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Flashcards in C1-KS03 Deck (16)
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Carbon Monoxide

a. Is a colorless, odorless gas that is lighter than air and highly toxic in higher quantities.

b. Combustion equipment, such as hot water heaters, should be direct vent (directly vented to the exterior of the building).

c. Carbon Monoxide Detectors should be installed in sleeping rooms and hallways. It is becoming common practice to install carbon monoxide detectors in residential applications.



-Is a radioactive, colorless, tasteless gas, occurring naturally as the decay of uranium and thorium.

-Radon gas from natural sources can accumulate in buildings, especially in confined areas such as attics and basements.


Radon can be mitigated in the following ways:

-Conducting Radon Testing to verify the amount of radon present

-Increase under floor ventilation

-Installing a radon sump pump in the basement

-Installing ventilation system to vent basements, attics, and raised floor foundations

-Visit the EPA's website to review "A Citizen's Guide To Radon" for more information.


Off-gassing of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) , including glues and adhesives from:




-Hardwood floor


VOC can be mitigated by:

-Specify low/no VOC products, i.e. products that contain little or no urea-formaldehyde.

-Building Envelopes are constructed tighter as we become more skilled at tightening the envelope, so it is even more important to specify low/no VOC products as the ability of VOCs to escape by "building leakage" has lessened.

-Provide adequate passive and mechanical ventilation to continually bring fresh air into the building.


Mold & Mildew

-Mold can occur in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, shower rooms, and other "wet areas"

-Caused by excessive moisture

-Lack of ventilation

Warm air temperature

-Install equipment to properly measure and control indoor air temperature and humidity:

• Install passive ventilation — operable windows, cross ventilation

• Install mechanical ventilation — direct venting to exterior of building



-Tiny particles of solid matter suspended in the air that are both natural and man-made


Naturally occurring particulates include:

Ash from forest fires, volcanoes as well as dust from dust storms
Vegetation — High pollen counts, allergies to pollen


Man-Made particulates include:

Burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants, and other industrial processes


Mitigation Measures for better IAQ

-Adequate Ventilation

-Maintenance of building ventilation systems

-Install Air Filters


Adequate Ventilation

-Incorporate fresh air into the building system through mechanical measures.

-Utilize passive design strategies — opening windows for natural ventilation when possible.

-Establish strict no smoking policy in building and within 50 feet of entry ways and operable windows.

-Local municipalities may have their own requirements.


Maintenance of building ventilation systems

-Regularly clean equipment and filters

-Replace old or outdated equipment

-Incorporate dehumidification or humidification equipment as required by the demands of the use of the building and its relation to the outdoor environment


Install Air Filters

-Install air filter equivalent to MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) 13 or better for optimum performance


MERV Ratings with typical applications

17-20 (Electronics & Pharmaceutical manufacturing cleanroom )

13-16 (Hospital and General Surgery )

9-12 (Superior Residential, Better Commercial, Hospital Laboratories )

5-8 (Better Residential, General Commercial, Industrial Workspaces )

1-4 (Residential window AC units )


IAQ can be affected by:

-Microbial contaminants (mold and mildew)

- various gases ( carbon monoxide, radon, and VOCs)



How should I install a CO Alarm?

CO alarms should be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. CPSC recommends that one CO alarm be installed in the hallway outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of the home.

CO alarms may be installed into a plug-in receptacle or high on the wall. Hard wired or plug-in CO alarms should have battery backup. Avoid locations that are near heating vents or that can be covered by furniture or draperies. CPSC does not recommend installing CO alarms in kitchens or above fuel-burning appliances.