Air in Our Workplaces May Be 100 Times More Polluted Than What We Breathe Outdoors
As autumn air and cooler temps breeze through the region, you can be sure that workers will be spending more of their time indoors. If you work in an office building, be aware that the air you breathe in your workplace may be a problem.
Why? Because indoor air quality can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air we breathe outdoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When wet weather and a changing of the seasons is coupled with poor air circulation and inadequate ventilation, there’s a greater likelihood that office workers can be exposed to chemicals, toxins, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from a variety of sources, including cleaning agents, carpets, keyboards, printers and other office equipment.
When mold is added to the mix, it’s especially problematic. Although people are concerned about the toxic kind, all mold, in fact, can be hazardous to a person’s health; it can cause or heighten health issues like allergies, asthma, and more serious respiratory illnesses.
A fact to be aware of: unhealthy mold spores and high levels of VOCs cause roughly 90 percent of all indoor air quality issues.
Where do you look?
“Signs of a problem can be found inside walls, under carpets, throughout ventilation systems (HVAC), in the office kitchen (especially the community refrigerator), and just about anywhere there is moisture,” says Robert Weitz, a principal and licensed inspector with the environmental testing firm RTK Environmental Group.
But too often such signs aren’t obvious to a layperson or the naked eye, he adds.
A test, conducted by an independent testing company like RTK Environmental, can determine if mold, asbestos or other harmful toxins are present in the air you breath in an office.
Employers should be concerned if office air quality is poor because employees can develop health problems that result in lost productivity and higher absenteeism, which is bad for a business and its bottom line, let alone bad for each person.
Make the sensible business decision. Contact RTK Environmental for an air quality and mold inspection at your office. Contact our office to schedule an appointment: 800.392.6468.