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INDOOR AIR QUALITY ASSESSMENT

White Brook Middle School


200 Park Street
Easthampton, MA

Prepared by:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Bureau of Environmental Health
Indoor Air Quality Program
June 2018
Background

Building: White Brook Middle School (WBMS)


Address: 200 Park Street, Easthampton, MA
Assessment Requested by: A parent
Reason for Request: General indoor air quality (IAQ)
concerns
Date of Assessment: June 8, 2018
Massachusetts Department of Public Michael Feeney, Director, IAQ Program
Health/Bureau of Environmental Health
(MDPH/BEH) Staff Conducting Assessment:
Date of Building Construction: 1976
Building Description: Single story, multi-wing facility
Building Population: Approximately 450 students in grades 5
to 8 and 50 staff members
Windows: Mostly openable

BACKGROUND
The IAQ program has previously visited the WBMS in 2003 and 2016. The most recent
2016 assessment has been included as Appendix A to this report. It is our understanding that the
school was the subject of a successful vote for replacement in May 2018 (MassLive, 2018). In
general, it will take several years for a new building to be constructed. Therefore the various
recommendations in this report are geared towards improving/maintaining the conditions within
the building to the extent possible while recognizing that the building will be replaced in the near
future.
Under current Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) regulations, the
expected service life of a newly constructed or renovated school building is at least 50 years [963
CMR 2.03(b)]. Given that the WBMS is approximately 43 years old, it is expected that a number
of building componenets have exceeded their expected service life, which will likely require
increased maintenance or removal/replacment as needed until the building is replaced.

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METHODS
Please refer to the IAQ Manual for methods, sampling procedures, and interpretation of
results (MDPH, 2015).

RESULTS and DISCUSSION


The following is a summary of indoor air testing results (Table 1).
• Carbon dioxide levels were above the MDPH guideline of 800 parts per million (ppm) 9 of
38 areas surveyed, indicating a lack of air exchange in about a quarter of the areas tested.
• Temperature was within the recommended range of 70°F to 78°F.
• Relative humidity was within or very close to the recommended range of 40 to 60%.
• Carbon monoxide levels were non-detectable in all areas tested.
• Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations measured were below the National Ambient
Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) level of 35 μg/m3 in all areas assessed.

At the time of assessment, it was noted that mechanical systems were not operating in
some areas, particularly the gymnasiums. To maximize air exchange, the BEH recommends that
mechanical ventilation systems operate continuously during periods of occupancy. Without the
system operating as designed, normally occurring pollutants cannot be diluted or removed,
allowing them to build up and lead to IAQ/comfort complaints.

Ventilation
A thorough description of the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
exist in the 2016 IAQ assessment, included as Appendix A. It is important to note that while the
supply of fresh air was adequate in warm weather during this visit (e.g., with windows/dampers
open), the 2016 IAQ assessment indicates reduced air circulation.
It is important to note that the HVAC system dates from the 1970s. Controlling
temperatures in a large building with variable occupancy is difficult, and more so because many
of the HVAC and associated equipment is over 40 years old. Efficient function of equipment of
this age is difficult to maintain, since compatible replacement parts are often unavailable.
According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineering

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(ASHRAE), the service life 1 for the various components of the HVAC system is between 20 to
30 years, assuming routine maintenance of the equipment (ASHRAE, 1991). Despite attempts to
maintain the equipment, the optimal operational lifespan of this equipment has been exceeded.
In this condition, normally-occurring environmental pollutants can build up in the indoor
environment due to sub-par functioning of the HVAC system. For this reason, methods to reduce
sources of dust, debris, and other potential irritants should be implemented. The 2016 report
included in Appendix A has additional information on sources of irritants found in the school
during that visit.

Microbial/Moisture Concerns
Water-damaged ceiling tiles were observed in a number of areas. Chronically wet ceiling
tiles that remain in place can become mold colonized if moistened for longer than 24 hours.
Missing ceiling tiles can also allow dust/debris in the plenum system to enter occupied spaces.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the American Conference of
Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommend that porous materials be dried with
fans and heating within 24 to 48 hours of becoming wet (US EPA, 2008; ACGIH, 1989). If not
dried within this time frame, mold growth may occur. Once mold has colonized porous
materials, they are difficult to clean and should be removed/discarded.

Carpeting
Wall to wall carpeting exists in classroom areas and the library. Both the 2003 and 2016
IAQ reports made recommendations with regarding the cleaning and/or removal of carpeting
(Appendix A). It is important to note that the carpeting examined during the 2003 IAQ
assessment appears to be the same carpet that is currently in classrooms and media center, which
was likely installed during the original construction of the building in 1976. Signs of wear such
as lost carpet pile (Picture 1), shrinkage exposing seams (Picture 2), rippling (Picture 3) and the
fading (Picture 4) all show the degree to which carpeting has degraded. Carpeting in schools, if
well maintained, is expected to have a service life of 7 to 11 years (IICRC, 2002; Bishop, 2002).

