You sit at your desk, stare at your computer, make phone calls, walk to the printer, check on fellow employees and so on. The last thing you're probably thinking about is the air that you breathe in. In many cases, indoor air quality (IAQ) can truly be the silent killer.
Many offices have poor IAQ. Proper ventilation is something of the utmost importance so why not look into it at your place of work?
According to OSHA there are many problems that can cause poor IAQ. They include:
• Issues controlling indoor temperature
• Lack of outside air being filtered into the building
• Recent construction of or around the building
• Things going on near the building that could affect the fresh air
• High or low humidity
OSHA also says specific airborne chemicals that can cause poor IAQ are dust, mold, cleaning supplies—or things of that nature—and pesticides of any sort.
There are ways to know if your building has poor IAQ. According to OSHA, symptoms that can set in include:
• Lack of concentration
• Problems with your nose, throat, lungs or eyes
Children are more susceptible to negative side effects than adults. According to the National Safety Council, "children breathe in 50 percent more air per pound of bodyweight than adults do." Spending time in schools puts them at greater risk of getting asthma. This can also happen to adults. The National Safety Council states that 11.4 million people are affected by asthma each year, much of which is suspected to be due to poor IAQ.
Asthma is not the worst that can come from poor IAQ.
Exposure to radon or asbestos can lead to long-term effects—mainly cancer. These are carcinogens you would have no idea that your body is inhaling. According to the National Cancer Institute, radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
How's the indoor air quality where you work?
DiVal can help. For information regarding indoor air quality investigations, contact Training Coordinator Judy Trent at 800-343-1354, ext. 3153 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.