In 2016, the World Bank announced that air pollution is currently the fourth-leading cause of deaths around the world. In fact, one in every 10 deaths has been attributed to exposure to polluted air. Putting that in perspective, every year, air pollution-related deaths are six times higher than that of malaria and four times higher than that of HIV/AIDS.
But it’s not just the outside air pollution that we need to worry about. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, inside air quality could be two to five times worse than outside air quality.
What are the Health Risks Linked to Indoor Air Quality?
It is no surprise that the quality of indoor air affects one’s health. The health impacts range from subtle to severe. For instance, indoor air pollutants can cause headaches, allergies, eye irritation, fatigue and nausea. In other cases, as backed up by several studies, it can also increase the risks of developing severe forms of allergies, asthma and even pulmonary infections.
Poor indoor air quality affects not just the employees’ health but also their performance. They end up having low attention span and because they are uncomfortable, their productivity suffers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, companies lose about $15 billion every single year because of low productivity and health-related work delays.
What Can be Done About the Quality of Indoor Air?
Many companies invest in dust collector booths to help improve indoor air quality in the workplace. This equipment removes the pollutants present in indoor air. This is especially important in manufacturing and construction industries wherein dust-producing heavy machinery are used every day.
In the corporate workplace, building managers can enforce strong policies that will aid in keep indoor air clean. These could involve a no smoking policies within the premises, proper food storage and refraining from using products that could cause air problems.
Keeping good quality indoor air in the workplace is a shared responsibility between the employers and their employees. There are huge investments companies can make to improve the air quality and, in turn, their employees’ productivity. On the other hand, lifestyle changes and small habit tweaks can also go a long way in ensuring that the air we breathe is clean and safe.