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The service life is the median time during which a particular system or component of …[an HVAC]… system
remains in its original service application and then is replaced. Replacement may occur for any reason, including,
but not limited to, failure, general obsolescence, reduced reliability, excessive maintenance cost, and changed
system requirements due to such influences as building characteristics or energy prices (ASHRAE, 1991).

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Worn carpet can be a source of dust, debris and other pollutants that can become readily
aerololized when trod upon. This condition can be exacerbated by low humidity that will occur
during the heating season. Elevated particulate matter was noted in the 2016 IAQ report, where
over 20% of the areas assessed had PM 2.5 particle measurements that were above the NAAQS
of 35 μg/m3 (Appendix A). Increased PM2.5 can result in eye, nose, and respiratory system
irritation. Individuals with a pre-existing respiratory condition such as asthma may experience
increased symptoms.

Other Conditions
Tennis balls were found sliced open and placed around chair legs to reduce noise (Table
1), which was previously noted in the 2016 report (Appendix A). Tennis balls are made of a
number of materials that are a source of respiratory irritants. Constant wearing of tennis balls can
produce fibers and lead to off-gassing of VOCs. Tennis balls are made with a natural rubber
latex bladder, which becomes abraded when used as a chair leg pad. Use of tennis balls in this
manner may introduce latex dust into the school environment. Some individuals are highly
allergic to latex (e.g., spina bifida patients) (SBAA, 2001). It is recommended that the use of
materials containing latex be limited in buildings to reduce the likelihood of symptoms in
sensitive individuals (NIOSH, 1997; NIOSH, 1998).
Dust control continues to be a significant problem. A large number of surfaces
throughout the school were found with accumulated dust. Dust was observed on items and
surfaces, including personal fans, supply vents, radiators and tabletops. Dust can be irritating to
the eyes, nose and respiratory tract. Dust on ventilation equipment and fans should be cleaned to
prevent re-aerosolization when the system is activated. To prevent dust buildup and
redistribution, flat surfaces should also be wiped and cleaned with a vacuum equipped with the
high efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter or wet wiped on a regular basis.
The gymnasium uses floor-to-ceiling dividers to separate Gym A and B from Gym C.
The dividers have holes and are covered with vinyl wallpaper, which was peeling (Picture 5).
One cement block wall in Gyms A and B was found to have peeling paint. Due to the age of the
building, the peeling paint may contain lead. Lead paint should be remediated in a manner
consistent with Massachusetts lead paint laws and regulations.

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Refer to 2016 IAQ report for other conditions noted that remain present inside the
building (Appendix A).

Conclusions/Recommendations
The building is scheduled to be replaced, however that process will take several years
before a new building is open. Therefore, the following recommendations are designed to
improve/maintain indoor air quality of the current building until the new building is opened.
Of primary concern is the reduction of airborne particles that appear to be associated with
the 43-year-old carpeting. The IAQ Program recommends that the wall-to-wall carpeting be
removed from classrooms and media center to reduce airborne dust. Until this is done, the
carpeting will continue to be a source of respirable particulates no matter the amount of cleaning
and/or operation of the HVAC system. Also given the age of the HVAC system, it is also
recommended that improved cleaning activities be implemented throughout the school. To the
extent possible, the operation of ventilation equipment should be improved when the building is
occupied. The following recommendations are provided to improve IAQ for the duration of use
of the building:
1. Implement all remaining recommendations in the 2016 IAQ report. It appears that
minimal implementation of recommendations made in the 2016 IAQ report (Appendix A)
have been conducted to date.
2. Remove wall-to-wall carpeting.
3. Determine if peeling paint in the gyms contain lead. If paint contains lead, remove paint
in a manner consistent with Massachusetts lead paint laws and regulations. If no lead is
present, remove peeling paint.
4. Remove tennis balls from the legs of desks and chairs and replace with a non-latex-
containing material.
5. Operate supply and exhaust ventilation continuously in all areas during occupied periods.
6. During temperate weather, use windows/doors to supplement fresh air and increase cross-
ventilation.
7. Ensure all HVAC equipment is maintained and supply vents are cleaned periodically to
prevent dust re-aerosolization.

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References
ACGIH. 1989. Guidelines for the Assessment of Bioaerosols in the Indoor Environment.
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, Cincinnati, OH.
ASHRAE. 1991. ASHRAE Applications Handbook, Chapter 33 “Owning and Operating Costs”.
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, Atlanta, GA.
Bishop. 2002. Bishop, J. & Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. A Life
Cycle Cost Analysis for Floor Coverings in School Facilities.

IICRC. 2002. Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Carpet Cleaning: A
Life-cycle Cost Analysis for Floor Coverings in School Facilities.

MassLive. 2018. Easthampton voters OK new school construction 2,829 to 2,101.


https://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/05/easthampton_school_vote_failss.html

MDPH. 2015. Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Indoor Air Quality Manual: Chapters
I-III. Available at: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/environmental-
health/exposure-topics/iaq/iaq-manual/.

