Why Indoor Air Quality is So Important
Indoor air quality has recently become more significant to building occupants and homeowners. Increased data and research have been made available concerning the negative effects of indoor air quality. It is therefore imperative that builders, landlords, and occupants know how to properly address any indoor air quality issues.
Indoor air quality is a significant concern because the EPA reports Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors; whether it is at the office, school or in their home. The amount of time a person is exposed to indoor air pollutants has therefore increased. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, of all the chemicals a person inhales more than 70% of them are in the home.
The negative side effects of poor indoor air quality underscore its importance. The growth of microorganisms like fungi and bacteria in a building is the main source of these indoor pollutants. These microorganisms increase the prevalence of respiratory diseases and their symptoms. Additionally, both short-term and long-term exposure to toxins is in itself dangerous. Have your home tested for Radon to be sure it is safe from this invisible toxin. Elevated occurrences of allergic reactions and asthma often indicate the presence of microorganisms and foreign materials in our indoor environment.
Poor air quality can also affect worker productivity. A 2015 Harvard study found that indoor pollutants can hinder one’s ability to focus, concentrate and respond to crises. The overall impact ultimately affects a company’s profitability.
If bad indoor air quality breeds a number of unhealthy and impaired employees, then it can be said a good one creates an improved working environment. The Harvard study researchers led by Joseph Allen wrote that “People who work in well-ventilated offices with below-average levels of indoor pollutants and CO2 have significantly higher cognitive functioning scores — in crucial areas such as responding to a crisis or developing strategy — than those who work in offices with typical levels.” It is easy to see the bearing indoor air quality has on an employee’s effectiveness.
Good indoor air quality is also an important component of student health. Improving the air quality reduces allergies and asthma which in turn reduces absenteeism and increases academic performance. Children in classrooms with high outdoor air ventilation rates tend to achieve higher scores on standardized tests in math and reading than children in poorly ventilated classrooms. Teacher performance and retention are also increased.
The Bottom Line
Overall, indoor air quality should be a concern to everyone. According to reliable statistics, a bigger percentage of pollutants emanates from indoor products and materials. This should raise concerns as everyone is directly touched by their internal environment. Solving this problem, therefore, not only increases the quality of indoor air but directly affects the overall health of occupants.
Indoor air quality determines the condition of the air in a building. It the amount humidity, the rate of temperatures and the particles suspended in air as pollutants. Regulating these variables helps to improve the indoor air quality.
One of the primary ways to improve indoor air quality is with a purifier. This will help to lessen and suppress the risk of exposure to the airborne indoor hazardous contaminants. There are a variety of products for the home. When choosing a home purifier be sure to check how many square feet it covers and that it is HEPA certified. Businesses should spend the money needed to invest in a commercial grade unit. Overall, although it is not possible to eliminate air pollution, it is wise to make use of this equipment.