Everything You Need to Know about Improving Workplace Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air pollution is a major underrated health concern and accounts for most health problems experienced in institutional and commercial buildings. Even well-maintained facilities can experience episodes of poor air quality. Clean and safe indoor air promotes comfort among the employees and protects their health and well-being. Therefore, it is critical to address ways to improve the air quality that we breathe in the workplace. Read on to learn about the common causes of indoor air pollution, how to detect air pollution, and effective ways of improving your indoor air quality.
Indoor air pollution can hardly be noticed, especially with active ACs and the use of air fresheners. There are dozens of air pollutants found in institutional and commercial facilities. Common contaminants include dust, chemical pollutants, tobacco smoke, and moulds.
Insufficient ventilation promotes the circulation of dust and other tiny pollutants around the office and could easily trigger allergy symptoms in some workers.
Virtually almost all manufactured items, such as office equipment, building materials, floor coverings, walls, furniture, and upholstery, emit chemical pollutants. Such pollutants could include formaldehyde, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), VOCs, and polyurethane.
Condensation of indoor air can cause moisture, which provides a perfect environment for mildew and mould to thrive. Water leaks and wet surfaces inside the buildings also increases the chances of mildew and mould.
Most employers often notice indoor air quality problems when employees start experiencing allergies and related air quality symptoms. There are quite some steps that you can use to detect possible indoor air pollution. For instance, ensure to regularly inspect your ventilation system to determine if the filtration systems are properly functioning and see if there’s sufficient outdoor air coming in and efficiently distributed inside the working areas.
You should test for the presence of possible air pollutants such as toxic fumes and gases, carbon monoxide, asbestos, and mould. You may consider using air testing kits then submit the samples to the lab for analysis.
Observe Proper Ventilation
Proper ventilation can be a great way of maintaining good levels of indoor air quality. Ensure the air vents are always kept unblocked, and windows opened whenever possible to allow efficient circulation of air. Having cabinets, furniture, or storage boxes in front of air vents can disrupt indoor air circulation and encourage the build-up of air pollutants. You can also consider having indoor plants in the office to help absorb carbon dioxide and release essential oxygen into the room. These plants can also make the office more appealing.
Always Keep the Facility Clean
A clean work environment has significantly lower levels of dust, mould, and other contaminants that could be transmitted through the air. During cleaning, avoid using cleaning products that release chemical contaminants into the air, and use eco-friendly products instead.
Regularly Change HVAC Filters
Clogged HVAC filters often interrupt airflow and can allow air pollutants to be circulated back into the building. You need to ensure the filters are clean and well maintained to prevent the build-up of dust and other air pollutants in enclosed environments. As with most work at heights projects, accessing the rooftop to work on the equipment can be very dangerous. First, ensure proper fall protection, such as a fall protection post, is in place for your safety.
Use Air-Cleaning Devices
Air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and air scrubbers in the workplace are essential to prevent indoor air pollution by keeping the air quality at good levels. With such pieces of equipment in your disposition, you may not need to hire an expert for the job. You may need to conduct air tests to determine the ideal equipment you need to install in your workspace.