NIOSH. 1997. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Alert Preventing Allergic
Reactions to Natural Rubber latex in the Workplace. National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health, Atlanta, GA.
NIOSH. 1998. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Latex Allergy A
Prevention. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Atlanta, GA.
SBAA. 2001. Latex In the Home And Community Updated Spring 2001. Spina Bifida
Association of America, Washington, DC.
US EPA. 2008. “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings”. Office of Air and
Radiation, Indoor Environments Division, Washington, DC. EPA 402-K-01-001. Available at:
https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide.

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Picture 1

Severely worn carpet

Picture 2

Exposed carpet seams


Picture 3

Rippled carpet

Picture 4

Faded carpet
Picture 5

Peeling wall paper from dividers


Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St., Easthampton, MA Table 1 Date: June 8, 2018

Carbon Carbon Relative Ventilation


Dioxide Monoxide Temp Humidity PM2.5 Occupants Windows
3
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) (µg/m ) in Room Openable Supply Exhaust Remarks

Background 422 ND 76 27 14 Sunny

403 829 ND 76 54 11 2 N Y Y Tennis ball, floor fan

404 845 ND 77 53 8 5 N Y Y Tennis ball

407 Computer
1048 78 53 7 19 N Y Y 1 water-damaged ceiling tiles
room

509 845 ND 77 55 5 12 Y Y Y Tennis balls

512 834 ND 77 53 8 2 N Y Y Tennis balls

530 750 ND 77 56 9 15 Y Y Y

531 647 ND 77 54 7 0 N Y Y

532 652 ND 77 54 8 1 Y Y Y

533 648 ND 77 54 6 0 N Y Y

534 683 ND 78 54 6 0 Y Y Y

535 802 ND 78 55 10 21 Y Y Y

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µg/m = microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per million ND = non detect

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: < 800 ppm = preferred Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page 1
Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St., Easthampton, MA Table 1 (continued) Date: June 8, 2018

Carbon Carbon Relative Ventilation


Dioxide Monoxide Temp Humidity PM2.5 Occupants Windows
3
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) (µg/m ) in Room Openable Supply Exhaust Remarks

536 680 ND 77 55 7 11 Y Y Y

537 675 ND 77 54 8 0 Y Y Y

603 705 78 53 8 23 N Y Y Tennis balls

608 687 ND 77 55 5 0 N Y Y 7 water-damaged ceiling tiles

609 684 ND 77 53 5 23 Y Y Y

1 water-damaged ceiling tiles


610 648 ND 77 55 5 23 Y Y Y
Plants

611 574 ND 76 55 5 3 N Y Y

621 645 78 53 6 0 Y Y Y

622 670 78 53 6 2 Y Y Y

623 660 78 54 6 4 Y Y Y

624 743 78 56 7 15 Y Y Y

625 650 77 55 6 0 Y Y Y

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µg/m = microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per million ND = non detect

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: < 800 ppm = preferred Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page 2
Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St., Easthampton, MA Table 1 (continued) Date: June 8, 2018

Carbon Carbon Relative Ventilation


Dioxide Monoxide Temp Humidity PM2.5 Occupants Windows
3
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) (µg/m ) in Room Openable Supply Exhaust Remarks

626 710 77 56 7 5 Y Y Y 2 water-damaged ceiling tiles

627 870 77 61 6 21 N Y Y

631 566 ND 75 56 5 1 N Y Y

632 573 ND 75 56 6 0 Y Y Y Plant

635 570 ND 76 55 5 1 N Y Y

East cafeteria 821 77 59 6 27 N Y Y Floor fan

Gym A 846 ND 75 59 9 30+ N Y Y Peeling paint, peeling wall paper

Gym C 732 ND 74 54 4 0 N Y Y

Labs 756 ND 76 55 5 3 N Y Y

Labs 771 ND 76 55 7 1 N Y Y Floor fan

Main Office 603 ND 75 54 6 1 N Y Y

Media center 795 77 51 7 0 N Y Y Plants

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µg/m = microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per million ND = non detect

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: < 800 ppm = preferred Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page 3
Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St., Easthampton, MA Table 1 (continued) Date: June 8, 2018

Carbon Carbon Relative Ventilation


Dioxide Monoxide Temp Humidity PM2.5 Occupants Windows
3
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) (µg/m ) in Room Openable Supply Exhaust Remarks

Music 521 ND 75 51 3 0 N Y Y

Nurse 538 ND 74 54 6 1 N Y Y Tennis balls

South cafeteria 737 ND 77 55 5 6 Y Y Y

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µg/m = microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per million ND = non detect

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: < 800 ppm = preferred Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page 4
INDOOR AIR QUALITY ASSESSMENT

White Brook Middle School


200 Park St.
Easthampton, MA

Prepared by:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Bureau of Environmental Health
Indoor Air Quality Program
April 2016

