Oct. 16, 2023
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Concerns
Always report any health and safety related concerns within your workplace environment to your supervisor, manager or academic lead. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) can also be contacted to assess individual situations (email@example.com). Students should contact their registrar’s office, graduate administrator or course instructor for any IAQ related questions or concerns.
In some cases, involving building issues, for example if an office is too hot, departments can contact their local facilities group (UTM, UTSC, UTSG) directly. For UTSG campus, please also refer to: https://www.fs.utoronto.ca/news/what-to-do-when-you-are-too-hot-or-too-cold/).
Once EHS is contacted, a visual walkthrough will be scheduled to assess the concern. The cause of IAQ concerns can vary significantly and the purpose of the walkthrough is to identify potential sources of concern. For example, in situations where there is complaint of headaches, this may be caused by several different factors besides air quality, such as eye strain, fatigue, lack of or too much lighting, glare, poor office ergonomics, dehydration, other personal factors etc. In some cases, specific situations may require medical accommodations (for more information, please contact Health and Well-Being).
In some situations, EHS will schedule an IAQ survey (air sampling), which typically includes monitoring carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, temperature and relative humidity. Other agents may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Indoor environments (e.g., homes, offices, etc.) usually have very low amounts of many chemicals that are important and common in our daily lives (e.g., soaps, hand sanitizer, personal hygiene products, cleaning products, etc.). Many chemicals detected at low concentrations provide very little or no information regarding health effects and do not have exposure standards for comparison. For these reasons, air sampling is only useful in specific circumstances. Many IAQ concerns can be addressed expediently through an initial walkthrough without air sampling.
Seasonal Air Quality Changes
Indoor and outdoor air quality can be impacted by temporary seasonal events (e.g., wildfires) and weather patterns. The University continues to monitor conditions and will provide updates as applicable. The resources below provide general measures for protecting your health.
Please report any concerns to your manager or academic lead. EHS can also be contacted to assess individual situations (firstname.lastname@example.org). Students should contact their registrar’s office, graduate administrator or course instructor for any questions or concerns.
During the shoulder seasons (e.g., spring and fall), sudden changes in outdoor temperature or unseasonably warm/cold conditions may impact indoor occupant comfort. Please report these concerns to your supervisor and contact your local facilities group (UTM, UTSC, UTSG).
Resources for Activity Planning