What's in the air?

The quality of indoor air in the workplace is important not only for workers' comfort, but also for their health. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes that poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can be hazardous to workers' health. Many factors affect IAQ—poor ventilation (not enough or lack of outside air), problems controlling temperature, high or low humidity, recent remodeling, and other activities in or near a building that can affect the fresh air coming into the building. Sometimes, specific contaminants—such as dust from construction or renovation, mold, cleaning supplies, pesticides, or other airborne chemicals (including small amounts of chemicals released as a gas over time)—may cause poor IAQ.

Biological
Typically these pollutants are present where water is found to support growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Common biological pollutants can be dust mites, animal dander, legionella, and pollen. Inadequate maintenance and housekeeping of building ventilation systems can compound the issue.

Chemical
Sources of chemical pollutants (gases and vapors) come from five main categories: products used in the building, products that can get pulled into the HVAC system from outside the building, accidental spills, products used during construction activities, and byproducts of combustion such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and nitrogen dioxide

Particles
These are described as a solid or liquid, non-biological that can be suspended in air, creating a respiratory hazard. This most often is dirt and dust drawn into the building ventilation system. Another source can be construction activities in the building resulting in suspended particles, such as drywall dust, wood dust, and silica from cutting, drilling, or sanding of concrete

 

Poor IAQ is a substantial problem that affects us all yet doesn't get the attention it deserves as a public health threat. It’s an issue that's been around for a while and is getting worse, especially as we construct increasingly air-tight, energy-efficient buildings.. A variety of controls and actions can be taken to enhance interior breathing conditions and avoid the health issues generated from the presence of indoor air pollutants in our workplace. Pay-LESS offers the AeraMax® line as well as a variety of other products to improve the air quality in your workplace providing a healthy environment for your employees.