Fall 2015 Issue
October 06, 2015

How clean is the air in your building?

Author: By Wendy Hord, NYSUT Health and Safety specialist
Source: NYSUT United

Workplace Health & Safety

The importance of healthy indoor air made headlines this summer when an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease in New York City caused the deaths of 12 people and sickened more than 120.

The source was the growth of legionella bacteria on cooling towers, which has big implications for indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools and health care facilities in particular.

Poor ventilation means higher levels of carbon dioxide and other contaminants, such as volatile organic compounds (i.e. solvents). Indoor air and health experts confirm that higher levels of carbon dioxide indoors are associated with headaches, sleepiness and even loss of attention.

This month thousands of NYSUT members returned to schools that have poor indoor air quality. How long before they and many students experience symptoms?

The EPA now has a free mobile app with 11 comprehensive school IAQ checklists with information to help identify and prioritize needed improvements in ventilation, cleaning, environmental triggers, etc.

Check out www2.epa.gov/iaq-schools/school-iaq-assessment-mobile-app or download onto your mobile device via iTunes or Google Play, searching for EPA IAQ for Schools.