Many people spend eight hours per day or more in an office. While some people think air quality for employees is only an issue in large factory settings or in places where hazardous substances are handled, in reality, any office can have poor air quality. If you are concerned about your space’s air quality and how it is affecting your team, here are some red flags to look for and ways to mitigate risk of contaminated air in your office.
Common Pollutants in Office Spaces
From poorly-maintained heating and cooling vents, to offices in close proximity to highways or other sources of low-quality air, there are many factors that can affect your space’s air quality. Some common pollutants in commercial spaces and offices include:
Living organisms such as mold, bacteria, dust mites, and pollen can take a toll on your indoor air quality. These organisms may accumulate because of poor air circulation, leaks, failing to clean up spills, or overall poor building maintenance. These contaminants may trigger allergies and related symptoms or aggravate asthma for employees who have respiratory trouble.
Prevalent chemicals can also harm your office’s indoor air quality. While your team may not handle chemicals, you may still be at risk for chemical contamination. Common chemical pollutants in office spaces include tobacco smoke, fumes from paints and furniture, chemical spills and more.
Particles of dust, wood, and dirt are also common air pollutants within office spaces. Because these particles are so small, they can easily be inhaled. Prolonged inhalation of these contaminants can affect your respiratory system. Wood and dust particles can be particularly prominent in office spaces undergoing or near construction and renovation.
Ways To Prevent Poor Air Quality
Preventing poor indoor air quality is often the best solution. If you would like to implement some best practices to keep the air quality in your office space from becoming a health hazard, try the following:
- Manage moisture and humidity. Minimizing the amount of moisture in your office is key to preventing mold growth. Ensure that any spills in your office are cleaned up as soon as possible and windows are sealed from rain or other water exposure. Making sure your office is ventilated is also key to keeping mold and humidity to a minimum.
- Maintain your HVAC systems. Keeping your HVAC systems clean and in good working order can help prevent poor air quality. Be sure to have your systems cleaned regularly and replaced when necessary.
- Spatial setup. Setting up your office’s layout with attention to air quality can also help maintain it in the long run. Installing heating and cooling systems where they can have maximum air flow can help you make the most of your office space and prevent poor circulation.
What To Do To If You Are Concerned About Office Air Quality
If you are concerned about air quality in your office, testing the air is often the best solution. This will confirm if contaminants are present and enable you to reduce pollutants in your space. Hawk Environmental offers onsite testing services as well as office air testing kits that building managers can use themselves to evaluate air quality. All samples will be tested at our third-party lab and we will send you a report detailing your air quality and actionable ways to improve your indoor air quality.
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