General Recommendations

Policies

The O & M committee recommends the following policies be adopted in commercial and public buildings:

No Smoking Policy

It is recommended that smoking be prohibited inside buildings. Smoking should be restricted to designated outdoor smoking areas that are 100 feet from paths of travel, entryways, operable windows, and air intakes.

Fragrance-Free Policy

It is recommended that a fragrance-free policy include prohibition of fragrance-emitting devices (FEDS) and sprays; use of fragrance-free maintenance, laundry, paper and other products; restrictions on perfume, cologne, and other scented personal care products used by employees, visitors, and other occupants; and prohibitions on use of potpourri and burning incense and scented candles.

An important first step is educating staff and others about the need for and benefits of reducing or eliminating the use of fragranced products.

Resources

No Scents Makes Sense brochure, Lung Association of New Brunswick

Guideline on the use of Perfumes and Scented Products and We Share the Air information poster, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

See "Steps for Implementing a Scent-free Policy in the Workplace" in Additional Resources.

Cell Phone Use Policy

It is recommended that cell phone use be prohibited in areas of a building when requested by an electromagnetically sensitive individual who needs to work or visit that area. Also, see information on use of a Cleaner Air Symbol in the Designated Cleaner Air Room report.

Notification Policy

It is recommended that facilities adopt a posting and notification policy to notify staff, visitors, and other building occupants of pesticide applications, cleaning and maintenance activities, renovation and construction, and other activities that may produce hazardous fumes or dust.

Vehicle Idling Policy

It is recommended that facilities limit or prohibit idling of vehicles, especially diesel vehicles, near entryways, loading docks, operable windows, and air intakes (23).

Recommendations for Future Actions

  1. The O & M Committee recommends that the U.S. Access Board sponsor a meeting with stakeholders, including architects, building owners and managers, government officials, scientists, advocates, sensitive and vulnerable individuals, and others to evaluate the recommendations of this report (Operations & Maintenance). This meeting should provide a forum for increasing awareness of the report, facilitating dialogue among stakeholders, assessing the feasibility of the recommendations, and identifying ways to advance the recommendations.
  2. The recommendations on cleaning products and practices in this report are based on information that is currently available. The O & M committee found that much more information and research is needed to better define cleaning products and practices that are effective and that will best protect occupant health. Some of the data gaps or problems the Committee identified are lack of information on labels and Material Safety Data Sheets, lack of information on fragrance ingredients combined with incomplete information on their health effects, and safety questions about citrus- and pine-based cleaning products because, among other things, they react with ozone to produce hazardous byproducts.

We, therefore, recommend that the U.S. Access Board and/or NIBS, in conjunction with U.S. EPA and other stakeholders, sponsor a workshop to examine existing information on cleaning products and practices, identify those products and practices that have the least adverse impact on indoor environmental quality and occupant health (including impacts on sensitive and vulnerable individuals), develop best practices, and determine research needs.