Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of air in a building and around it. The air quality deals with the pollutants, dust, gases and impurities in the air indoors, exposure to which can develop health concerns amongst the occupants of the building. These health concerns can have immediate affects or can turn up after years of exposure to poor quality air.
The immediate effects of poor indoor air quality include headaches, redness and irritation of eyes, itchy and irritated throat, irritation in the nose, fatigue and dizziness. The effects of long-term exposure to pollutants result in respiratory diseases, heart problems and even cancer.
Having poor indoor air quality in a commercial space can not only result in health problems for the employees but can also be a cause for additional costs and expenses for the company or business occupying that building. The health issues will affect the productivity of the employees, increase the absences thereby disrupting the workflow and will increase the requirement for better employee health insurance plans (if the company is providing that benefit).
The main indoor air pollutants:
- The gases emitting from paint and varnish, if they are not immediately aired
- Tobacco smoke can also be considered an air pollutant which is why most offices have an outdoor or open-air smoking space and a ‘no indoor smoking’ policy
- Contaminants such as mold, mildew, dust mites and animal dander that grow because of moisture or dampness in the environment
- Formaldehyde is a pollutant that is mostly emitted by sealants, paints and wooden floors
- Radon is a pollutant found in building materials and bedrock
A good indoor air quality in commercial spaces such as stores, malls, schools, and offices entail a better turnout, heightened performance, better focus and cognitive abilities due to the good health of the building’s occupants.
Thus, spending on better indoor air quality in commercial spaces is an investment that will pay off. The best ways to improve the indoor air quality is through regular cleaning and dusting, improving ventilation, having regular maintenance and checks, monitoring the level of pollutants in the air, changing the filters regularly, and investing in better and more efficient HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems.