People usually take indoor air quality for granted, assuming with a false sense of security that being indoor means being safe from pollutants. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality is the fourth most significant environmental threat to our health.
With 90 percent of our time spent indoors -- roughly half of which is spent in the workplace -- indoor air quality is certainly no laughing matter.
There are many types of indoor pollutants, and these include:
- Chemicals: Acetone, benzene, and formaldehyde may be present in your office air. Furniture, building materials, paints, solvents, and disinfectants are known to release such harmful chemicals. Even in extremely low doses, these chemicals can still harm your employees’ health in the long run.
- Dust: You can regularly dust and clean your office environment to ensure it is free of dust and debris. However, cleaning and dusting can only take you so far. Dust mites and allergens can still be left behind, leading to allergies, irritation, difficulty breathing, headaches, etc.
- Pathogens: Dark, damp corners are popular breeding areas for viruses and fungi.
- Humidity: Moisture is a component of the air. Too much of it, however, can be harmful as it provides ideal conditions for mold, fungi, bacteria, and dust mites to grow. On the other hand, low humidity can cause dry skin, rashes, and eye infection.
- Carbon Dioxide: Carbon dioxide is all around us; thanks to trees, a lot of it is converted into oxygen. However, being indoors with no trees, controlling the level of ambient gases such as CO2 becomes quite tricky. This is because constant exposure to such greenhouse gases can lead to shortness of breath, dizziness, and hyperventilation.
The Solution: Medical Grade HEPA Air Purifiers
Medical grade air purifiers are a powerful defense against the indoor pollutants listed above. Aside from improving your health, air purifiers and clean air have been linked to increased employee productivity. Here’s how getting an efficient, high-quality air filtration system can impact employee productivity:
According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory website:
• When indoor pollutants were removed, employees experienced a four to 16 percent increase in the accuracy and speed of their output involving specific work tasks.
• There is an approximately one percent improvement in task performance for each ten percent decrease in the percentage of occupants unhappy with indoor air quality.
• Office or commercial buildings with exceptional ventilation rates experience a ten to 80 percent reduction in sick building syndrome (usually in the form of headaches and respiratory problems) cases.
These figures show the importance of indoor air quality management, and how it impacts the health, wellbeing, and productivity of building occupants. By getting the most efficient ventilation system in place, and using HEPA air filters, you can significantly improve and maintain healthy indoor air quality. This, coupled with a proper maintenance and replacement scheme, can lead to healthier, happier, and productive employees.