Environmental Impacts & Controls | CompTIA A+ 220-1002 | 4.5

In this video you will learn about environmental impacts & controls such as: MSDS documentation; temperature, humidity level awareness, & proper ventilation; power surges, & under-voltage events.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

A material safety data sheet, is a document that lists information relating to occupational safety and health for the use of various substances and products. Any product that uses chemicals is required to have an MSDS.  An MSDS includes the following information:

  • Treatment if a person comes into contact with or ingests the substance
  • Dealing with spills
  • Handling and disposal of substances properly
  • How and where to store the substance

Temperature, Humidity, and Air Ventilation

Be aware of the temperature and humidity measurements in your building.  Although there is no specific government policy regarding this, there are recommendations, including a recommended temperature range of 68 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 24 degrees Celsius) and a recommended humidity range of between 20% and 60%.  Remember that the higher the humidity, the less chance of ESD, but it might get a bit uncomfortable for workers, so a compromise will have to be sought.


An organization should employ the use of local exhaust (to remove contaminants generated by the organization’s processes) and introduce an adequate supply of fresh outdoor air through natural or mechanical ventilation.  Air ducts and dampers should be cleaned regularly, and ductwork insulation should be inspected periodically.

Power Surges, Brownouts, and Blackouts

Reliable power delivery at a consistent level is essential for protecting electronic equipment such as computers.  An electrical outlet may be properly wired, but there are other threats to the well-being of computers connected to the outlet, including:

  • Power surges: occurs when the flow of electricity is interrupted, then started again, or when something sends electricity flowing back into the system. Surge suppressors are designed to block power surges from damaging equipment plugged into it.
  • Brownouts: an intentional or unintentional drop in voltage in an electrical power supply system.
  • Blackouts: complete power loss. When a blackout occurs, the home, office, or school has no power, which causes any powered device without a battery or generator backup to stop working.