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Background

Building: White Brook Middle School (WBMS)


Address: 200 Park St., Easthampton, MA
Assessment Requested by: Dayle Doran, Business Director,
Easthampton Public Schools
Reason for Request: General indoor air quality (IAQ)
concerns
Date of Assessment: March 9, 2016
Massachusetts Department of Public Health/ Sharon Lee, Environmental Analyst,
Bureau of Environmental Health (MDPH/ IAQ Program
BEH) Staff Conducting Assessment:
Date of Building Construction: 1976
Building Description: Single story, multi-wing facility
Building Population: approximately 460 students in grades 5
to 8 and 50 staff members
Windows: Mostly openable

METHODS
Please refer to the IAQ Manual for methods, sampling procedures, and interpretation of
results (MDPH, 2015).

RESULTS and DISCUSSION


The following is a summary of indoor air testing results (Table 1).
• Carbon dioxide levels were above 800 parts per million (ppm) 31 of 64 areas surveyed,
indicating a lack of air exchange in nearly 50 % of the areas tested.
• Temperature at the school was within or above the recommended range of 70°F to 78°F.
• Relative humidity was below the recommended range of 40 to 60% in all areas.
• Carbon monoxide levels were non-detectable in all indoor areas tested.

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• Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations measured exceeded the National Ambient
Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) level of 35 µg/m3 in approximately 20% of areas assessed.
PM2.5 concentrations reflect dustloads at the school during the assessment.
The air sampling indicates that the ventilation system in the building is not providing
enough fresh air. At the time of assessment, it was noted that mechanical systems were not
operating in some areas, particularly the gymnasiums. To maximize air exchange, the BEH
recommends that mechanical ventilation systems operate continuously during periods of school
occupancy. Without the system operating as designed, normally occurring pollutants cannot be
diluted or removed, allowing them to build up and lead to IAQ/comfort complaints.

Ventilation
A heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system has several functions. First it
provides heating. Second, it is a source of fresh air. Finally, an HVAC system will dilute and
remove normally occurring indoor environmental pollutants by not only introducing fresh air, but
by filtering the airstream and ejecting stale air to the outdoors via exhaust ventilation. Even if an
HVAC system is operating as designed, point sources of respiratory irritation may exist and
cause symptoms in sensitive individuals. The following describes and identifies components of
the HVAC system and likely sources of respiratory irritants/allergens in the indoor environment.
Fresh air in classrooms and central areas such as gymnasiums and cafeterias are provided
by rooftop air-handling units (AHUs; Picture 1). Air from the AHUs is filtered, heated, and
delivered via ceiling-mounted diffusers to classrooms (Picture 2) and ceiling-mounted supply
vents in central areas (Picture 3).
Classroom air is returned to the AHUs by slots in the ceiling tile system that opens to the
ceiling plenum (Picture 2). This system uses the entire space above the ceiling to draw air back
to the AHU. Central spaces have wall- or ceiling-mounted exhaust vents (Picture 3) that are
ducted directly to the AHUs.
AHUs for each open classroom grouping or pod is controlled by a single thermostat near
the interior of the school. Often, these classrooms were not occupied. As a result, AHUs in many
areas were providing excess heated air. Temperatures in many of these areas were augmented by

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solar gain. When possible, measures should be taken to reduce solar gain and increase cross
ventilation in these classrooms by opening windows in opposite ends of each pod.
Supplemental heating is installed along exterior walls in some classrooms. These
radiators should be cleaned and maintained periodically. Register caps should be in place for all
equipment (Picture 4).

Microbial/Moisture Concerns
Stained ceiling tiles were observed in a number of areas (Picture 5; Table 1),
predominately from roof drainage issues. Ceiling tiles observed in the home economics room
were reportedly removed due to repeated damage to the ceiling tiles. This particular roof area is a
low point at which water accumulates (Picture 6). Chronically wet ceiling tiles that remain in
place can create a hazard, since saturated tiles can fall down. Missing ceiling tiles can also allow
dust/debris in the plenum system to enter occupied spaces. Until roof drainage and repair
measures can be completed water diverting ceiling tile systems should be considered to maintain
the ceiling plenum system (Picture 7).
Staff also reported an incident where flooding occurred in the library area. Flooding
occurred when a drainage pipe became corroded. The damaged pipe was replaced, and the carpet
was reportedly cleaned, disinfected, and dried immediately. The carpet was dry at the time of the
BEH/IAQ visit. Any future water damage issues should also be addressed promptly.
Floor carpeting is installed to the classroom edge, even in classrooms with exterior doors.
Staining to carpeting in these areas indicated previous water damage. Wet carpet should be
cleaned and dried immediately to prevent mold growth. The US Environmental Protection
Agency (US EPA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
(ACGIH) recommend that porous materials be dried with fans and heating within 24 to 48 hours
of becoming wet (US EPA, 2001; ACGIH, 1989). If not dried within this time frame, mold
growth may occur. Once mold has colonized porous materials, they are difficult to clean and
should be removed/discarded.
In addition, light was observed around many of these exterior doors, indicating breaches
that could allow water and pest entry. Further, these doors are frequently used to access the
outdoors. To limit damage from potential water events and improve ease of cleaning in these

