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EPA Building Air Quality Guide-1991

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Mitigating IAQ Problems 81 7 Mitigating IAQ Problems Over the years many types of mitigation (correction) strategies have been imple- mented to solve indoor air quality prob- lems. The purpose of this section is to provide an understanding of basic ap- proaches to mitigation and the various solutions that can be effective in treating commonly-encountered IAQ problems. It is not intended to provide detailed instruc- tions for using each type of mitigation approach but rather to give guidance in selecting a mitigation strategy and in judging proposals from in-house staff or outside consultants. Mitigation of indoor air quality prob- lems may require the involvement of building management and staff represent- ing such areas of responsibility as: ■ facility operation and maintenance ■ housekeeping ■ shipping and receiving ■ purchasing ■ policymaking ■ staff training Successful mitigation of IAQ problems also requires the cooperation of other building occupants, including the employ- ees of building tenants. Occupants must be educated about the cause(s) of the IAQ problems and about actions that must be taken or avoided to prevent a recurrence of the problems. BACKGROUND: CONTROLLING INDOOR AIR PROBLEMS Section 2 introduced the idea that indoor air quality problems result from interac- tions between contaminant source, building site, building structure, activities within the building, mechanical equipment, climate, and occupants. Efforts to control indoor air contaminants change the relationships between these factors. There are many ways that people can intervene in these relationships to prevent or control indoor air contaminant problems. Control strategies can be categorized as: ■ source control ■ ventilation ■ air cleaning ■ exposure control Successful mitigation often involves a combination of these strategies. Possible remedies for the other environmental stressors discussed in Section 6 are discussed briefly below. Source Control All efforts to prevent or correct IAQ problems should include an effort to identify and control pollutant sources. Source control is generally the most cost effective approach to mitigating IAQ problems in which point sources of contaminants can be identified. In the case of a strong source, source control may be the only solution that will work. The following are categories and examples of source control: Remove or reduce the source ■ prohibit smoking indoors or limit smoking to areas from which air is exhausted, not recirculated (NIOSH regards smoking areas as an interim solution) ■ relocate contaminant-producing equip- ment to an unoccupied, better ventilated, or exhaust-only ventilated space ■ select products which produce fewer or less potent contaminants while maintain- ing adequate safety and efficacy

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