You may be surprised to know that indoor air is actually a lot worse than outdoor air. This is because most people spend 80% of their time indoors. This means that indoor air is actually a lot more polluted than outdoor air.
If you happen to work in a cubicle, a closed environment, or in an office that lacks adequate ventilation, then you are only compounding the problem. That’s why it’s important to know the basics of indoor air quality, and to take steps to improve it.
We have listed some practical tips on how to improve workplace indoor air quality. But first, let’s try to know more about what indoor air quality and why
What Is Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is a measure of how good your indoor air is for you. It is about how clean or polluted the air is inside your house, workplace, or office.
Even if a building has a high level of ventilation, if these contaminants are present, the quality of your indoor air will still be low. This is why people who spend most of their time indoors are more likely to develop asthma, allergies, COPD and other respiratory illnesses.
The quality of air you breathe also affects workplace productivity. Poor air quality can lead to fatigue, irritated eyes and lungs, headaches, and disorientation, which in turn affects your ability to focus and work productively.
Because of these, it is important to try to improve your indoor air quality in your workplace.
What Are the Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollutants include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM), biological pollutants, aerosol, carbon monoxide, and other pollutants.
Volatile organic compounds: Most volatile organic compounds have no colour or odour. They enter the air when you use aerosol sprays, cleaning products, personal care products, furniture, carpets and synthetic fabrics.
Particulate matter: These are fine particles that are suspended in the air. They are mostly found in tobacco smoke, pollen, dust, and mold.
Biological pollutants: Biological pollutants come from microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and dust mites.
Aerosol: These include dust from construction sites, insulation from furnaces, house dust, and chemicals used in dry cleaning and solvents.
Carbon monoxide: This is a colourless, odourless gas that is formed by incomplete combustion of a hydrocarbon.
How to Improve Your Workplace Indoor Air Quality
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends installing recessed lighting and using low VOC paints to control the dry-time between paint coats. Allergens and dust can be reduced by doing a regular cleaning of your workspace. Other than these, you can do the following to improve your workplace indoor air quality.