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areas, consideration should be given to removing carpeting in these areas (e.g. 2 feet from door)
and replacing with vinyl floor tiles. Walk-off mats may serve as an alternative to continued
damage or degradation of carpeting in this area.
Several sinks in classrooms had backsplashes with a gap (Table 1). Water that moves
down through the gap and behind the backsplash can cause water damage, potentially resulting
in mold growth.
Plants were observed in a few areas near heating sources and on carpeting (Pictures 8 and
9; Table 1). Plants can be a source of pollen and mold, which can be respiratory irritants to some
individuals. Heating and ventilation sources can distribute pollen and mold from plants placed in
close proximity. Plants that are overwatered can cause prolonged exposure of carpets to water.
Plants should be properly maintained and equipped with drip pans and should be located away
from air diffusers to prevent aerosolization of dirt, pollen, and mold.
Aquariums were found in a few areas of the school (Picture 10; Table 1). These need to
be kept clean so that stagnant water and organic matter (e.g., soil, vegetation) do not become a
source of odors.
The outside of the building was examined for conditions that may impact IAQ. BEH/IAQ
staff observed damage to an exterior wall panel (Picture 11). Water between the exterior wall
covering and insulation can freeze and thaw, which will cause damage.

Other IAQ Evaluations


Exposure to low levels of total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) may produce eye,
nose, throat, and/or respiratory irritation in some sensitive individuals. To determine if VOCs
were present, BEH/IAQ staff examined rooms for products containing VOCs. BEH/IAQ staff
noted candles, air fresheners, hand sanitizers, cleaners, and dry erase materials in use within the
building (Pictures 12 and 13; Table 1). All of these products have the potential to be irritants to
the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory system of sensitive individuals.
Many areas of the school are carpeted, and these appeared stained, worn, and frayed due
to use and age (Picture 14). The carpets are reportedly original to the building. The usable life of
carpeting is approximately 10-11 years (IICRC, 2002). Aging carpet can produce fibers that can
be irritating to the respiratory system. In addition, tears or lifting carpet can create tripping

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hazards. Consideration should be given to installing carpet vinyl edges to create smooth
transitions. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC)
recommends that carpeting be cleaned annually (or semi-annually in soiled high traffic areas)
(IICRC, 2012). Similarly, plush and upholstered items (Picture 15) should also be cleaned
regularly.
Tennis balls were found sliced open and placed around chair legs to reduce noise (Picture
16; Table 1). Tennis balls are made of a number of materials that are a source of respiratory
irritants. Constant wearing of tennis balls can produce fibers and off-gas VOCs. Tennis balls are
made with a natural rubber latex bladder, which becomes abraded when used as a chair leg pad.
Use of tennis balls in this manner may introduce latex dust into the school environment. Some
individuals are highly allergic to latex (e.g. spina bifida patients) (SBAA, 2001). Use of materials
containing latex should be limited to reduce the potential for symptoms in sensitive individuals
(NIOSH, 1997). Latex-free glides can be used to prevent damage to floor materials.
Accumulations of pencil shavings, chalk dust, and dry erase marker debris (Pictures 17
and 18; Table 1) were found in classrooms. These materials can be aerosolized and cause
irritation. Pencil sharpeners and chalkboard/whiteboard trays should be cleaned frequently.
Pencil sharpeners should be moved away from airstream to prevent fire hazard, odors, and
airborne irritant.
Dust control appeared to be a significant problem at the time of assessment. A large
number of surfaces throughout the school were found with accumulated dust. Dust was observed
on items, including personal fans, supply vents, radiators, and tabletops (Pictures 2 and 19; Table
1). Dust can be irritating to the eyes, nose and respiratory tract. Dust on ventilation equipment
and fans should be cleaned to prevent re-aerosolization when the system is activated. To prevent
dust buildup and redistribution, flat surfaces should also be wiped and cleaned with a vacuum
equipped with the high efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter on a regular basis.

Conclusions/Recommendations
The age of the carpet, in combination with lack of ventilation and cleaning contribute to
the PM2.5 concentrations measured at the time of the assessment. Improved cleaning activities,
operation of ventilation equipment when the school is occupied, and replacement of carpeting in
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high traffic areas will help to reduce dustload within the building. The following short-term and
long-term recommendations are provided to improve IAQ.

