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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Refers to the quality of air relating to health and comfort of occupants. Poor air quality can result in serious health effects such as sick building syndrome.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term referring to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.

IAQ can be affected by microbial contaminants (mould, bacteria), gases (including carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds), particulates, or any mass or energy stressor that can induce adverse health conditions. Indoor air is becoming an increasingly more concerning health hazard than outdoor air. Using ventilation to dilute contaminants, filtration, and source control are the primary methods for improving indoor air quality in most buildings.

The determination of IAQ involves the collection of air samples, monitoring human exposure to pollutants, the collection of samples on building surfaces and computer modelling of air flow inside buildings.

Although no South African legislation and methodology exists for the monitoring of contaminants to determine indoor air quality, the following international standards are commonly used when performing these assessments:

Compliance requirements:
Occupational Health, and Safety Act, Act No. 85 of 1993

Sampling Methodology:
ASHRAE Standard 62 – “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality
ASHRAE Standard 55 – “Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy.

Legal references:
Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act No 85 of 1993
Environmental Regulations for Workplaces – Section 2
ASHRAE Standard 62 – “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality
ASHRAE Standard 55 – “Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy