Tips for Facility Managers Tasked with Mitigating Indoor Allergy Complaints

The IAQ professionals at Indoor Environmental Consultants (IEC) identify indoor allergens and help to develop solutions for facility managers across Texas.

3d rendered illustration of a guy breathing pollen
3d rendered illustration of a guy breathing pollen

When an employee comes to work and develops allergy symptoms that improve or go away once they leave their work environment, it is often a good indication that there are indoor allergens in the building. Once an employee recognizes that this is likely the case, they will often speak to their supervisor or human resources department to share their concerns. At this time, in many circumstances, the facility manager of the building will be contacted and asked to resolve the problem.

There are numerous indoor allergens that can impact individuals who are susceptible to exposure. These can include everything from mold, pollen, cockroaches, and dust mites to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), tobacco smoke, latex, and even perfumes from co-workers. These allergic reactions can be exacerbated by issues such as lack of ventilation and humidity levels within the building.

Facility managers tasked with resolving workplace allergies should learn all they can about the employee’s complaint. They should also investigate the HVAC system for filtration, humidity levels, and air exchange rates and look for possible allergen sources within the building. These may include dusty conditions, moisture damage and visible mold growth, cleaning protocols and chemicals used, and if any renovation activities are currently taking place or have recently been completed that could have generated dusts. Also new paints, carpeting, and furnishings could be off-gassing VOCs into the indoor air.

“We get calls from facility managers and building owners on a regular basis to investigate indoor air quality concerns and allergen complaints,” said Hollis L. Horner, President, Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. “When an employee or employees are suffering from the presence of workplace allergens there can be many factors involved and what may be causing issues for one person is not always the same issue for another. At IEC we put decades of building science experience to work looking at everything from what the building is being used for, to how the HVAC system is operated and maintained, and to what is in the air through real-time monitoring and air sampling to identify any problems and develop lasting solutions.”


To learn more about IEC’s allergen and indoor air quality (IAQ) testing and consulting services, please visit, email or call (877) 432-8378.


About Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc.

IEC began operations in 2001 with some of the nation’s most seasoned professional indoor air quality consultants who already had over 70 years of combined experience. The indoor environmental quality firm specializes in field investigations and assessments of commercial, institutional and residential buildings. Their services, related to fungal (mold), chemical, bacterial, asbestos and particulate pollutants, are offered throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast and the Southwest. IEC is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a mold assessment company (ACO0114) and an asbestos consultant agency (100329).


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