February 16, 2023 / Mark Ames

Indoor Air Quality, School Buildings, Industrial Hygiene, and … ChatGPT?

Editor’s note: This post is for illustrative purposes only. The Synergist and SynergistNOW do not accept submissions generated by artificial intelligence tools.

For additional perspectives on ChatGPT, see articles from Becoming Human, Vox, The Verge, and Time.

The following was written by ChatGPT, the groundbreaking artificial intelligence technology by OpenAI, a research lab based in San Francisco. Recently, Microsoft, Google, and other organizations have invested billions of dollars in this and similar technologies.

ChatGPT has a streamlined interface. Users add a question, request, or prompt into the text box on the tool’s website. To produce what follows, I entered the following request: “Write a blog article about indoor air quality, school buildings, and industrial hygiene.” I then watched in wonder as the article appeared in real time before my eyes, as if it were being typed out. The process took about 20 seconds. What follows has not been edited.

Indoor air quality is a critical concern for all individuals, but especially for children and teachers who spend several hours in school buildings each day. Industrial hygiene practices and school building design have a significant impact on the air quality within these structures. As a result, it's important for schools and school district administrators to take the necessary steps to ensure that students and teachers are breathing clean and healthy air.

Poor indoor air quality can lead to a range of health problems, including headaches, eye irritation, respiratory issues, and even long-term conditions such as heart disease and cancer. This is why it's crucial to have air quality monitoring and ventilation systems in place to keep the air in school buildings fresh and clean.

School building design is an essential aspect of ensuring good indoor air quality. Building materials, finishes, and furnishings can all emit harmful chemicals into the air. For example, certain types of insulation, adhesives, and flooring can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. This is why it's important to use low-emitting materials in school construction and renovation projects.

Industrial hygiene practices are also crucial for ensuring good indoor air quality in schools. Industrial hygienists are trained professionals who evaluate and monitor work environments to identify and control potential health hazards. They can help schools assess the air quality in their buildings, identify any potential sources of contamination, and develop strategies to improve air quality.

School district administrators can work with industrial hygienists to establish a school-wide indoor air quality program that includes regular air quality monitoring and routine maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The program should also include training for teachers, staff, and students on how to identify potential indoor air quality problems and what to do if they suspect that the air in their school is not healthy.

In conclusion, indoor air quality is an essential consideration for schools and school district administrators. By taking the necessary steps to improve air quality through proper building design, industrial hygiene practices, and regular monitoring, schools can provide a safe and healthy environment for their students and teachers.

Are you amazed, stunned, terrified, curious, or something else? Please share your thoughts in the comments on ChatGPT and related AI technologies.

Mark Ames

Mark Ames is AIHA’s director of government relations.


Consultant, Occupational Health and Safety

Amazing AI technology! Can't help but thinking that it will reduce the need for hygienists going forward!

By Stephen Kwok on February 16, 2023 9:35pm
Director Health and Safety

This is a fascinating topic and ChatGPT is an interesting technology. It's important to craft a good question and I like the way it was presented. And yes Mark, I am amazed, stunned, terrified, curious, and also trying to figure out what else! Grammatically the response is a little "clunky" but ultimately it is a solid response. Maybe it speaks to how industrial hygienists and the AIHA are constantly messaging the importance of our profession and AI has picked up on it. Let's see the positive.

By Michael on February 16, 2023 4:55pm

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