Good indoor air quality is necessary for good health. Post-pandemic, the importance of maintaining good indoor air quality in businesses has become even more pronounced. If you neglect it, it will affect the health, comfort, productivity of employees, and tenants. Most microorganisms, such as fungi, bacteria, and molds, are created from indoor pollutants.
Studies showed that approximately 87% of humans spend most of their time indoors. So, it’s essential to take care of breathing air in your home or office. So, it’s worth knowing what causes indoor air pollution and how to improve its quality.
Importance of Indoor Air Quality
The occupants’ satisfaction comes first in priority when considering the indoor quality of the air condition. The airflow will surround the whole building and be shared by hundreds (if not thousands) of peoples. IAQ is known for creating a comfortable work environment. But keep in mind that a bad IAQ can bring unhealthy and uncomfortable workspace, affecting the employees. Toxins for only a little while can seriously affect your employees’ health.
This type of environment makes the employees feel dizzy at their working place. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, respiratory difficulties, and irritated eyes and throats. Some pollutants don’t show their presence until the damage has been done. These types of health issues are caused mainly by the bad air quality in your facility. It may harm the reputation of your facility and the whole company.
To maintain Indoor Air Quality, you need experts to test your indoor air for their expertise on improving the air quality best.
Types of Indoor Air Pollutants
- Biological contaminants: The pollutants known as biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, fungi (mold), allergic dust, insect allergen, pets dander, and fiberglass, etc. These may come from water spills, housekeeping, inadequate humidity control, poor maintenance, condensation, or occupants themselves. Indoor biological pollutants trigger an allergic response. There is a report that about 15 million Americans faced asthma episodes from these contaminants.
- Chemical pollutants: a chemical pollutant is known as VOC. its full form is Volatile organic compounds. These VOCs come in various forms, and they are ubiquitous. They include naturally occurred chemical compounds or sometimes human-made compounds. Chemical pollutants such as smoke, furniture emit, office equipment, floor coverings, etc. Sometimes, cleaning and consumer products can be the cause of pollutants.
- Particles: Particle pollutants are solid or liquid substances. They are light in weight, which is enough to float around by air. These small particles are visible in sunbeams. But there are smaller particles which are more harmful to health, such as dust. Dust, dirt, or any other particles can come from outside the facility. Sometimes, the printing, housekeeping practices, copying, and construction can bring particles from inside the facility.
Indoor Air Pollution and Health
Indoor air quality is vital to maintain the health of building occupants. To control indoor pollution and toxins risk indoors can help to reduce risk. If you neglect indoor pollutants, sooner or later, you will face problems.
Some health problems can start shortly after inhaling pollutants from poor air quality. The immediate reactions include irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, headaches, dizziness, and exhaustion. These problems can be easily treatable. Sometimes these diseases can get worse, such as asthma or other respiratory illnesses.
The immediate reaction from pollutants can depend on several elements like people’s age, medical condition, and sensitive level. It is often difficult to understand if the symptoms of the disease are from indoor air pollutants. So, it’s essential to look out and pay attention to exactly where the symptoms occur. If the symptoms go away when you are away from that indoor area, you can be aware of the causes.
Air pollution can affect the human body in the long term. Sometimes this may show when a couple of years have been passed since the exposure to the polluted air. These can cause respiratory diseases, cancer, and heart disease. You have to try your best to improve the indoor airflow, or else the long-term effects can be deadly.
Indoor air pollutants can cause many types of harmful impacts on people’s health. Research shows that the average pollutants found in homes can cause health issues in the long term to chronic respiratory illnesses or even cancer.
Things You Can Do To Improve Indoor Air Quality
Most of the time, the main issue for poor indoor air is old or poorly instructed insulation. That could release harmful flame retardants, high-level chemical volatile organic compounds(VOCs), and the flames that can turn gases into vapor, such as formaldehyde. To improve this, you need to replace insulation.
Spray foam is a proper structure for insulation. However, poorly installed spray foam insulation can also lead to poor air quality. Some harmful elements will be gassing problems or toxins to the air that are unsafe to inhale. Years of research on the insulation industry have more knowledge about the effects of poor insulation and safety measures. If your home installation technique is old or the chemical is not accurate, then have a professional solve the issue. Also, you can do the following:
- Setup a radon detector to detect radon throughout the building and reduce the level of it.
- Stop the spreading of asbestos.
- Place stoves and boilers in the right place where you can adjust the level of emission.
- Keep your window or doors open for clean air.
- Setup extractor fans in the kitchen, bathroom, and basement to eliminate contamination
- Keep ventilation ducts clean whenever you notice any mold or dust.
- Never block the air vents.
- Do not smoke indoors
- Get rid of waste properly.
Indoor air quality is essential to make it safe and clean that requires extra care. Your indoor fresh air system can take away several pollutants, toxins, allergens, and even diseases.