Short term Recommendations


1. Operate supply and exhaust ventilation continuously in all areas during occupied periods.
During temperate weather, use windows/doors to supplement fresh air and increase
cross-ventilation. Ensure all HVAC equipment is maintained and supply vents are
cleaned periodically to prevent dust re-aerosolization.
2. Replace carpets in high-traffic areas to prevent continued carpet degradation/dust
aerosolization and prevent tripping hazards.
3. Use a HEPA vacuum in conjunction with wet wipes or microfiber clothes to clean flat
surfaces and floors to reduce airborne dust.
4. Clean carpeting and plush/upholstered items regularly and discard those that are worn out
or too soiled to be cleaned. Refer to IICRC for additional cleaning suggestions.
5. Clean supply vents and personal fans regularly to prevent aerosolization of debris.
6. Consider reducing the amount of items stored in classrooms to make cleaning easier.
Periodically move items to clean flat surfaces.
7. Use shading or window films to decrease solar gain, particularly in classrooms facing the
west to reduce excessive heat.
8. Examine measures to improve roof drainage in the area above the home economics room.
9. Replace stained ceiling tiles with water-diverting ceiling tiles. Ensure water-diverting
ceiling tiles are well-maintained, and water collection vessels are cleaned and emptied
daily to prevent odors.
10. Ensure that the roof is examined regularly for deterioration and leaks, and that debris is
removed regularly.
11. Ensure that procedures are in place for occupants to report leaks, wet tiles, and other
maintenance conditions so that work orders can be logged and repairs made promptly.
12. Consider removing carpeting from areas around exterior doors (e.g. 2 feet out) and
replacing with vinyl floor tiles. Walk-off mats may serve as an alternative to continued
damage or degradation of carpeting in this area.

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13. Install vinyl edges to create smooth transitions where carpet is no longer adhered.
14. Seal gaps between sink countertops and backsplashes with silicone caulking to prevent
water damage behind sinks.
15. Keep plants in good condition, avoid overwatering, and remove from the airstream of
heating and ventilation equipment.
16. Keep aquariums clean to prevent mold growth and odors.
17. Repair damage to exterior wall panel.
18. Install door sweeps and caulking to ensure doors are air tight.
19. Reduce the use of cleaning products, sanitizers, and other products containing VOCs.
Use only school-issued products, ensure they are properly labeled, and keep material
safety sheets on file for each product at the school.
20. Remove air deodorizers and scented candles to prevent respiratory irritation.
21. Replace tennis balls in classrooms with latex-free glides.
22. Keep pencil sharpeners away from air movement sources such as radiators, and ensure
sharpeners are emptied regularly.
23. Clean trays of whiteboard marker and chalk debris regularly.
24. Install
25. Consider adopting the US EPA (2000) document, “Tools for Schools”, as an instrument
for maintaining a good IAQ environment in the building. This document is available at:
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/index.html.
26. Refer to resource manual and other related IAQ documents located on the MDPH’s
website for further building-wide evaluations and advice on maintaining public
buildings. These documents are available at: http://mass.gov/dph/iaq.

Long-term Recommendations
1. Contact a roof specialist to determine feasibility of regrading roof for improved drainage.
2. Replace carpets throughout school.

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References
ACGIH. 1989. Guidelines for the Assessment of Bioaerosols in the Indoor Environment.
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, Cincinnati, OH.

IICRC. 2002. Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Carpet Cleaning:
A Life-cycle Cost Analysis for Floor Coverings in School Facilities. Retrieved from https://
www.carpet-rug.org/Documents/Scientific_Resources/0203_IICRC_Life-Cycle-Cost-
Analysis.aspx

IICRC. 2012. Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Carpet Cleaning:
FAQ. Retrieved from http://www.iicrc.org/consumers/care/carpet-cleaning/#faq.

MDPH. 2015. Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Indoor Air Quality Manual:
Chapters I-III. Available at: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/
environmental-health/exposure-topics/iaq/iaq-manual/.

NIOSH. 1997. NIOSH Alert Preventing Allergic Reactions to Natural Rubber Latex in the
Workplace. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Atlanta, GA.

SBAA. 2001. Latex In the Home And Community Updated Spring 2001. Spina Bifida
Association of America, Washington, DC.

US EPA. 2000. Tools for Schools. Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Radiation and Indoor
Air, Indoor Environments Division (6609J). EPA 402-K-95-001, Second Edition. http://
www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/tools4s2.html.

US EPA. 2001. “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings”. Office of Air and
Radiation, Indoor Environments Division, Washington, DC. EPA 402-K-01-001. March 2001.
Available at: https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-
guide

!9
Picture

Rooftop air-handling unit

Picture

Return
Supply
vent
vent

!10
Slotted, ceiling-mounted air diffuser and return vent; note dust accumulation
Picture

Supply
vent

Return
! vent

Ceiling-mounted supply and return vent

Picture

End cap to heat register not attached

Picture

!11
!

Missing and water-damaged ceiling tiles

Picture

Water pooling on roof (approximately above home economics area)

Picture

!12
!

Example of water-diverting ceiling tile

Picture

Plants above heating, note plant debris on heating elements


Picture

!13
!

Plants on carpet
Picture

Aquarium, note water color


Picture

!14
!

Damaged exterior wall

Picture

Scented candles near heating source


Picture

!15
!

