Clear the Air – Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Poor ventilation, humidity, and moisture are some factors that can affect the quality of indoor air. Investigation and remediation of IAQ concerns is a joint effort between EHSO, Campus Services (University) or Healthcare Facilities and Safety Management (Healthcare).

For extremely strong, irritating odors that affect your mucous membranes and/or respiratory system:

  1. Notify your supervisor or Lab Manager/PI, and the appropriate emergency responders, depending on your location.
    • Emory Main and Oxford Campus – Leave the area and call Carol Wilkins-Hall at 404-326-8216 or the EHSO main number at 404-727-5922. If a spill is involved, contact EHSO Spill Team at 404-727-2888. For after-hours emergencies, contact the Campus Police at 404-727-6111
    • Yerkes Main Campus – Leave the area and call Campus Police at 404-727-6111; and notify Maureen Thompson at 404-275-0963.
    • Yerkes Field Station – Leave the area and dial 911; and notify Maureen Thompson at 404-275-0963.

For any other non-immediately life-threatening odors (e.g., nuisance odors, musty odors, minor electrical burning odors, etc.):

  1. Notify your supervisor or Lab Manager/PI.
  2. Gather information regarding the odor, such as:
    • What does the odor smell like (i.e. description)?
    • Where do you notice the odor (i.e. location)?
    • What time does the odor occur or is it present intermittently?
    • How long is the odor present (i.e. duration)?
    • Have there been any changes in your work area that may have caused the odor?
  3. Report the odor, including all supporting information, to the appropriate responding facility contacts, depending on your location:
    • Emory Main and Oxford Campus – Contact Campus Services Work Management at 404-727-7463.
    • Yerkes Main Campus – Contact Yerkes Facilities at 404-290-1527.
    • Yerkes Field Station – Contact Yerkes Facilities at 404-791-0578.

How You Can Minimize Indoor Air Quality Problems:

  • Do not block or shut vents or building returns.
  • Do not block thermostats with equipment.
  • Run water in sinks infrequently used.
  • Observe the Emory’s NO SMOKING Policy.
  • Dispose of food waste daily in recycling receptacles that are emptied daily.
  • Do not over water plants and do not allow mold growth to occur in the dirt.
  • Clean up water spills promptly.
  • Report water intrusion and sewage problems IMMEDIATELY to:
    • University – Campus Services at 404-727-7463.
    • Healthcare – applicable Facilities Management office.
  • Avoid concentrating electronic office equipment within small, unventilated areas.
  • Do not burn candles or have other scent-producing materials in the work area.


Indoor Air Quality Resources:

Indoor Air Quality Questionnaire

Guidelines for Reporting Indoor Air Quality Concerns

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