Many of us spend up to 90% of our time indoors, especially if we have commercial or office jobs, meaning that the office indoor air quality around us is extremely important. In many cases it’s not as easy as cracking open a window to let in some fresh air: for instance, it may be winter, or it may be a health and safety issue.
If you’re a business owner or employee, maintaining a high quality of air is more important than you may think, affecting productivity and health in many ways. So, take a deep breath and join us as we take a closer look into why indoor air quality matters and what you can do about it.
VOCS and Sick Building Syndrome
“Sick Building Syndrome” is a term used to characterise offices with poor air quality, where employees are more at risk of illness because of unclean air particles, germs, and viruses being transmitted through air vents and air conditioning systems. Sick Building Syndrome is not only bad for your employees’ health, comfort, and productivity; it may also contribute to a rise in healthcare and sick-leave expenditures.
VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) – hazardous gases generated by chemicals and solid objects – are one of the biggest causes of poor indoor air quality. VOCs deplete ozone and, if confined indoors, can cause health risks for people exposed to high amounts. They’re in almost everything within a workplace, from the paint on the walls to the glue used in construction, to printers and even the materials used to make furniture. VOCs have a wide range of health consequences, ranging from irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat to more significant medical issues, depending on toxicity levels and exposure period.
But, not to worry, for there are many things you can do about them!
The benefits of better office indoor air quality
There’s no doubt that having better air inside the workplace has its advantages, but let’s take a closer look at what they are:
Removes harmful chemicals – such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, and others which are common in homes and offices, especially those near major transport hubs, roads, and motorways. By reducing the concentration of these chemicals, health risks can be better avoided.
Reduces symptoms of asthma – Dust, pollen, and other contaminants in the air can exacerbate asthma symptoms and make breathing difficult. While such contaminants can be removed by vacuuming, smaller particles stay floating in the air, which is then breathed in. By purifying the air, and so improving the office indoor air quality, these contaminants can be removed or reduced, minimising the chances of having respiratory problems.
Allergy relief – Allergies are one of the most frequent health issues that impact most individuals. They can also contribute to the development of dangerous illnesses in some situations. By keeping the air as clean as possible in a closed environment, dust, pollen, and other irritants can be kept to a minimum.
Reduce chances of airborne sickness – Common ailments such as colds, flu and (most recently) COVID-19 are easily spread around office environments that do not have good circulation or air purity. While we aren’t claiming that pure air will prevent these from occurring, a fresh, constant flow of clean air can help reduce the overall risk.
Neutralise odours – Bad aromas from cooking, smoking, chemicals, cleaning, fresh paint, or even furniture may be unpleasant in business settings, workplaces, and residences. It can also damage your productivity and cognitive skills in some situations. If such odours are present in your home or business, using air-purifying paint and other purifying methods go a long way in keeping those smells at bay.
Prevent mildew and mould – Mould and mildew are problems caused by a lack of fresh air, poor air movement, and excessive humidity levels. Basements, storage facilities, and warehouses are frequent places for this. If mold and mildew are exposed for an extended period, they can cause a variety of health concerns. By keeping the air fresh and pure, mould and mildew will have fewer opportunities to grow!
Productivity and wellbeing
All the above benefits lead to better productivity and wellbeing in the long run. This is due to the fact that by promoting air and lowering the likelihood of getting health issues, the flu, or allergies, your staff will be less likely to become unwell.
While the human side of things is by far the most important, it will have benefits for your business as well. By reducing the number of sick hours across your workforce, overall moods, attitudes, and output will be much better, with more focused and driven employees.
This will also improve your company’s reputation both internally and externally, as any company that genuinely cares about its employees will always be regarded in a more positive light. Find our how dirty air impacts productivity and decision making.
How to improve the air quality in your office
- Keep air vents and grilles clear.
- Keep windows open as much as possible.
- Use a paint that purifies the air (more on this below).
- Adhere to the smoking policies of the workplace and the building.
- Ensure that workplace plants are properly watered and cared for.
- Dispose of rubbish in a timely and proper manner.
- Properly store food.
- Do not bring into the building any goods that may emit dangerous or irritating scents or pollutants.
- If you detect an issue with indoor air quality, notify your building or facility management right away.
Air purifying paint from ESCREO
Air purifying paint is one of the newest entries in the functional paint industry, and it’s already proven to be a worthwhile investment for homes, companies, and commercial spaces.
The air cleaning paint traps VOCs, preventing them from leaking into the air and damaging the indoor environment. As a consequence, the number of VOCs generated by furniture, flooring, equipment, and décor is reduced, leading to improved indoor air quality.
ESCREO provides a variety of carbon-neutral functional paints that may be used to make your walls not only air-purifying but also magnetic and writable. ESCREO Clean Air, our air purifying paint, is water-based, environmentally safe and non-toxic, containing an enhanced mineral that attracts and neutralises hazardous air pollutants, VOCs, airborne chemicals, and carbon dioxide.