IAQ Coordinator may determine that a workplace is "unsafe" due to an IAQ issue. This determination may be based on:
If a workplace is deemed "unsafe," an alternative workplace will be provide for potentially affected employees until such time that the recognized workplace hazard is eliminated or materially reduced.
The IAQ Coordinator will maintain all indoor air quality forms and reports on file for future reference. The IAQ Coordinator investigates indoor air quality complaints and distributes written final reports to affected parties.