The goal of the University's Industrial Hygiene program is to minimize discomfort and illness related to indoor air contaminants, poor ventilation, and exposure to chemical, biological and physical hazards.
Indoor air pollutant levels are often many times higher than outside. Considering that individuals spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, the importance of indoor air quality becomes apparent. Potential indoor air contaminants in University facilities include volatile organic compounds, microbial agents, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, pollen, environmental tobacco smoke, and other agents may cause discomfort or illness. Adequate ventilation is the driving force behind good indoor air quality. Poor ventilation can be due to a lack of general supply and/or fresh outside air, poor air distribution, unsatisfactory filtration, or insufficient exhaust capability. Indoor air quality cannot be maintained without proper ventilation. Potential occupational exposure to chemicals such as lead, biological hazards such as bloodborne pathogens, and physical hazards such as noise or thermal stress also exist at the University.
Primary industrial hygiene functions include: evaluation of indoor air quality incidents, complaints, and potential exposures; development and implementation of the University indoor air quality, exhaust ventilation, and respiratory protection programs; exposure monitoring for chemical, biological, and physical hazards; employee/student training; and facility audits, inspections, and investigations.