Solving an Indoor Air Quality Concern: Sampling, Analyses, and IH Expertise

Abstract No:


Abstract Type:

Professional Poster 


A Scott1


1The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


Amanda Scott  
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


This study explores the investigation and sampling techniques of an IH team called upon to solve a natural gas-type odor infiltrating an occupied space.

Situation / Problem:

Over a period of several months, building occupants reported transient natural gas-type odors. The odor was very strong and isolated to a specific zone of a 4-story building. An IH team led the investigation to identify potential sources and proposed solutions to the odor.


The IH team reviewed illness reports, weather history, and equipment operation maintenance records and conducted staff interviews. Air sampling for: ethyl and methyl mercaptans, carbon monoxide, cardbon dioxide, temperature and humidity was conducted. Exhaust stack/wind modeling was performed.

Results / Conclusions:

An air handler serving this particular zone was in close proximity to a boiler house. Exhaust/pressure relief from the boiler house was becoming entrained in the air handler. IH professionals must help communicate risk and odor threshold to occupants.

Primary Topic:

Indoor Environmental Quality/Indoor Air Quality

Secondary Topics:

Sampling and Analysis

Acknowledgements and References

List any additional people who worked on the project or provided guidance and support along with details on the role they played in the research. (Please include first name, last name, organization, city, state and country).

1 Source Safety and Health, Exton PA (sampling assistance)

Learning Levels

What learning level(s) is the presentation content geared towards?

Competent - can perform to basic standards; has a thorough understanding of the content area but limited practical/work experience in the application of the content/concepts.