It's not limited to COVID-19. The average person inhales 3,000 gallons of indoor air every day. Most people spend 90% of their time indoors and nine hours per day in shared environments — spaces that are up to five times more polluted than outdoors.
The presence of odors can reflect negatively on your facility. Odors from bathrooms, lunchrooms, stale air and more are primary complaint drivers for building managers.
Experts agree that the flu virus is mainly spread through airborne droplets. These droplets are made when people cough, sneeze or talk. Despite flu shots and hand sanitization, Americans still catch about one billion colds and 60 million flu cases annually.
Approximately 20% of all people are impacted with allergies. Allergic reactions can be triggered by irritants such as seasonal pollen/ragweed, mold, pet dander and dust mites. These irritants also result in respiratory issues for those with asthma, which impacts 1 out of every 10 children.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are harmful chemicals emitted from everyday products, sometimes even when they are stored. Paints, cleaning supplies, office equipment and more can contain VOCs. These VOCs can potentially trigger headaches, asthma and allergy attacks. Other airborne contaminants include:
According to a recent study published by the journal Geohealth, wildfire smoke now accounts for more than half the air pollution measured annually in the Western region. Worse, the pollution caused by the wildfires isn't just smoke created by wood and tinder, it encompasses VOCs from houses caught in crossfire. Those irritants can compromise respiratory systems and even potentially spread COVID-19.
As important as it is to understand what’s in the air, it is also important to understand the size of particles and its impact on occupants. The human eye can only see 25 microns or larger. The microns under those sizes are the ones that provide a potentially greater risk as they are small enough to get into your lungs.
Indoor air is full of potential contaminants ranging from viruses to VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) to common dust. Proper ventilation combined with purified air exchanges is the best way to reduce the presence of these contaminants, maintaining a healthy living and working condition.