Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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>Indoor Air Quality Health and Safety   Guide

Table of Contents


Section I

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): An Occupational Health Concern

  1. Commonly Asked Questions
  2. Why Do We Worry About IAQ?
    • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
    • Chemically-induced Hypersensitivity


Section II

Sources of IAQ Problems

  1. What Are the Possible Causes of IAQ Problems?
    • Lack of Outdoor Air
    • Air Contaminants from Inside the Building
    • Outdoor Air Contaminants
  2. Types of Indoor Air Contaminants and their Sources


Section III

Recognition of IAQ Problems

  1. Reporting IAQ Problems
  2. Gathering Data About IAQ Problems
  3. Role of the Health and Safety Committee or Health and Safety Representative
    • Collecting Health Conditions Data
  4. How to Use Employee Feedback


Section IV

Evaluation and Control of IAQ

  1. Units Used for Measuring Air Contaminants
    • Vapours and Gases
    • Dust, Fibrous Glass Dust and Particulate Matter
    • Asbestos and Synthetic Viterous Fibres
    • Microbes (bacteria, moulds and fungi)
  2. Evaluation and Control of Air Contaminants
    • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
    • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
    • Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx)
    • Ozone
    • Formaldehyde
    • Dusts and Fibres
    • Tobacco Smoke
    • Solvents: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    • Microbial Contaminants
    • Mould
    • Asbestos
    • Dust Mites
  3. Sanitation
  4. Housekeeping


Section V


  1. Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) System
    • Ventilation Standards
    • Signs of Inadequate Ventilation
    • Measures of Ventilation Adequacy


Section VI

Evaluation and Control of the Indoor Environment

  1. Office Noise Levels
    • Guidelines for Noise Control
  2. Thermal Comfort
    • Temperature and Humidity
    • Humidex
    • Guidelines for Temperature ad Humidity
  3. Indoor Temperature Regulations and Guidelines
  4. Lighting and Vision
    • Preventing Vision Problems
  5. Office Ergonomics
    • Exercises to Do in the Office


Section VII

Instruments for Indoor Air Quality Assessment


Section VIII

Regulations, Standards and Guidelines

  1. Regulations
  2. Standards and Guidelines


Section IX

Health and Safety Legislation

  1. Canadian OH&S Legislation
    • What Does the OH&S Legislation Say?
    • Governmentâs Responsibilities
    • Employee Rights and Responsibilities
    • Supervisorâs Responsibilities
    • Employerâs Responsibilities
    • Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC)
    • Role of the Joint H&S Committee
    • Work Refusals
    • Work Stoppage
  2. Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  3. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)
  4. Public Health Promotion Legislation
  5. Fire Code
  6. Building Code
  7. Environmental Protection Legislation
  8. US OH&S Legislation


Section X

Information Sources

  1. Canadian Government Departments Responsible for Occupational Health and Safety
  2. US Federal Safety and Health Agencies
  3. State Occupational Health and Safety Plans



Appendix A1

Sample Health Survey

Appendix A2

Ventilation System Inspection

Appendix A3

Selecting and IAQ Consultant