Why You Should Be Worried About Office Air Pollutants

July 7, 2016

The home air quality revolution has begun. More and more Americans are becoming aware of the threats to their indoor air and are taking steps towards achieving healthier air quality. While it is extremely important to test and monitor the quality of your home air, it is also important to take a closer look at the quality of your office air. Although you may have more control over the quality of the air you are breathing at home, concerns regarding office air quality should be addressed as well.

The average full time employee spends about 40 hours per week inside of their office building. That is 40 hours spent breathing in air that may contain chemical or biological contaminants which may be making you ill. Whether you work in a small building inside of a strip mall or in a large warehouse, there are numerous contaminants that may be polluting your air.

A poorly located intake vent could be mixing in exhaust fumes from a parking lot, generator, or from the street. Exhaust fumes contain particulate matter invisible to the naked eye. Although you may not be able to see the danger, these fumes contain the toxic chemicals benzene and arsenic which could cause lung cancer and respiratory problems.

Many harmful chemicals cannot be detected by smell. Fumes from laminate flooring, office furniture, fire retardant materials, commercial cleaning products, copier machines, and printers all contain harmful chemicals. If your office does not have an adequate ventilation system, these fumes can build up to toxic levels.

What can you do to address your office air concerns?

Start by either asking management or taking it upon yourself to have your office air tested. An Office Air Check will provide you with a Contamination Index listing of the air pollutants identified in a sample of your office air. Whether it is a high concentration of mold or harmful VOCs, this test will alert management to unsafe levels of office air contaminants. The first step towards healthier air is identifying pollutants so proper steps towards remediation may be taken.

You spend 1/4th of your time every week in your office. Make the same efforts in ensuring your office air is safe to breathe that you would make in protecting your home air.