Indoor Air Pollution Is One of The Top Environmental Risks

Just because the air inside your workplace looks clean doesn’t necessarily mean it is According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental risks to public health. Breathing in this heavily polluted air day after day can take its toll on a person’s health, triggering allergies, respiratory infections, and a wide range of other conditions.

To put the problem into perspective, a report published by the EPA states that indoor air is roughly 1-5x more polluted than outdoor air. There are cases, however, in which indoor air is up to 100x more polluted than outdoor air. When an office or workplace has inadequate circulation, the air becomes trapped and stagnant. Rather than pollutants flushing out, they continue to build in the air, increasing the risk of adverse health complications to nearby workers.

Some of the most common indoor air pollutants include the following:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Carbon dioxide (high concentrations)
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Offgassing
  • Pet dander
  • Dust mites
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to improve the quality of air in your workplace, one of which is to change the air filter on a regular basis. Assuming your workplace uses central heating and air, it should have at least one filter that’s used to catch pollutants and prevent them from flowing through the duct work. A good rule of thumb is to replace the air filter at least once per month for maximum protection against airborne pollutants.

Installing a humidifier can also improve indoor air quality. When the air is exceptionally dry, pollutants can travel with greater ease. This means workers and anyone else inside the office is more susceptible to its harmful effects. A humidifier will regulate the moisture vapor in the air, ensuring there’s an appropriate humidity level at all times. And with the humidity regulated, airborne moisture vapor will slow down pollutants so they are unable to travel as easily.

You might be surprised to learn that plants can be used to combat indoor air pollution. Plants serve two functions in this regard: they capture dust and other pollutants, and they also release fresh oxygen back into the atmosphere. Check out the list of the top air-purifying plants according to NASA.

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