Understanding Indoor Air Quality Issues and Monitoring

Today, workplace safety is one of the major concerns for most employees. Among others, indoor air quality (or IAQ) is a primary health and safety concern. The following lines address the major concerns related to IAQ and the need for monitoring.

Issues Related to IAQ:

Some common issues associated with indoor air quality include:

  • Increase in time spent indoor and number of building occupants
  • Contamination caused due to chemicals, construction materials, fibreglass, glues, particle boards, paints, etc
  • Inadequate or improper maintenance of ventilation and heating systems

Common Examples of Indoor Air Contaminants:

  • Fibreglass, dust, gases including formaldehyde and asbestos from building materials
  • Body odors, perfume, Carbon dioxide (CO2) and tobacco smoke from building occupants
  • Dust mites from foam chair cushions, carpets and fabrics
  • Odors, gases and vapors as off-gas emission from paints, carpets and furniture
  • Ozone from electrostatic air cleaners, photocopiers and electric motors
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic vapors from solvents, workplace cleansers, glues, disinfectants and pesticides
  • Bacteria, fungi, microbial contaminants and molds from condensate pans, damp areas and stagnant water

Symptoms that Indicate Poor IAQ:

People continuously breathing in poor indoor air quality show the symptoms listed below:

  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Sinus congestion
  • Allergies and hypersensitivity
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation and dryness of the skin, throat, nose and eyes

Only after working for several hours do people develop these symptoms.

Monitoring Concern:

All the points discussed above show how important IAQ monitoring is. if IAQ is a major concern for you at your workplace or residential area, then you must resort to the services of a specialist consulting company that will undertake regular surveys of your building. The consulting company should also be able to provide quality impartial health and safety compliance services and Occupational Health & Safety and Environmental monitoring solutions.