While pollutants commonly found in door air are responsible for many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Comprehensive worker protections provided pursuant to OSHA, discussed below, are not considered particularly stringent. Where there have been competing regimes, whether by EPA or state agencies, these agencies have generally set standards that are occasionally orders of magnitude more stringent than those set by OSHA.
These activities include cooking odors from company cafeterias, body odors and cosmetic odors. Work activities from non-HVAC system equipment contribute to the problem. There are emissions from office equipment (volatile organic compounds or "VOCs" and ozone), office supplies (solvents, toners, ammonia, formaldehyde from carbonless copy paper), shops, labs, cleaning processes, elevator motors and other mechanical systems. Emissions from office equipment and related activities are regulated in private offices under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and in public offices in New York under the state's Public Employees' Safety and Health Act (PESH) and right-to-know laws.