Indoor Air Quality

The University of Lethbridge is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment and investigates any concerns that may be related to indoor air quality.

What are common causes of indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns?

IAQ concerns can be the result of many factors. Building materials and furnishings, building equipment and activities, outdoor climate, and the building occupants themselves can play a role in IAQ problems. Common areas of concern include:

  • indoor air contaminants - chemicals, cleaners, dusts, moulds, fungi, odours, and vehicle exhaust emissions
  • not enough outdoor air or poor air circulation

Are these the only cause of IAQ concerns?

No. Feelings of discomfort and illness may be related to a number of issues in the total indoor environment. Other common causes may include:

  • Humidity / moisture
  • Thermal Comfort (Temperature)
  • Noise
  • Lighting

It is important that these causes be investigated when assessing complaints. IAQ concerns may be challenging to resolve as they can mimic other health conditions, including common colds or the flu. This fact can make identifying and resolving IAQ problems more difficult. However, indoor air should be investigated as a cause, especially when symptoms develop within a few hours of being at work and then resolve upon leaving the building or being away for a weekend or a vacation.

What about scented products?

If you have concerns about the use of personal and other scented products in workplace, please refer to Guidelines on Scented Products on the University’s Policy page.

How do I report IAQ concerns?

  1. Inform your Supervisor of your concern.
  2. Odours/heating/cooling/ventilation concerns: Contact Facilities at 403.329.2602. After hours, contact Security Services at 403.329.2345. Facilities will need to verify that the air handling system is functioning properly. Note: odours from suspected natural gas leaks or chemical releases must be immediately reported to Security Services at 403.329.2345.
  3. If you have experienced health concerns, submit a Campus Accident/Incident Report (CAIR). Safety Services will contact you to obtain pertinent information and conduct a visual assessment of the complaint area. Further investigative steps may also be required.

RESOURCES

WorkSafe Alberta, “Indoor Air Quality Toolkit”

Assessment & Resolution Flowchart