Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work. So, it’s no surprise that the quality of the air we breathe while we’re on the job can have a significant impact on our health. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), poor indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental health risks. We recommend helping your indoor air quality by doing a few simple things.
- Check Your HVAC Regularly
- Invest In Air Cleaning Devices & Filters
- Use Green Cleaning Products
- Consider Adding Indoor Plants
- Perform Regular Indoor Pollution Testing
What Is Sick Building Syndrome?
According to the EPA “…sick building syndrome” (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.” Some of the most common symptoms of SBS include:
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Dry Cough
- Itchy or Dry Skin
- Mucous Membrane Irritation
Poor Indoor Air Quality & SBS
Poor ventilation, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and other chemical and biological contaminants are some substances linked to sick building syndrome. Many of these contaminants lead to higher levels of indoor pollution, exacerbating health problems in sensitive individuals. Let’s dive a little deeper into the tips we listed at the beginning of this article to further reduce the risks of SBS.
1. Keep Your HVAC Properly Maintained
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is responsible for circulating and filtering the air in your office. That’s why it’s so important to have it serviced regularly by a qualified professional. Scheduling regular maintenance checks will help ensure that your HVAC system remains in optimal condition so that it can do its part in keeping your workplace clean.
2. Use HEPA Filters & Cleaning Devices
You can also keep your HVAC system running smoothly and indoor space fresher by investing in high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Not all filters are created equal—some are much better at trapping harmful particles than others. HEPA filters will effectively improve the air quality in your office. You may also wish to invest in standalone air purification devices to reduce indoor pollution further.
3. Go Green When You Clean
When it comes to cleaning solutions, not all chemicals are created equal. Many popular cleaning products release VOCs, contributing to poor indoor air quality. To avoid this, use eco-friendly cleaning products that are low in VOCs whenever possible.
4. Indoor Plants Can Create A Greener Workspace
Plants don’t just add a touch of beauty and a sense of nature to your office space. They can also help improve indoor air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air. Here are a few plants that are among the best for purifying indoor air.
- Aloe Vera
- Snake Plant
- Tulsi Plant
- Boston Fern
- Peace Lily
- Areca Palm
- Spider Plant
5. Breathe Easier With Professional Indoor Air Testing
One of the best ways to avoid sick building syndrome at your workplace is to test for pollutants regularly using an indoor air quality monitor or an environmental consulting service. Testing will help you identify any potential problems so you can address them before they become serious health hazards.
Air Quality Testing In Monterey County, CA
The EPA estimates that “most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors and many spend most of their working hours in an office environment.” EPA studies have also shown that indoor air quality is often more polluted than outdoors. M3 Environmental LLC can test the indoor air quality at your Monterey workplace and help you develop a plan to bring deficiencies back up to par. Take a deep breath and contact us today to find out more.