November 5, 2009
Elizabeth City State University is committed to the protection of the health and safety of its people and buildings. Managing indoor air quality problems can be a significant challenge.
Experience has shown that effective response to these concerns is based on a working partnership between the building occupants, who best understand the issue, Facilities Management staff, who have knowledge of mechanical systems specific to the building involved, and the industrial hygienists, who have the expertise to evaluate any hazards present. Information from all three groups is necessary to identify and prioritize potential solutions.
Therefore, we are making a concerted effort with building occupants, facilities management and outside entities, to remediate air quality concerns in the following buildings.
Findings: On May 18, 2009, the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch of the NC Department of Health & Human Services performed a survey of the indoor air quality of Moore Hall.
- Of the 2 suites sampled, one office was outside of the acceptable relative humidity and temperature range as recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standards.
- Tape samples were lifted and examined by microscope at the State Laboratory of Public Health for the quantitative presence of mold spores. Lab tests identified mild concentrations of non health threatening mold spores.
Recommendations: Provide supplemental portable dehumidification units, to maintain relative humidity below 60%. Periodically inspect and repair drip pans and condensate drains under HVAC air handlers to prevent water from standing in the drip pans. Perform enhanced carpet cleaning procedures. Identify and correct sources of moisture intrusion into the crawl space. Divert water away from the side of the building, due to rain. This work is underway.
Jimmy R. Jenkins, Planetarium Area
Findings: On September 24-25, 2009, GEL Engineering, performed a limited air quality investigation and testing of the Planetarium, the large lecture hall and north hallway of the Jenkins Science Complex.
- On September 24, the temperature and relative humidity in the Planetarium were outside of the acceptable temperature range as recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standards.
- On September 25, more tests were done and the temperature was within the acceptable temperature range. However, the relative humidity was still outside of the recommended level.
- Airborne carbon dioxide concentrations inside were within the acceptable criteria. However, Airborne carbon monoxide concentrations inside and outside were well below standard levels.
- The temperature and relative humidity in the south hallway were within acceptable levels. However, the temperature and relative humidity in the north hallway were outside of acceptable levels.
- Mold air sample results in the north hallway, while non health threatening, were outside of the ASHRAE standards. However, mold air samples from the other areas, including the Planetarium were within acceptable indoor air quality criteria.
Recommendations: Provide supplemental portable dehumidification units, to maintain relative humidity below 60%. Have Building Environmental Services Technicians monitor the opening of doors and windows and close upon discovery. Enhance the cycle of periodic vacuuming and carpet cleaning to remove dust in the environment. These actions are underway.
ECSU officials are waiting for test results from indoor air quality tests conducted in the Commuter Center/Bowling Alley. The university is accepting bids from industrial hygiene firms to conduct air quality tests in the Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Center, The Little Theatre and Williams Hall.