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Poor Indoor Air Quality and Your Health

There is no doubt the quality of the air you breathe indoors is essential to your health and comfort. World Health Organizations have conducted numerous studies that highlight the adverse effects of poor indoor air quality on one's health. Numerous articles have been published worldwide stressing the significance of poor indoor air quality in schools and the workplace in what is called "Sick Building Syndrome" (SBS).  

If you experience headaches, blocked sinuses, fatigue, itchy or watery eyes, dizziness, or upper respiratory congestion, you may be subject to poor indoor air quality conditions. More severe symptoms can include wheezing, rash, hearing loss, chills, fever, nausea, and more. In addition, if you feel better after you leave work or school, you may be spending your day in a building with poor indoor air quality.

What you can’t smell might hurt you. Not all gaseous contaminants — including many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — can be identified by smell alone.

Productivity Drops. Whether it’s from absenteeism or presenteeism (when people come to work even though they’re sick), sick employees are a drain on business productivity. If allergies, the flu or common colds seem to circulate around your workplace, chances are it could be something in the air. Airborne infections like the common cold and influenza spread when bacteria or viruses travel on dust particles or small respiratory droplets that become aerosolized when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Healthy people can inhale the infectious droplets, or the droplets can land on their eyes, nose and mouth. People who inhale the airborne germs do not have to have face-to-face contact or be in the same room as the infected person. 

Frequent hand washing, good respiratory hygiene (covering your cough) and rigorous surface sanitation are proven methods for reducing the spread of colds and flu, but viruses, bacteria and allergens can also be carried through the air and spread throughout your facility if they are not removed by an air filtration system. A certified industrial hygienist can identify the size and type of particles in your indoor air and match a particle filtration system to the pollutants you have. 

Your particulate air filtration system should be effective in capturing particles under 2.5 microns in diameter. Those tiny particles are the most likely to travel to the deepest part of the lungs, where they can cause health problems.

People Feel Better When They Leave the Building. We’re not just talking about feeling good because the work day is over and free time is starting. We’re talking about Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), a situation in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building. Typically, those suffering from SBS report relief soon after leaving the building. A related condition is Building Related Illness (BRI). BRI can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants, and those suffering may require prolonged recovery times after leaving the building. 

Ask employees to document their symptoms, including when and where they occur to help find the root of the problem. Take action as soon as possible; it is likely the problem will only get worse if not addressed.

Some estimates place the cost to the U.S. economy of respiratory disease, allergies and asthma, and sick building syndrome to be as high as $48 billion. Providing superior IAQ can improve health, work performance and school performance, as well as reduce health care costs and consequently be a source of substantial economic benefits. Remember that measures resulting in even a small improvement in work performance or absence will often be cost effective because employee costs far exceed the costs of maintaining good IAQ.

One last, but very important point:  Ask yourself the same question about your home.  Do you feel better when you aren't at home?

How Relative Humidity Affects Indoor Air Quality
American Lung Association State of the Air Report 2015 - Key Findings for 2011-2013
The State of the Air 2015 shows that progress in improving the nation’s air quality was mixed. Many cities experienced strong improvement and many others suffered worse episodes of unhealthy air. Nearly 138.5 million people—almost 44 percent of the nation—live where pollution levels are too often dangerous to breathe.
Changing the Air Filter to Ensure Healthy IAQ and to Protect Your HVAC System
Are you someone who forgets to change your air cleaner filter? You may want to make sure this is a priority. Learn why.
GeneralAire Introduces a New UV Air Purifier: the MS24ER
Outside, the sun’s UV rays act to purify and rid outdoor air of germs and other harmful bioaerosols. Easily installed in any HVAC system, the GeneralAire® MS24ER provides whole-house air treatment like the outdoor sun, indoors; one more way to add assurance the the air your family breathes is clean and free from airborne contaminants.
It's National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
It's National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month; and the time of year you might consider installing a quality air cleaner in your home. Learn more by clicking on Products / Air Cleaners.
Test Water Conductivity Prior to Selecting & Installing a Steam Humidifier!!
Be sure you test water conductivity before selecting and installing a Steam Humidifier. Read more to find out why!
Go With a Pro to Spruce Up Your Sprinkler System This Spring
Did you know your yard could be losing as much as 25,000 gallons of water and more than $90 over a six-month irrigation season? Save water. Read Here.
11 Hidden Sources of Indoor Air Pollutions
The air inside your home could be making you sick...here's how to evict that major indoor air polluters from you home!
L.A. Story: Cleaner Air, Healthier Kids
Children’s lungs grew stronger as pollution declined in #CleanAirLA and throughout the Los Angeles basin over the past two decades.
New IAQ Webinars - Register Now
General Filters Presents the 2014 Soaring Eagle Award to Halfpenny Sales
Visit GeneralAire - Booth 2042 - At the AHR Expo - Chicago - January 26-28
The World's Biggest Environmental Killer: Indoor Air Pollution
Five Steps for Healthier Indoor Air
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