What Causes Poor IAQ at Work?

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man standing in an environment of poor indoor air quality holding a sign

Are we still thinking that indoor air quality is better than outdoor air? Just because it has no odour or is invisible doesn’t mean that the indoor air quality of your home, gym, or workplace is good. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air has higher pollutants, and prolonged exposure to these pollutants leads to severe health impacts.

The emergence of COVID-19 shed light on the significance of indoor air quality and how it can contribute to rapid virus transmission. As hybrid workplace dynamics became a practice, the concern of indoor air quality became a highlight for business owners and managers.

Air quality in offices is usually poor due to several factors. Let’s uncover a few common ones so you can take preventive actions for the health and well-being of your employees.

Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality in Offices

Lead

Lead is a harmful pollutant found in buildings and homes with old paint. Human exposure may occur due to improper removal of wall surfaces. Outdoor sources such as contaminated soil also lead to higher concentrations of the toxic metal in the indoor environment. If your office building has old paint, dry paint flecks and chips may release lead dust into the indoor environment. Consequently, it accumulates in the body and impacts human health long after exposure. It can cause lower concentration, behavioural problems, anaemia, high blood pressure and, in some cases, cancer.

 

Laser Printers

A 2007 study on the air quality in offices revealed that laser printers in workplaces increased the concentration of particles by five times. While the study also concluded that findings applied to only 40 per cent of laser printers, they were still quite a lot. A newer 2020 study, however, found that particle emissions from printers are of less concern to human health as they are semi-volatile organic compounds.

 

Pollen

Plants release pollen into the air for reproduction purposes. Seasons with higher pollen count affect people who are vulnerable to allergic reactions. While humans are usually exposed to pollen outdoors, it can also enter office buildings through open windows and poorly sealed openings. Those who are susceptible to pollen allergies experience coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing and dizziness. Pollen exposure may also trigger other medical conditions, such as asthma.

 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

What damage could routine household cleaners and solvents do to the indoor environment? Household cleaners, paint thinners, perfumes and other solvents degrade indoor air quality in offices and pose several health risks. Why so? The usage of these routine products emits volatile organic compounds into the environment, and without proper ventilation, they can trigger various health symptoms such as asthma and respiratory illnesses.

How to Improve Air Quality in Offices?

Opt for Proper Ventilation Measures

One of the ways to improve air quality in offices is to optimize ventilation. It removes polluted air and dilutes higher concentrations of pollutants, leaving the space fresh and safe to breathe. 

 

Install Air Purifiers

Air filtration technology is the best solution to tackle poor indoor air quality in workplaces. An efficient and innovative air cleaning solution, like Euromate Pure Air, features HEPA filters that have fine mesh to filter particles, even smaller ones.

 

Schedule Routine HVAC Maintenance

Dirty and clogged air filters are often the sources of poor air quality in homes and offices. It is advised to schedule routine maintenance of your HVAC systems in order to prevent bacteria, allergens and other contaminants from entering the room. 

 

If you want to know more about our commercial air purifiers, contact us, and we will connect you with our indoor air quality experts.

Clean Your Indoor Air Today!