When we think of air pollution, we tend to picture large-scale factories or cities shrouded by thick layers of dark smog. While these are great examples of air pollution, we need to keep in mind harmful pollutants because they are not solely tied to just being outside. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is often forgotten in the shadow of outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution has become an overlooked issue despite the EPA stating that indoor air pollutant levels range between two to ten times higher than outdoor levels. Therefore, the indoor air quality of your facility is key in maintaining a healthy work environment. Air in the workspace can become hazardous to anyone in the building leading to potential health problems, essentially sabotaging the business from the inside.
Let’s start with some common pollutants that can be found in your office building, such as dust, dirt, moisture, and airborne allergies. Inhaling lingering dust or tracked in dirt can be permanently damaging to the lungs as it causes swelling and even scarring of tissue. Excess moisture is one of the most dangerous pollutants that can enter your building. Bacteria and viruses thrive in locations where the air is above sixty percent relative humidity. Not to mention the increased risk of mold growth and spread throughout the facility. A variety of species of mold only need above fifty-five percent humidity in the air to cultivate into a much larger issue. Carpets and cubicle walls are the perfect place for these pollutants to latch onto as the fibers from the fabrics hold entrap them into place. Having these regularly cleaned can greatly benefit those in your office experiencing any levels of irritation in the throat or eyes as well as other respiratory issues, as any of these chronic pollutants can often aggravate these.
Now that we’ve been able to go over some of these pollutants that are commonly found in the office, how do they impact those in the facility? Spending an eight-hour workday five days a week breathing in excess dust can cause dust particles to accumulate in the lungs and damage tissue. Someone who has never had breathing problems before can develop impaired lung function from consistent exposure. In turn, this has the potential to lead to occupational lung disease resulting in abnormal breathing patterns, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Occupational lung disease is entirely preventable, but only if employers take the time to ensure that their indoor air quality is up to par.
Branching from this, having your employees constantly exposed to destructive pollutants is only going to hinder your business moving forward. There is bound to be an increase in absences as it will be even easier for illnesses such as flu and COVID-19 to spread, as employees’ lungs are already under stress due to inhaling higher levels of pollutants than they would outside. Healthier employees face a higher risk of burnout from having to take on a larger workload due to increased absences. This can result in a company once bubbling with productivity and enthusiasm coming to a complete standstill.
In your office, something to look out for is the “sick building syndrome,” a term coined back in the 1980s referring to buildings where workers or inhabitants face the same recurring health problems. A large portion of the symptoms of sick building syndrome can be traced back to the indoor air quality of that building. Watch for the signs. Are your residents or workers reporting irritation in the throat, itchy eyes, breathing difficulties, and other allergy-like symptoms? Fortunately, these issues can be resolved relatively quickly if the right steps are taken. In most cases, sick building syndrome can be resolved through adjusting any poor ventilation systems, providing higher quality air filters, and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule to remove any built-up pollen and dust.
With all this in mind, this is why the indoor air quality of your office is so essential to the health of those in the building and to your company as a whole. By taking proactive steps such as ensuring ventilation and maintaining a consistent cleaning schedule, employers can significantly improve the workspace for everyone. The milliCare by Cubix, Inc. Air Care process will neutralize odors completely, rather than simply masking them. We can remove odors in the air that can deter potential customers and distract employees. Our environmentally-safe formula destroys bad odors on a molecular level without leaving behind any residue or smell. Contact us for more information on milliCare by Cubix, Inc. services that can help improve your facility’s air quality and support the health of your team.