Bad indoor air quality can have a serious negative affect on your health, and increase your risk of cancer and other illness. Office air quality contaminants come from a variety of sources – some quite unexpected…
Most of the factors that contribute to bad office air quality come from poor ventilation. When air is circulating inadequately (or not at all), humidity and mold are a result in moist environments, while stagnant air can lead to complaints of stuffiness. Faulty HVAC systems can allow pollen, pesticides, VOCs and even tobacco smoke to enter the building, causing headaches, aggravating allergies, and worse.
Construction or Renovation
Building renovation or construction creates a lot of dust and fine particles of building materials. This dust can be very harmful to breathe, since it almost always contains chemicals and toxic substances. If construction is happening within your office building, your employees may be at risk of harmful air.
Invisible contaminants such as radon can leak into a building through cracks in a faulty or improperly sealed foundation. Older buildings may contain asbestos, and some building materials put off vapors containing chemicals and VOCs. All of the above are serious, cancer-causing contaminants to office air quality.
Common machines such as printers and copy machines, as well as furniture can generate harmful contaminants. When this becomes excessive, the quality of your office air becomes bad for your employees’ health.
Most cleaning supplies contain chemicals and agents that are incredibly harmful to breathe, even ones advertised as ‘natural’ or ‘green’. Generally, you and your employees don’t need to worry about contaminants from cleaning supplies, but they can release these chemicals and pollute the air quality. Dust and residue left behind due to poor janitorial services can also contaminate the indoor air.
While these are all contaminants to indoor air quality, your employees’ perception of office air quality may be affected by non-contaminants such as lighting, temperature, and noise. An office air quality test can help diagnose whether the air is actually of poor quality, so that you can address conditions appropriately.
Featured photo source: Pixabay.com
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