Workplace Indoor Air Quality: Is It Time to Get Fresh at Work?

Are cleaning chemicals polluting the air at your workplace?With the high pollen count we Minnesotans are experiencing, outdoor air quality is likely at the top of your mind. Itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose are signs the air contains irritants. Many seasonal allergy sufferers find relief once they get inside.

But for many people, allergy symptoms arise once they walk through their workplace doors. The quality of indoor air can have similar and even more severe health effects than outdoor air.

An Urgent Environmental Risk

If you’re like most business owners, you spend at least 40 hours a week inside your office, studio, showroom, gym, and other workspace. That adds up to 2,000 hours a year—if you’re lucky enough to get two weeks of vacation.

With so many hours spent indoors at work, you want the air you breathe there to be healthy. But the EPA considers indoor air quality one of the “most urgent” risks to your health. Many factors contribute to the quality of the air inside a commercial building, including:

  • the general design and maintenance of the building
  • the maintenance of the HVAC system
  • poor quality of re-circulated air
  • the variety of activities that occur within the building
  • overcrowding
  • moisture
  • radon
  • outside air pollutants making their way inside
  • chemicals in conventional cleaning and disinfecting supplies, including aerosols

When just one of these factors reduces the quality of the air in your workplace, you can start to experience health effects. Symptoms of poor indoor air quality mimic those of the common cold, stress, flu, and allergies. The difference, however, is that the symptoms go away once you leave work.

Maintaining Good Indoor Air Quality

Unless you own your commercial building, improving some of these factors may be out of your hands. However, there are things you and your employees can do to ensure the air you all breathe is healthy. The first step is to test the air quality with a DIY testing kit. It will identify the pollutants in your air so you can make a plan to improve it.

If you’re using conventional commercial cleaning supplies, your air likely contains all the toxins and chemicals found in those cleaners. Simply replacing these cleaners with non-toxic, natural choices will eliminate these pollutants from your air.

If you feel sick every time you’re at the office, you’re not allergic to work. The quality of the air is affecting your health. To learn more about how to improve the quality of the air at your workplace, contact me today.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

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