Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hidden office dangers: Poor IAQ

Office buildings can suffer from
poor indoor air quality.
Most people tend to feel safe in a full-time office job, since working at a computer or a phone doesn't exactly meet the requirements of a dangerous occupation. But studies show that working at an office can be more hazardous to health than previously known.

Not only can sitting for long hours affect workers’ health, the air they breathe is also a cause for concern. According to the EPA, “poor indoor air is estimated to cost the nation (USA) tens of billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and countless hours of illness and discomfort.”

The air in offices can suffer from increased levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bacteria, particles, mold, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, radon and formaldehyde, among others.

All of these contaminants have been linked to temporary as well as possible long-term health problems among office workers. Discomfort and illnesses contribute to productivity issues and absences.

Possible causes of poor indoor air at the office

Poor indoor air quality can have many reasons, and many cases may require a specialist assessment. High levels of chemicals, particles and odor-causing contaminants in the office can be caused by insufficient air circulation, printer fumes, cleaning and cosmetic products, new building and construction materials, and more.

In case of water damage, office workers may be exposed to mold and mold spores. Long-term exposure has been linked to respiratory diseases and other concerns. Some workers may be more sensitive to poor indoor air quality than others, but office management can help boost productivity and morale by taking a proactive approach to indoor air quality at the office.

Prevention is the best solution for IAQ

In offices, an assessment of IAQ problems and possible solutions can go a long way. Identifying and minimizing pollution sources and using reliable air filtration systems can help provide cleaner air instantly.

For the best overall protection, an air purification unit for the office should feature a multi-filtration system that includes activated carbon and HEPA to remove chemicals and odors, VOCs, fumes, particles and biological contaminants such as mold and bacteria.

Contact an Electrocorp Air Quality Expert to learn more about industrial air cleaners and specialized IAQ solutions for the office.

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