As Aussies, we see ourselves as outdoor people, but the truth is, we spend 90% of our time indoors. Given the vast proportion of time we spend inside, indoor air pollution is a serious health concern.
According to WHO – a shocking 4.3 million people die every year due to indoor air pollution. In many cases – this is avoidable.
When indoor air quality is substandard, an array of acute and chronic symptoms can arise. Many buildings can be harmful to your health without you ever knowing – here are some ways to get fresh air while you’re inside.
When you’re at work, you want to know the air you breathe is contaminant-free. Clean air should be a given, so you can get on with your job.
Managing air pollution and the resulting WHS risks in commercial buildings is required under WHS laws. By knowing where pollution hazards originate, you can better identify the level of risk. Test air quality frequently and monitor the air quality index as a starting point. Inviting input from your building occupants is a great way to gain insight into air condition in a building; speak directly to the relevant Health and Safety reps.
Aim to eliminate risk. If this is unachievable, minimise it as much as possible. The hierarchy of control measures ranks risk control methods, but people’s pre-existing conditions also play a part. Asthma and other respiratory diseases may make some more susceptible to air pollutants – as does being older or pregnant.
There are two types of sources that degrade indoor air quality: natural contaminants and those caused by human activity.
In Commercial buildings, indoor environments can be affected by numerous sources.
You know when you’re not breathing clean air. It can leave you with mild, nonspecific reactions like irritated eyes, nose and throat and can even lead to fatigue, headaches and dizziness. There are also more severe symptoms, including asthma and other respiratory symptoms, allergic responses, difficulty breathing, itching, and dry, irritated skin.
Exposure to contaminants for long periods, with low levels of outdoor air supply, can increase sick leave and decrease productivity.
These four factors will lessen the air pollution in your building and pull your indoor air quality into line.
You can take a holistic approach with an Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Service (IAQMS). Using an Internet of Things (IoT) platform, actively track conditions to improve the air quality of your commercial building. IAQMS tracks nine air quality parameters: temperature, humidity, lighting levels, sound, CO2, VOC, particulates, airflow and occupancy. Up to 240 ceiling or wall-mounted wireless sensors building-wide can be mounted. The IoT platform is connected to a dashboard and warns when conditions move beyond settings.
If you want to improve your building’s carbon footprint, sustainable operation practices can minimise waste, conserve energy, and improve air and water quality. You can achieve this by maintaining the operational technology equipment that runs your building in the background. It can then be enhanced by sustainability engineers, who can recommend work towards optimal environmental, economic and social improvements for your commercial building.
Monitor air quality, ensure regular maintenance of HVAC systems and implement other technologies to keep your commercial building safe. Schedule monthly maintenance with our specialist team to keep your workplace safe from contaminants.