Canadians spend over 80% of their time within the indoor environment. There has been growing concern regarding the quality of indoor air due to commonly attributed adverse effects on comfort, health and productivity. Thus several organizations have been working to develop and establish indoor air quality (IAQ) standards and/or guidelines. Two approaches have been observed for controlling IAQ: (1) set permissible levels for indoor air contaminants or (2) set minimum ventilation rates. In the residential sector, Health and Welfare Canada has published permissible levels for indoor air contaminants,while building codes, at the national and provincial levels, specify minimum ventilation rates. Federal and provincial labor authorities, along with several other government agencies, have published standards and guidelines for nonindustrial buildings. These publications suggest maximum exposure levels for air contaminants, as well as the necessary ventilation requirements. The findings and recommendations made in these and other documents have been reviewed and presented in this paper.

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