ADDRESSING INDOOR AIR QUALITY PROBLEMS
ON THE CAMDEN CAMPUS
The quality of the indoor air you breathe depends on several factors, including: the type of work being done in the area, the chemicals used or stored, the ventilation system, and the quality of the air being drawn in from the outside. To respond to concerns regarding indoor air quality at UMDNJ, the Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Services (EOHSS) and Physical Plant have developed procedures that determine the steps to be taken to identify and resolve indoor air quality concerns. This page has been written to give you an overview of these procedures.
Q. What should I do if I notice a strange chemical or gas odor in my area? How should I report it?
A. First - Try to determine if the odor is being caused by activities in or around your area (e.g., painting, floor cleaning, renovation work or materials, etc.). It may be helpful to talk to people in your immediate area to see if they have noticed the odor and can identify the cause.
Second - If you cannot identify the cause, contact the Department of Public Safety at their emergency number (ext. 7-7777 or ext. 6-6060) and be prepared to provide the following information:
- your full name and department
- a telephone extension where you can be immediately reached
- the exact location of the complaint and any other areas being affected
- whether it is an emergency
- a thorough description of the odor (e.g., cooking gas, chemical odor, etc.)
- any other information that may assist in the identification of the source of the odor.
Q. What will happen after I report an odor complaint to Public Safety?
A. Public Safety will report your call to EOHSS and Physical Plant. Someone from EOHSS will then contact you by telephone to confirm your complaint and obtain more information. At that time, EOHSS may assist you by phone or respond to your location for further investigation.
Physical Plant will also respond to your complaint by reporting to the location of the central ventilation system that services your area. There, they will try to determine if the ventilation system is operating normally. If you have reported a natural gas odor, Physical Plant will generally report to your location to check for the source of the gas leak.
Q. What should I do if I smell a burning/smoke odor?
A. If you have any reason to believe that a burning/smoke odor is being caused by an actual fire, you should activate a fire alarm immediately. Let the emergency responders know why you activated the alarm. Follow your fire emergency procedure.
Q. What should I do if it feels like there is no air coming through the ventilation ducts servicing my area?
A. Contact Physical Plant at 6-6004 . Physical Plant will respond to your complaint.
Q. What should I do if my area is too hot or too cold?
A. Contact Physical Plant at 6-6004. Physical Plant will respond to your complaint.
Q. What if I believe I have symptoms that may be related to indoor air quality in my workplace?
A. If it is an emergency, contact Public Safety at ext. 7-7777 or ext. 6-6060 immediately. If it is not an emergency, contact EOHSS at 6-6189. EOHSS will advise you and assist you with follow-up.
Q. What should I do if I have noticed an indoor air quality problem or odor that happens all the time or never goes away?
A. If you have an indoor air quality or odor complaint that is persistent or happens frequently, you should contact EOHSS directly at ext 6-6189. EOHSS will perform a preliminary investigation to try to identify possible causes.
If a chemical or biological source is identified, EOHSS will work with you and the appropriate department(s) to address the problem and provide recommendations in writing.
If a chemical or biological source is not identified, EOHSS will forward your complaint to Physical Plant for further investigation. Physical Plant will respond and check the appropriate physical plant system(s) (e.g., ventilation system, plumbing, etc.) to determine:
- if the equipment is functioning as designed/installed
- if an adjustment is required
- if repair or maintenance is necessary
After this assessment is done, Physical Plant will respond to you in writing.
If you have additional questions or concerns about indoor air quality that were not addressed on this page, call EOHSS at ext. 6-6189.