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University of Colorado Denver

Environmental Health and Safety, University of Colorado Denver
 

Safety

Air Quality and Monitoring


 

Employing safe work practices as well as proper use of engineering controls will help eliminate or reduce exposure to hazardous conditions that can result when working with volatile chemicals, radioisotopes, infectious materials, loud or energized equipment and other physical hazards. To confirm that hazard controls are sufficient, EHS conducts monitoring of work environments and may conduct sampling for air quality, personnel exposures, drinking water, surface contamination, or conduct assessments for the presence of mold, ergonomic deficiencies or the capture efficiency of contaminant exhaust systems such as fume hoods. Another form of monitoring is medical surveillance, which is conducted by the EHS Occupational Health program.

Contact Radiation Safety or Biosafety for specific concerns related those programs. To schedule an assessment of your work environment or obtain advice on proper procedures and controls for all other hazards, contact the EHS Industrial Hygiene unit contact EHS main office (303) 724-0345.

If you are preparing for your CAP accreditation site visit and wish to schedule personnel monitoring, contact Justin Sterger at (303) 724-2271.

Chemical Hygiene Monitoring

The EHS Industrial Hygiene unit can conduct live time monitoring or collect samples for laboratory analysis for a myriad of potential chemicals. These assessments are conducted to either look for the presence of contaminants in the air within the working environment, or to provide quantitative data about the actual exposures of an individual. For the latter, samples are collected at the individual’s breathing zone and can provide an evaluation of the daily exposures for that individual regardless of how many different work areas they visit, or how many different work activities they conduct throughout the day.

Chemical Incident Response

EHS responds to chemical release incidents involving large spills, spills of unknown chemicals, or other dangerous situations such as a gas release. In such cases, the EHS Hazardous Materials unit or an EHS industrial hygienist can conduct air monitoring to ensure it is safe to enter the space or whether conditions warrant additional control measures due to explosive conditions or high airborne contaminant levels.

For all emergencies, call the UC Denver Police department by dialing 911 from any campus phone. You may call the EHS main number, 303-724-0345, during normal business hours to seek assistance with a chemical release. After hours call UC Denver Police and they will contact the on call EHS member.

Indoor Air Quality

Often individuals have concerns or experience problems that may be related to indoor air quality. Indoor air quality (IAQ) can be affected my many factors:

  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Presence of uncontrolled mold growth
  • Activities occurring within the work space or migrating to the work space from other indoor areas or from outside the building (construction activities, idling equipment, air pollution, dust, etc.)
  • Humidity levels
  • Excessive heat

If you are experiencing problems you feel are related to IAQ, contact EHS (303) 724-0345 to have your work area assessed. You can learn more about IAQ from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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