Plug-in air deodorizer

Picture

Fraying and non- continuous carpet surface


Picture

!16
!

Fabric covered toy, note matted texture of upholstery

Picture

Tennis balls used on chair feet

Picture

!17
!

Pencil sharpener shavings noted in radiator due to proximity

Picture

Chalk dust buildup in tray


Picture

!18
!

Dust settled on fan blade

!19
Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St, Easthampton, MA Table 1 Date: March 9, 2016

Carb Carbo Ventilation


on n Relative Window
Dioxi Monox Humidit PM2.5 Occupan s
de ide Temp y (µg/ ts Openabl Suppl
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) m3) in Room e y Exhaust Remarks

Background 431 ND 76 27 27 Sunny

Principal’s
688 ND 73 31 25 0 Y Y
office

Main office 656 ND 73 31 40 0 U Y

Y
Murses office 656 ND 72 31 27 2 N N bathroo
m TB, DO
Y Y
Gym A/B 911 ND 75 37 192 0 N Off Off DO, 30 students in hallway
Y Y
Gym C 885 ND 74 33 192 0 N Off Off DO

311 music 875 ND 73 33 19 0 N Y Y DO

602 home
economics 701 ND 73 31 27 0 N Y Y 7 MT, WD-CTs, TB, DO

631 712 ND 74 33 85 19 N Y Y 2-WD-CT

632 609 ND 75 31 77 23 Y N Y 1 AT, plants, PF

633 582 ND 75 31 44 0 N Y Y 6 computers, plants

634 663 ND 75 32 36 21 Y Y Y Plants, DEM, CD

AT = ajar ceiling tile DO = door open


MT = missing tile PS = pencil sharpener
AD = air deodorizer DEM = dry
erase materials ND = non-detect
TB = tennis balls on chair feet
CD = chalk dust HS = hand
sanitizer PF = personal
fan WD-CT= water-
damaged ceiling tiles
CPs = cleaning products µg/m3 =
microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per
million

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: < 800 ppm = preferred Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page ! 1
Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St, Easthampton, MA Table 1 (continued) Date: March 9, 2016

Carb Carbo Ventilation


on n Relative Window
Dioxi Monox Humidit PM2.5 Occupan s
de ide Temp y (µg/ ts Openabl Suppl
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) m3) in Room e y Exhaust Remarks

635 728 ND 76 32 43 20 Y Y Y

636 728 ND 76 32 43 20 Y Y Y

637 663 ND 76 31 34 0 N Y Y

611 738 ND 75 30 24 0 N Y Y TB, PF

DO, Plants, TB, Aquarium,


610 845 ND 75 31 21 1 Y Y Y breach in sink backsplash,
dust on flat surfaces

Y Dust, breach in sink


609 874 ND 75 33 46 22 Open Y Y backsplash, TB, candles

608 697 ND 74 31 29 0 N Y Y TB

603 830 ND 74 33 31 0 N Y Y TB, items, AT

East cafeteria 904 ND 75 34 20 100 N Y Y TB

605 1045 ND 74 37 29 21 Y Y Y Plants, TB, PF, food

627 914 ND 75 34 12 0 N Y Y PF

625 871 ND 76 31 9 0 Y y Y

AT = ajar ceiling tile DO = door open


MT = missing tile PS = pencil sharpener
AD = air deodorizer DEM = dry
erase materials ND = non-detect
TB = tennis balls on chair feet
CD = chalk dust HS = hand
sanitizer PF = personal
fan WD-CT= water-
damaged ceiling tiles
CPs = cleaning products µg/m3 =
microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per
million

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: <800 = preferable Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page ! 2
Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St, Easthampton, MA Table 1 (continued) Date: March 9, 2016

Carb Carbo Ventilation


on n Relative Window
Dioxi Monox Humidit PM2.5 Occupan s
de ide Temp y (µg/ ts Openabl Suppl
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) m3) in Room e y Exhaust Remarks

626 878 ND 76 31 45 0 Y Y Y

624 888 ND 77 30 22 0 Y Y Y PF

TB, light observed around


623 898 ND 77 30 22 1 N Y Y exterior door

622 878 ND 77 30 11 0 Y Y Y PF, DEM

621 843 ND 76 30 16 0 N Y Y DO, CD

620 837 ND 76 30 11 0 N Y Y DO

Media 700 ND 76 30 23 2 N Y Y photocopiers, plants

Computers 857 ND 77 30 29 18 N Y Y 30 computers

TRC 706 ND 76 29 81 0 N Y Y DO, TB, 20 computers

CTN 865 ND 77 32 29 23 N Y Y 30 computers

Y Photocopiers- odors, AT,


408 665 ND 76 28 23 4 N Y Dusty WD-CT, laminator

409 664 ND 75 32 27 0 N Y Y PF

AT = ajar ceiling tile DO = door open


MT = missing tile PS = pencil sharpener
AD = air deodorizer DEM = dry
erase materials ND = non-detect
TB = tennis balls on chair feet
CD = chalk dust HS = hand
sanitizer PF = personal
fan WD-CT= water-
damaged ceiling tiles
CPs = cleaning products µg/m3 =
microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per
million

