Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion.
IAQ problems result from interactions between building materials and furnishing, activities within the building, climate, and building occupants. It is common for people to report one or more of the following symptoms: Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin Headache Fatigue Shortness of breath Hypersensitivity and allergies Sinus congestion Coughing and sneezing Dizziness Nausea People generally notice their symptoms after several hours at work and feel better after they have left the building or when they have been away from the building for a weekend or a vacation. Occupants of buildings with poor IAQ report a wide range of health problems which are often called Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) or Tight Building Syndrome (TBS), Building-Related Illness (BRI) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS).
As with any other occupational illness, not all people are affected with the same symptoms or to the same extent. When there is a problem with IAQ, people may experience various health conditions that are listed above.
Many Canadian jurisdictions do not have specific legislation that deals with indoor air quality issues. Typically people will report that they are experiencing symptoms believed to be caused by IAQ. Many people may play a role in helping to resolve an IAQ problem including the building owner, employer, property manager, and occupants. What is an example of a health survey that I can use to help identify if IAQ is related to reported problems?
The following is a sample of a questionnaire that could be used to help identify if an office or building has an indoor air quality problem.


If you think that you may be ill from IAQ problems, it is important to keep track of when you get your symptoms (aches, pains, headaches, etc.) and when they go away. Risk increases during a time of change, for example, turnover in personnel, rapid growth, or establishment of new services. Internal control activities are nothing more than policies, procedures, and the organizational structure of an organization. Auditors' reports will nearlyalways include an opinion of the department's internal controls. PureSafety`s series of Hazardous Materials Transportation e-Lessons provides general awareness training for the U.S. Due to lower volume, OSCA affiliate locations will be charging higher base prices than what appears on the OSCA website. Feelings of discomfort and illness may be related to any number of issues in the total indoor environment. Some people may not be sensitive to IAQ problems in the early years of exposure but can become sensitized as exposure continues over time. Since many of the symptoms are very similar to what we feel like when coming down with a cold or the flu (influenza), it is often difficult to say for sure if indoor air is the cause of the symptoms. Occupational exposure limits listed in health and safety regulations and the Threshold Limit ValuesA® (TLVs) recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) are intended as a guide to prevent illness or certain effects (like eye and nose irritation) in industrial situations. This record will help your safety officer or health professional determine what the problem is related to.


Other common causes may include noise levels, thermal comfort (temperature, humidity, and air movement), lighting, and ergonomics.
Some people may be exposed to more contaminants in the building than others and they may experience symptoms earlier than other people.
This clause, common to all Canadian occupational health and safety legislation, states that an employer must provide a safe and healthy workplace.
You may also wish to discuss you symptoms with your health professional to rule out any other medical conditions.
Module 6 of the PureSafety Hazardous Materials Transportation Training Modules, is comprised of three parts: Module 6B covers Air Carrier Requirements. In these cases, there is usually a similar set of clinical symptoms experienced by the people and a clear cause can often be found upon investigation. Legionnaires Disease is an example of BRI caused by bacteria which can contaminate a building's air conditioning system.



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