Many individuals believe that asthma stems from purely genetic roots. On the contrary, it has been found that certain substances within the air known as allergens can cause otherwise healthy workers to develop these very same symptoms. As the airways become more sensitive, breathing and respiratory problems can occur. Some common substances which can contribute to this situation include:
However, we are not only referring to exterior environments.
A recent survey conducted by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has found that no fewer than 70 per cent of office professionals now believe that lower air quality standards within their workplace is having a negative impact upon their overall health. Not only is this disturbing from a long-term point of view, but workers are also likely to be less productive. When productivity levels fall, senior staff and entry-level employees will both suffer.
Statistics alone are not nearly sufficient if we wish to fully understand how air pollution can damage your health from both short- and long-term points of view. As there have been numerous comprehensive studies carried out in the past, the evidence is quite conclusive. Some of the major concerns associated with poor air quality include (but are by no means limited to):
It is just as important to mention that anyone with preexisting conditions could be placed even more at risk. This conclusion is just as valid for pregnant women as well as working mothers who may be nursing.
While the scenarios mentioned above are quite serious, it is slightly ironic that many are caused by substances which are regularly found throughout a typical office environment. Although these chemicals may appear relatively innocuous in and of themselves, there is no doubt that the associated health risks are very real. Some examples of office-related air pollutants include:
This is why office workers and management alike both need to be fully cognisant of the airborne hazards within their environment.
Certain situations can exacerbate the situations mentioned above. Some variables include humidity, levels of carbon monoxide, air stagnation, room temperature, the condition of HVAC filters, and even light levels will all play important roles. Offices that are known to contain (or are located near the presence of) volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are also at risk.
The main concern is that management may be entirely unaware of such situations. As the symptoms of severe and chronic respiratory illnesses will often take years to fully develop, it is critical to ascertain the dangers that could very well be present.
The scenarios outlined above should be taken seriously by management and similar stakeholders. It is therefore important to obtain an air quality survey in order to determine what substances are present and if any actions need to be taken. The best way to combat indoor air pollution is to obtain a professional on-site assessment. The appropriate steps can thereafter be taken.
How can air pollution damage your health within a commercial environment? The answers to this question should now be clear. If you would like to determine the air quality of your property, please contact a specialist at Air Quality Plan as soon as possible.