Here is a fact for you – 9 out of 10 people inhale poor air with high pollutant levels. If you are experiencing constant health issues, the reason could be indoor air pollution. While we all have accepted that indoor air pollution is unavoidable in these modern times, its negative impacts have also become quite common. According to EPA, the indoor environment has 100 times more pollutants than outdoor air. The presence of toxic pollutants is oven overlooked at workplaces until the impact of exposure to bad air quality on employees’ health is visible.
Indoor air pollutants have diverse compositions, impacts and sources. Every pollutant has different health risks, some with higher intensity than others. We have discussed a few deadliest indoor pollutants you may encounter at your workplace.
Particulate matter, also known as particle pollution, is composed of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air. These airborne particles are suspended in the air and come in three sizes: PM10, PM2.5 and ultra-fine.
These coarse particles have a diameter of 10 microns or smaller. PM10 pollutant is inhalable and can pose adverse health effects, ranging from coughing to asthma attacks and bronchitis.
These are fine particles with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres with visibility only under a microscope. When levels are high, they decrease visibility and make the air hazy. Pet dander, bacteria, dust and dust mites are common sources of PM2.5. Since they are small and fine, they penetrate the lungs, leading to respiratory issues. Long-term exposure can also decrease life expectancy.
Ultra-fine particles have a diameter of less than 0.1 micrometres, and they account for around 90 per cent of all airborne particles. Among all three pollutants, ultra-fine particles are the deadliest because they are invisible and excessively inhalable. Exposure to these pollutants can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Pollen season is notorious for bringing seasonal allergies. Every season, plants release pollen grains for fertilization. Pollen is airborne and can penetrate the respiratory system. Our bodies mistakenly identify it as a threat. In response, our bodies release chemicals that cause reactions. Pollen allergies cause various symptoms, such as runny nose, congestion, itchy palate and throat.
Volatile Organic Compounds
According to the US Lung Association, VOCs are gases released from “products or processes.” VOCs contribute to indoor air pollution and pose several health effects on humans. Some sources of VOC emissions are cleaners, disinfectants, paints, varnishes, adhesives, pesticides, air fresheners, office printers and copiers. Inhaling VOCs can lead to nervous system damage and irritation of the eyes and throat.
CO is a toxic gas and an “invisible killer” due to its odourless and colourless nature. Combustion processes release carbon monoxide; however, it is also found indoors in leaking heaters, chimneys, furnaces and unvented gas heaters. Carbon monoxide is fatal and can kill a human in seconds. Since it is an invisible gas, a workplace manager must install a carbon monoxide monitor to detect the leakage.
Lead is a toxic element commonly found in the air and water. Humans inhale it in the form of dust, fume or mist. Exposure to higher levels is dangerous for the human body because it can enter the bloodstream and harm every organ. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), children and pregnant women are at high risk. Moreover, workers engaged in jobs involving lead are also at risk of exposing themselves to higher levels.
What can we do to Avoid Indoor Air Pollution?
Avoid exposure to these deadliest pollutants and indoor air pollution by:
How Euromate Can Help?
Euromate Pure Air offers cutting-edge air purification technology that filters the air and makes it safe for breathing. The premium air purifiers are tested and certified to remove pollutants from the air and eliminate indoor air pollution at workplaces. For more information, get in touch with an indoor air quality expert today.