Industrial indoor air quality is important to any operation and should not be overlooked, as it can have long-term effects on the productivity and health of you and your employees.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the condition of the breathable air in or around a structure. IAQ factors in the amount of outside air entering the building, temperature, humidity, and airborne contaminants. Poor-quality inside air poses many health risks, enough for the Environmental Protection Agency to declare indoor air pollution a top five environmental public health risk.
Airborne contaminants can come from anywhere. One avenue for contaminants to emerge involves unregulated or outdated systems releasing harmful gases into the air, such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Non-biological particles such as synthetic fibers become inhalable at a diameter of 10 micrometers or less. Air pollution could also come from microbial contaminants like fungi, bacteria, and dust mites.
Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are the most prevalent indoor air pollutants. VOCs are 10 times likelier to appear indoors instead of outdoors and can originate from household items such as solvents, pesticides, adhesives, paints, and disinfectants. VOCs can harm you by causing difficulty breathing, harm to your central nervous system, and irritated eyes.
A good first step to mitigate VOCs and improve IAQ is to take regular readings on air quality and be aware when and which contaminants are present. Once enough data has been gathered, solutions can be discussed on how to neutralize the threat. It’s also a good idea to outfit all workers with the appropriate safety gear. Workers across America wear respirators to protect themselves against harmful dusts, smokes, gases, vapors, and low oxygen levels.
Every business needs to make sure that their workers are safe, and that the equipment remains regularly maintained. For more information on how to check IAQ and improve it, check out the accompanying resourced provided by Kelair Dampers.
Infographic created by Kelair Dampers, specialists in industrial ductwork