When asked to think about air pollution, most people tend to think about outdoor air pollution—the pollution originating from the burning of fossil fuels, excessive dust in the air, etc. What many people (and businesses, in particular) tend to overlook is the devastating impact that indoor air pollution can have on the health and well-being of workers. According to the EPA, indoor air is 5X more polluted than outdoor air. As such, it needs to be a priority for businesses everywhere.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Concentrations of some indoor pollutants have actually increased in recent years. There are several contributing factors, including energy-efficient building construction (particularly when there isn’t enough ventilation), as well as synthetic building materials. The most common indoor air pollutants include various combustion byproducts, such as carbon monoxide, as well as mold, lead, and asbestos. Most of these come from inside the building. The average building is also home to bacteria and airborne viruses.
Effects of Indoor Air Pollution
The negative effect of indoor air pollutants (and poor air quality) on health is well-established, even in healthy individuals. These include irritation of the eyes and nose, headaches, and long-term illnesses such as respiratory diseases, heart disease, and even cancer.
From a business perspective, poor air quality leads to decreased well being and higher instances of sick leave. A Harvard School of Public Health study, for example, found that poor indoor air quality cost one company $480 per employee every year due to entirely preventable absenteeism. Studies have also linked poor indoor air quality with decreased employee performance and productivity.
What You Can Do About Indoor Air Pollution
A good place to begin is by testing your indoor air quality. Choosing HEPA filters for your HVAC system and vacuum cleaner can also improve indoor air quality. The reason is that HEPA filters offer 99.97% micro-filtration. In other words, they are very powerful filters. Ensuring that you regularly change your filters is also important.
Janitized offers the industry’s most comprehensive line of replacement commercial grade vacuum filters and premium quality vacuum cleaner bags. We also offer compostable vacuum cleaner bags—an industry first. Contact us today for more information.