IAQ Tools for Schools
IAQ Coordinator's Guide
Appendix C- Glossary and Acronyms
Disinfectants: One of three groups of antimicrobials registered by EPA for public health concerns. A disinfectant destroys or irreversibly inactivates undesirable (and often infectious) organisms. EPA registers three types of disinfectant products based upon submitted efficacy data: limited, general/broad spectrum, and hospital disinfectant.
Drain Trap: A dip in the drain pipe of sinks, toilets, floor drains, etc., that is designed to stay filled with water in order to prevent sewer gases from escaping into the room.
Emissions: Releases of pollutants into the air from a source, such as a paints, furniture, or cleaning agents.
ETS: Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Mixture of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar and smoke exhaled by the smoker (also secondhand smoke or passive smoking). See the following appendices in the IAQ Reference Guide for more information: Appendix E: "Typical Indoor Air Pollutants," Appendix F: "Secondhand Smoke," and Appendix L: "Resources."
IAQ: Indoor air quality.
IAQ Backgrounder: A general introduction provided in the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit that describes IAQ issues as well as IAQ program implementation.
IAQ Checklists: Various lists provided in the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit that contain simple activities for school staff to improve or maintain good indoor air quality. Each focuses on topic areas and actions that are targeted to particular school staff (e.g., teachers, administrators, kitchen staff, maintenance staff) or specific building functions (e.g., HVAC system, roofing, renovation). The checklists are to be completed by the staff and returned to the IAQ Coordinator as a record of completed activities and requested assistance.
IAQ Coordinator: An individual at the school and/or school district level who provides leadership and coordination of IAQ activities. See Section 2:"Role and Functions of the IAQ Coordinator" for more information.
IAQ Management Plan: A set of flexible and specific steps for preventing and resolving IAQ problems. See Section 3: "Model IAQ Management Plan" for more information.
IAQ Team: Individuals working directly with the IAQ Coordinator to address IAQ in the school(s). These individuals may include school staff, administrators, school board members, students and parents. A district-wide IAQ Team should ensure members represent the entire district. The team distributes the information packets (IAQ Backgrounder, memo, and checklists) to school staff. See Section 2: "Form an IAQ Team," for more information.
Indoor Air Pollutant: An indoor contaminant such as particles, dust, fibers, mists, bioaerosols, and gases. See the following sections in the IAQ Reference Guide for more information: Section 2: "Understanding IAQ Problems" and Appendix E: "Typical Indoor Air Pollutants."
Indoor Pollutant Sources: Indoor air pollutants can originate within the building or be drawn in from outdoors. Common sources include people, carpets, photocopiers, art supplies, furniture, vehicles, paints, etc. See Section 2: "Understanding IAQ Problems" in the IAQ Reference Guide for more information.
IPM: Integrated Pest Management. A comprehensive approach to eliminating and preventing pest problems with an emphasis on reducing pest habitat and food sources. See Appendix K: "Integrated Pest Management" in the IAQ Reference Guide and Appendix B: "Developing Indoor Air Policies," for more information.
Mobile Sources: Motor vehicles, engines, and equipment that move, or can be moved, from place to place. Mobile sources include vehicles that operate on roads and highways ("on-road" or "highway" vehicles), as well as nonroad vehicles, engines, and equipment. Examples of mobile sources are cars, trucks, buses, earth-moving equipment, lawn and garden power tools, ships, railroad locomotives, and airplanes.
Negative Pressure: Condition that exists when less air is supplied to a space than is exhausted from the space, so the air pressure within that space is less than that in surrounding areas. Under this condition, if an opening exists, air will flow from surrounding areas into the negatively pressurized space.
Outdoor Air Supply: Air brought into a building from the outdoors (often through the ventilation system).
Pollutants (Pollution): Unwanted chemicals or contaminants found in the environment. Pollutants can harm human health, the environment, and property. Air pollutants occur as gases, liquid droplets, and solids. Once released into the environment, many pollutants can persist, travel long distances, and move from one environmental medium (e.g., air, water, soil) to another.
Pollutant Pathways: Avenues for distribution of pollutants in a building. HVAC systems are the primary pathways in most buildings; however all building components and occupants interact to affect how pollutants are distributed. See Section 2: "Understanding IAQ Problems" in the IAQ Reference Guide for more information.
Positive Pressure: Condition that exists when more air is supplied to a space than is exhausted, so the air pressure within that space is greater than that in surrounding areas. Under this condition, if an opening exists, air will flow from the positively pressurized space into surrounding areas.
Preventive Maintenance: Regular and systematic inspection/tune-up, cleaning, and replacement of worn parts, materials, and systems. Preventive maintenance helps to prevent parts, material, and systems failure by ensuring that parts, materials, and systems are in good working order.
Radon (Rn): A colorless, odorless gas that occurs naturally in almost all soil and rock. Radon migrates through the soil and groundwater and can enter buildings through cracks or other openings in the foundation. Radon can also enter through well water. Exposure to radon can cause lung cancer. See the following sections in the IAQ Reference Guide for more information: Appendix G: "Radon" and Appendix E: "Typical Indoor Air Pollutants."
Re-circulation: Situation that occurs when the air exhausted from a building is immediately brought back into the system through the air intake and other openings in the building envelope.
Stack Effect: The flow of air that results from warm air rising, creating a positive pressure area at the top of a building and a negative pressure area at the bottom of a building. In some cases the stack effect may overpower the mechanical system and disrupt ventilation and circulation in a building.
Unit Ventilator: A single fan-coil unit designed to satisfy tempering and ventilation requirements for individual rooms.
Ventilation Air: The total air, which is a combination of the air brought inside from outdoors and the air that is being recirculated within the building. Sometimes, however, used in reference only to the air brought into the system from the outdoors, which this document defines as "outdoor air ventilation."