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Indoor air quality Pros & Cons

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term which refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants, and how it may have a profound effect on your staff and customers.

These days we all are concerned about the outdoor pollution and its effect on our health and environment, but a study reveals that we Canadians spend 90% of our time indoors. What that means is we should be equally aware and concerned about our indoor environment. And the biggest advantage of indoor air quality is we have total control over it.

There are many different types of contaminants that pollute the indoor air and the most common type seen here in Metro Vancouver is molds. Certain mold species contain mycotoxins that adversely affect the indoor air quality when aerosolized.

A study done by WHO in 1984 suggested that in 30% of the new buildings and offices made, the occupants feel symptoms that are related to Sick building syndrome. Molds being the leading cause, other factors include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, temperature, relative humidity and volatile organic compounds. The most common cause for molds is the excessive moisture content in the air. The excessive moisture content in the air may be due to several reasons but the leading cause is improper ventilation in the building.

One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality at your work place is to constantly monitor the ventilation system and eliminate the source of other pollutants. Hiring a professional who can help monitor this for you would be a good start to help keep the air quality in check. Air purifiers and ionizers are commonly used these days to purify the air are also a great idea. Though air ionizers are more popular these days because of the advanced technology they use to help rid the air of harmful contaminants.

What else you can do to improve the air quality? Well, the answer may surprise some people; simply have your carpets and rugs professionally cleaned regularly. It might strike you what does carpets and rugs have to do with air quality? They act like an air filter and will gravitate and attract the pollutants in the air toward it. The synthetic fibers of the carpet trap these contaminants and constantly stay as a source to later release them in the air. Work places with higher moisture content in the air are more at risk as molds can grow on the carpet if they are not cleaned and dried out ever so often. We recommend implementing a Carpet Care Program as part of your regular janitorial services is a good way to ensure optimal air quality in your work place.

In conclusion, improved indoor air quality makes for a healthier indoor environment for both your customers and you staff, which can lead to increase productivity and also keeps employee absenteeism low and at the same time, helping to keep health related issues to a minimum. You can also visit Health Canada to learn how good air quality can play a role in your work place.


Breathe fresh and stay healthy!



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