The IAQ Investigator’s Guide 2nd Edition by Ellen C. Gunderson, ISBN-13: 978-1931504683

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The IAQ Investigator’s Guide: A Guide to Principles, Techniques, and Resources Available for Professional Indoor Air Quality Investigations, ISBN-13: 978-1931504683

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  • 101 pages
  • Publisher: American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) (January 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931504687
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931504683


IAQ investigators are given the tools to conduct thorough IAQ investigations, be knowledgeable about ventilation system components, occupant concerns and symptoms, sources of chemical and biological contaminants, IAQ sampling methods, interpreting sampling data, and current IAQ guidelines, standards and practices. Causes and solutions for common IAQ problems are given, along with guidance for special environments, and practical resources (checklists and forms) to help resolve IAQ problems.

IAQ or “indoor air quality,” is a term that refers to the air quality within buildings, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. This practical guide is a tool to help industrial hygienists, building managers, safety professionals and others methodically investigate, identify and mitigate IAQ issues.

AIHA is a leading association for occupational health and safety professionals, with more than 10,000 members dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge to protect worker health. The third edition of the Guide has up-to-date information to assist investigators in conducting an IAQ investigation, including tools, checklists and links to online resources.

The IAQ Investigator’s Guide covers:

  • How to approach an IAQ investigation
  • Building-related illnesses
  • HVAC systems
  • Biological and chemical contaminants
  • Sampling and interpreting results
  • Risk communication
  • Report preparation

Ellen Gunderson serves on AIHA’s Indoor Environmental Quality Committee, and she edited and co-authored with committee members the second editions of the Guide, which has been an AIHA best seller.

To be a good IAQ investigator “you have to be a good detective,” says Ellen. “Some IAQ issues can be minor and straight-forward to resolve. Others may be quite complex, where you need a team of professionals, including building maintenance and engineering staff, medical professionals, and occupational health and safety specialists, to thoroughly investigate and address the issues.”

What is one of the most memorable IAQ issues that Ellen has investigated? An employee in her former workplace complained of small black particles accumulating on her desk and thought it was from the ventilation system. White pieces of paper strategically placed in her work area confirmed the accumulation of tiny black fibers, but the air vent was not the source. After further observations, Ellen realized that the woman’s sweater was shedding. Case closed!

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