No matter what industry, poor IAQ has a direct impact on workers’ health, comfort, productivity, and quality of life. An office job can be just as “dangerous” to overall health as a highly specialized occupation dealing with toxic chemicals.
The most common indoor air pollutants include
Microbial contaminants (bacteria, viruses)
Polluted air compromises employees’ health
When trapped and recirculated within the workplace, pollutants accumulate over time and can have serious, long-term effects on workers’ health. Many indoor air pollutants cause an immediate short-term reaction as well, causing headaches, dizziness, and eye, nose, or throat irritation, among other symptoms.
Respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer are examples of conditions that may occur or be exacerbated with extended or repeated exposure to polluted indoor air. Each year, more than 342,000 lives are claimed by lung disease overall.
Asthma and allergies are serious and growing concerns, with asthma alone affecting an estimated 20 million people (one of every 15 Americans).
Sources of indoor air pollution are common and can be found in most buildings and offices, including building materials, paint, furnishings, electronic equipment, printer ink, carpets, dirty ventilation systems, cleaning products and more.
Industry-specific air quality concerns
Aside from these widespread IAQ concerns, workers may be exposed to higher levels of pollutants that are specific to their industry (for example, VOCs in printing rooms and print shops, formaldehyde fumes in beauty salons, labs and funeral homes, fine dust particles in woodworking stations, bacteria and viruses in healthcare settings, toluene, xylene and other chemicals in auto body shops and garages etc).
In most cases, airborne pollutants can only be mitigated with source control, a preventive IAQ management program and an industrial air cleaner with a complete filtration system that targets not only particles and pathogens but also chemicals, odors, gases and fumes.
Indoor air quality is vital for occupational health and safety - and failure to address it may affect workers and businesses over a long period of time.
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