Ray C. Woodcock, CIH
Occupational Hygiene Services to Business and Industry Since 1973


Services are provided on a traditional project-by-project or on-call basis. Alternatively, a contract can be arranged for a specific level of service and availability tailored to your facility's needs as a comprehensive and practical substitute for multiple vendors, higher one-time charges, or an additional employee.

  • WORKPLACE EXPOSURE - - dusts · vapors · noise · bioaerosols
  • WORKER'S COMPENSATION - - workplace environment · incident analysis
  • INDOOR AIR QUALITY - - monitoring · assessment · investigation
  • ASBESTOS/LEAD MANAGEMENT - - sampling · assessment · abatement · disposal
  • REGULATORY COMPLIANCE - - OSHA · EPA · facility audits · baseline surveys
  • AGENCY LIAISON - - permits · reports · complaints · citations
  • RESPIRATORY PROTECTION - - selection · fit testing · training
  • VENTILATION - - performance · local exhaust · hoods · air flow
  • TOXIC AIR EMISSIONS - - identification · inventory · control

Air Quality

No two buildings and no two indoor air quality problems are identical. A general but systematic approach is usually more effective and economical than relying on extensive air testing, unless there are specific complaints or observations that call for testing.

Samples should be collected for temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide levels and airflow as part of the evaluation of the HVAC system.

These Conditions May Be Mistaken for Air Quality Problems

  • Thermal Discomfort - Uncomfortable conditions, eg: too hot or cold, too drafty or humid, may cast suspicion on poor air quality.
  • Lighting, Noise, Ergonomics - Symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and eye strain may be building-related, but not due to poor air quality.
  • Nuisance Conditions - Unfamiliar odors or visible dust may not directly cause symptoms, but may concern occupants to the point where they attribute other symptoms to poor air quality.
  • Stress - Individual and organizational stresses may cause occupants to experience symptoms which, in some cases, are attributed to the building or transmitted between worried occupants.
  • Politics - An unpopular move to a new building, disagreements with management, or alarming news reports about other places may stimulate mistaken beliefs that the building environment is harmful.

Building-related conditions such as these can cause symptoms similar to those of indoor air pollution. An investigation should therefore also evaluate non-indoor air quality factors.

Mold Assessment

Mold assessment is a natural part of the industrial hygienist's professional practice of understanding and controlling factors in the community or workplace that can cause an injury or illness. The industrial hygienist interprets these factors in the context of specific persons, exposures, sources and circumstances, applying knowledge acquired through ongoing education and experience as the issues of greatest concern or risk change over time. For information about mold see the USEPA Mold page.

Limitations of Mold Assessment and Remediation Work

A successful remediation effort will correct the immediate causes of unusual mold growth indoors. People should be able to re-occupy the building without health complaints or physical discomfort. Mitigation of the environmental conditions that led to the problems of fungal contamination should result in the absence of fungal growth as long as control measures continue to be effective.

Mold spores are ubiquitous in the environment and occur in normal and typical levels in any building. The objective of control measures is to prevent sustained future growth of molds indoors. This depends on:

  1. routine surveillance inspections and prompt response to problems,
  2. adequate preventive maintenance of the building structure as well as HVAC and plumbing systems, and
  3. adequate housekeeping including an emphasis on proper and routine cleaning.

These measures include priority on preventing and correcting water leaks, condensation and elevated humidity near surfaces in the building. Molds are unable to grow and thrive under dry conditions.

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