Do you also think that outdoor air is more harmful to your health? It is probably the biggest myth we are about to debunk – indoor air is five times more toxic for your health, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Occasionally, even toxic. It is a concern, specifically now that we know people spend 90 per cent of their day indoors. While you can mitigate poor indoor air quality levels at home by taking appropriate measures, you cannot do the same in public places.
We cannot control our exposure to indoor air quality in public areas, but we can take protective measures.
Let’s go through five public places with the most polluted indoor air and what you can do to mitigate the effects on your health.
Top 5 Public Places with Polluted Indoor Air
Do you know that children in Australian schools are learning in the most polluted indoor air? A study by UNSW Sydney’s School of Built Environment revealed that carbon dioxide concentration levels were higher in classrooms than the National Construction Code’s prescribed threshold.
The study further revealed that poor ventilation increases the presence of other pollutants in the space, such as particulate matter, allergens and outdoor contaminants. It is particularly concerning for children since they are highly susceptible to poor indoor air quality and its impacts.
Research reports that 1 in 13 children suffer from asthma, and exposure to indoor air quality can play a role in aggravating its symptoms. Such conditions lead to an increase in absenteeism and a significant decline in productivity and cognitive abilities.
We often associate healthcare facilities with hygienic and well-cleaned places, but it might come to you as a shock that these places are notorious for bad indoor air quality. Hospitals’ indoor air pollution causes include cleaning agents, diesel fumes from power generators and bacteria from sick patients.
A research study also revealed that two primary indoor air pollution causes in hospitals are airborne transmissions because they contribute to 10 per cent of hospital-acquired infections. The other cause is inadequate ventilation infrastructure in older buildings.
Apart from environmental degradation, bad air quality also impacts human health in the form of respiratory and lung diseases.
Learn about medical air purifiers here.
A hygienic environment is a primary determinant in restaurant selection. However, restaurant indoor air quality may not always be up to the expected standards.
One of the leading indoor air pollution causes is the kitchen due to the emission of smoke, grease and soot particles. Coolers and refrigerators also produce moisture which can provide a breeding ground for mould growth.
Not only does poor indoor air quality create an unsafe environment, but it also becomes a source of discomfort for customers and workers alike.
Have you heard of or experienced sick-building syndrome (SBS)? It is a building-related illness a person suffers from due to poor indoor air quality.
Office buildings are notorious for the worst indoor air due to the presence of biological and chemical contaminants. While biological contaminants refer to bacteria, viruses, allergens and pollen, chemical contaminants include chemical products and gases.
When a person suffers from Sick Building Syndrome, they are likely to experience irritation of the skin and eyes, fatigue and breathing issues.
Shopping malls are essential to city life as they offer a 360-degree experience. A research study suggests that 40.9 per cent of the urban population visits malls at least once a week.
Several factors make up the poor air quality in malls, such as the emissions from the food court, toxic exhaust releases from traffic outside the mall, and carbon dioxide concentration levels.
Common health effects of exposure to particulate matter and high CO2 levels include shortness of breath, lung diseases, coughing and eye and throat irritation.
How to Protect Yourself from Polluted Indoor Air?
We know it is difficult to avoid exposure to poor indoor air quality because most of us work, our children go to school, and most of us shop.
But you can always take protective measures to avoid its impacts.
Limit your time spent in public places and choose the ones that are either well-ventilated or have air purification technology. If you are visiting a healthcare facility, wear a surgical mask to avoid exposure to airborne viruses and bacteria.
Or simply, if you’re a business or organisation owner, opt for air purification! For schools, classrooms and restaurants, and more, there are air purifiers available to extract contaminants from the space and make it hygienic and safe for breathing.
Contact our Indoor Air Specialists at Euromate Pure Air today.