Indoor air quality (IAQ) has been a key phrase in the ventilation industry since time began (or thereabouts) and the effects are proven and well-documented. Pollutants and contaminants are present in all indoor space whether generated by us, the built environment we reside in, or transmitted from adjoining areas. The average adult takes around fourteen breaths each minute and the content of your respiratory volume can change moods, work-rates and levels of overall health.
The air we breathe may contain mould and other biological allergens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Radon gas, CO2, and a list of other items we would rather avoid. Why, then, do we accept anything less than the best possible air quality?
People shop around and spend considerable time and money investing in furniture, wall coverings, lighting, chairs and all manner of office bits ‘n’ pieces. We hunt down ergonomic keyboards and adjustable monitor-stands to improve our comfort nine-to-five, and petition employers to provide these items. Employers and managers are accustomed to these discussions and they are commonplace.
So why is it that, when indoor air quality is mentioned, the discussion falls on deaf ears? Surely it is an important subject which everyone should be well-aware of. We all breathe!
There are various pieces of guidance and legislation protecting us from harmful levels of certain contaminants but the subject gets less user-attention than chairs and keyboards.
If you were to replace all the chairs in your department with milking stools, I’d bet the man from health and safety would be down so fast you could barely see him running at you in a blur of high-vis’ jacket and clipboard blue.
Yet if the CO2 level in the same office were to sit at 3000PPM all year round would people know to bring it up? I’d wager the level of discomfort would be comparable but the likelihood of user complaints would be lower.
So then people, take interest in your environment! Every headache, dry throat and set of red eyes your have ever had at mid-day may be down to IAQ. The small fortune you spend at the coffee machine trying to fend off the drowsiness and the matchsticks under your eyes in those long afternoon meetings may be unnecessary with better ventilation!
Blatant plug warning: Nuaire’s demand-controlled ventilation can cure all of these symptoms. They’re paying me to say that…