According to a recent article in The Cooporator, even though bad air quality can pose a very real health and safety threat to all the residents of a building, some boards and managing agents are neglecting to address this serious issue.
“Poor air quality is at best a nuisance and worst a bona fide health hazard – so it’s crucial for boards and managers to stay on top of regular maintenance,” The Cooperator warns. “Take complaints about odors, fumes, and stale air seriously; and do what’s necessary to address these disturbances when they come wafting up.”
If left unaddressed, subpar air quality can lead to what's known as “building-related illnesses.” And the sources of this problem are quite common and include pet and cooking odors and secondhand-smoke. Over time, vents and ducts also build up with dust and debris, and can accumulate and transmit an array of allergens and pathogens, which can lead to serious health concerns.
“Sick building syndrome is absolutely a real thing. Some of the causes include mold, poor ventilation, and low humidity levels,” warned Mark Drozdov, the Senior VP and Technical Director at BSI Services, an indoor environmental consulting firm based in NYC.
While residents can unknowingly contribute to the condition, it ultimately remains the board’s responsibility to keep the air clean and to foster a healthier living environment. “Proper installation and upkeep of HVAC systems have a huge impact on indoor air quality and,by extension, on residents’ quality of life,” noted The Cooperator,
“The duty to ensure that a cooperative structure is safe for all its occupants is the board’s non-delegable duty,” advised Ricardo M. Vera, partner at Newman Ferrara LLP. “It behooves the board to be proactive and to avoid possible litigation by ensuring that building HVAC systems are regularly cleaned and maintained and that problem conditions are addressed as expeditiously as possible.”
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To view the original Cooperator report, please use this link: https://cooperator.com/article/maintaining-air-quality/full
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