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: <800 = preferable Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page ! 3
Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St, Easthampton, MA Table 1 (continued) Date: March 9, 2016

Carb Carbo Ventilation


on n Relative Window
Dioxi Monox Humidit PM2.5 Occupan s
de ide Temp y (µg/ ts Openabl Suppl
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) m3) in Room e y Exhaust Remarks

402 605 ND 76 31 24 2 N Y Y PF, WD-CT, ATs

Resources
778 ND 76 29 21 0 N Y Y
center

Signs of chronic water


Y
417 701 ND 76 30 27 0 N Y exposure on ceiling supply
Rusty and exhaust vents

404 931 ND 75 34 37 0 N Y Y Dripping sink, Copiers, DO

South
957 ND 77 37 24 100 N Y Y
cafeteria TB, fans, WD-CT

522 853 ND 78 32 35 0 N Y Y

531 908 ND 79 34 32 21 N Y Y DEM

532 671 ND 81 29 46 0 Y Y Y DEM, plants

Light around exterior doors,


533 839 ND 81 30 53 18 Y Y Y PF-dusty, PS-near radiator

Y
534 743 ND 83 28 42 0 Y Y
Open
Y Light around exterior door,
535 701 ND 83 28 64 21 Y Y
Open CPs
Y
536 617 ND 84 24 32 0 Y Y PF
Open

AT = ajar ceiling tile DO = door open


MT = missing tile PS = pencil sharpener
AD = air deodorizer DEM = dry
erase materials ND = non-detect
TB = tennis balls on chair feet
CD = chalk dust HS = hand
sanitizer PF = personal
fan WD-CT= water-
damaged ceiling tiles
CPs = cleaning products µg/m3 =
microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per
million

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: <800 = preferable Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page ! 4
Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St, Easthampton, MA Table 1 (continued) Date: March 9, 2016

Carb Carbo Ventilation


on n Relative Window
Dioxi Monox Humidit PM2.5 Occupan s
de ide Temp y (µg/ ts Openabl Suppl
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) m3) in Room e y Exhaust Remarks

537 766 ND 82 26 18 0 N Y Y DO

530 703 ND 84 24 23 0 N Y Y DO

512 786 ND 75 27 36 0 N Y Y AD, TB,PF

PF, light around exterior


507 972 ND 78 31 13 0 N Y Y door, WD-CTs

510 862 ND 78 30 11 0 Y Y Y TB, plants, CPs, aquarium

509 882 ND 79 31 14 18 Y Y Y CPs, TB, plants

527 880 ND 80 30 31 0 N Y Y 25 computers, AD

520/521 612 ND 80 30 46 0 N Y Y

Light around exterior door,


523 641 ND 80 30 42 0 N Y Y PF, WD-CT

401 867 ND 77 31 32 1 N Y N

522 754 ND 80 30 23 7 N Y Y CPs, AD, items

524 641 ND 73 11 42 0 Y Y Y

AT = ajar ceiling tile DO = door open


MT = missing tile PS = pencil sharpener
AD = air deodorizer DEM = dry
erase materials ND = non-detect
TB = tennis balls on chair feet
CD = chalk dust HS = hand
sanitizer PF = personal
fan WD-CT= water-
damaged ceiling tiles
CPs = cleaning products µg/m3 =
microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per
million

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: <800 = preferable Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page ! 5
Location: White Brook Middle School Indoor Air Results
Address: 200 Park St, Easthampton, MA Table 1 (continued) Date: March 9, 2016

Carb Carbo Ventilation


on n Relative Window
Dioxi Monox Humidit PM2.5 Occupan s
de ide Temp y (µg/ ts Openabl Suppl
Location (ppm) (ppm) (°F) (%) m3) in Room e y Exhaust Remarks

525 1106 ND 80 33 28 22 Y Y Y Plants, AD

Y
526 634 ND 81 29 26 19 Y Y Plants, HS, DO
Open

Faculty
654 ND 78 32 24 2 Y Y Y
dining area

312 1197 ND 75 31 35 23 N Y Y WD-CT

Stage 827 ND 74 27 21 3 N Y Y

AT = ajar ceiling tile DO = door open


MT = missing tile PS = pencil sharpener
AD = air deodorizer DEM = dry
erase materials ND = non-detect
TB = tennis balls on chair feet
CD = chalk dust HS = hand
sanitizer PF = personal
fan WD-CT= water-
damaged ceiling tiles
CPs = cleaning products µg/m3 =
microgram per cubic meter ppm = parts per
million

Comfort Guidelines
Carbon Dioxide: <800 = preferable Temperature: 70 - 78 °F
> 800 ppm = indicative of ventilation problems Relative Humidity: 40 - 60%

Table 1, page ! 6