Managing Environmental Concerns

University Housing at UC works diligently to provide our residents with healthy and safe space. Our highest priority is the health and comfort of our residents. When environmental issues such as air quality or moisture concerns arise, Facilities Management works quickly to address these issues in our residence halls.

Below, you can find additional information and suggestions to avoid environmental concerns in your room. 

Ways to Prevent Environmental Concerns 

  • Practice routine housekeeping; clean/dust your room/apartment and restrooms. 
  • If your space has a dehumidifier, empty it regularly. The humidifiers will automatically stop running when full. 
  • Remove trash regularly. 
  • Always allow items to dry thoroughly; do not store items that are wet or damp. 
  • Avoid water or wet items sitting on surfaces for long periods of time. 
  • Ensure proper ventilation throughout the restroom and living areas. 
  • Use restroom exhaust fans during showering or bathing.
  • Never leave trapped steam/humidity in restrooms. 
  • Do not obstruct return vents or supply vents. 
  • Proper air circulation provides a healthy indoor enviornment.

Reporting Concerns

Students report maintenance issues to the Service Center (front desk) of the residence hall.

 After hours (4 p.m. - 7:30 a.m., weekends and holidays), request Emergency Maintenance by calling the Communications Center of UC Public Safety  at 513-556-1111.

What's Next

  • The hall staff relays the information to our work control office for a work order to be generated.
  • A technician is assigned the work order based on priority. Environmental concern work orders are assigned as high priority.
  • The technician then visits the space. Typical action items would be to:
    • check the filters on the HVAC unit and change if necessary.
    • inspect the internal components of the HVAC unit and clean surfaces.
    • inspect the room for any visible presence of mold.
  • If mold is sighted, then UC's Environmental Health & Safety department will review the site for assessment and remedy recommendations.

Resource Information from the Environmental Protection Agency

According to the EPA:

Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment.

However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors. This moisture includes humidity both indoors and outdoors. You can help prevent and control moisture in your residence hall by following Ways to Prevent Environmental Concerns listed above.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also offers additional guidance for Indoor Air Quality.  

Keep in mind that colds, flu, and other respiratory issues are common occurences in a communal living environment, such as residence halls. Students are encouraged to practice routine hygiene etiquette to help keep the Bearcat Community safe. 
According to the EPA:
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.

Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.