Sick Building Syndrome At Work
First off, maybe we should start with why we should monitor indoor air quality. Sick building syndrome is one of the main reasons why. What is it? It is the name given to the many symptoms people can experience in the workplace or home when the air quality is poor. These include,
- Tiredness and difficulty concentrating
- Dry, itchy skin
- Dry, sore eyes or throat
- Blocked or runny nose
- Cough or wheezing
The causes of the problem can include air pollution caused by dust, smoke, fumes or fabric fibres and poor air circulation. Poorly maintained air conditioning units can add to the problem. Open-plan offices are often the worse culprits, where the humidity, the number of people in the space and crowded desks contributes to the problem. Understanding the causes of poor air quality are the first step to managing it. Professional help is the first step in taking back control of your air. At Environmental Monitors, we provide environmental monitoring services and training and education.
Testing Indoor Air Quality At Work
The first step is installing an air quality monitor to know what you are dealing with. Pollutant monitors for carbon dioxide and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)alongside measuring humanity, temperature and moisture.
One of the units we use produces monthly reports to your computer or a traffic-light system type warning to a phone app. An alternative is a pole-mounted device that can identify fine particulate matter.
Sick Building Syndrome At Home
We can also blame the same causes for sick building syndrome in your home. Here log fires, gas cookers, tobacco smoke, boilers, the aerosols we use and the candles & incense we burn. Plus mould spores and CO2, paint and varnishes and cleaning and washing agents. Outdoor pollutants can also contribute, especially PM10 and PM2.5, which can pass the blood/lung barrier and exacerbate breathing problems in the young and elderly.
Another culprit contributing to poor air quality is VOCs, of which there are 3-types. Sometimes called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, these are chemicals of hydrogen and carbon that derive from products in our homes. These chemicals vaporise at room temperature releasing harmful chemicals into the air.
Testing Indoor Air Quality In The Home
Obviously, it would be better to eliminate problems before they accumulate enough to become sick building syndrome symptoms. Opening windows to let out polluted air is the simplest approach but can be very effective. However, as our homes become more energy-efficient, they become more airtight and the airless clean.
Our specialists at EM can assist you in identifying the quality of the air you and your family are breathing. We have the tools to measure emissions that can be harmful to you backed by scientific knowledge. In addition, we can assist you in regularly monitoring your home or what to purchase, like a VOC sensor, air purifiers, and CO2 monitors.
Are you concerned about the quality of your indoor air? Then please get in touch with us to discuss your concerns and how we can help.