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Indoor Air Quality

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As the public recognizes the importance of healthy, comfortable, and productive indoor environments, their awareness and demand for good indoor air quality increases. All of us face a variety of risks to our health as we go about our day-to-day lives. Driving in cars, flying in planes, engaging in recreational activities, and being exposed to environmental pollutants all pose varying degrees of risk. Some risks are simply unavoidable. The good news is that indoor air pollution is one risk that you can do something about. For more information visit EPA Introduction to Air Quality

The guide, "Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers" developed by EPA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, provides practical suggestions on preventing, identifying, and resolving indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in public and commercial buildings. This guidance provides information on factors affecting indoor air quality; describes how to develop an IAQ profile of building conditions and create an IAQ management plan; describes investigative strategies to identify causes of IAQ problems; and provides criteria for assessing alternative mitigation strategies, determining whether a problem has been resolved, and deciding whether to consult outside technical specialists. Other topics included in the guide are key problem-causing factors; air quality sampling; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems; moisture problems; and additional sources of information.

Many office buildings and other large buildings have significant air pollution sources. Some of these buildings may be inadequately ventilated. For example, mechanical ventilation systems may not be designed or operated to provide adequate amounts of outdoor air. In addition, people generally have less control over the indoor environment in their offices than they do in their homes. For more information on ways to improve indoor air in large buildings, please visit EPA Indoor Air Quality in Large Buildings page or the Reducing Air Pollution from: the Hospitality Industry (Lodging Sector) - Community Information Sheet.

For facilities with salons, EPA developed a guide, Protecting the Health of Nail Salon Workers, to help workers and nail salon owners make their salons safer workplaces. The guide includes easy-to-use checklists with advice on topics such as proper gloves, masks and handling of products. The guide will help workers understand product ingredients and how to prevent overexposure to those that present potential health risks.

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