The Importance of Indoor Air Quality Evaluations

The Importance of Indoor Air Quality Evaluations
10/28/2015 2:52:40 PM

When you consider that you and your employees inhale roughly 15,000+ quarts of air daily, it’s easy to see why indoor air quality from industrial air conditioning and other elements is critical to good health. Even contaminants in the parts-per-million category can be damaging when you consume thousands of quarts of air daily.

The Potentially Damaging Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

To understand why indoor air quality evaluations—especially for industrial air conditioning systems—are important for your employees’ health, you need to understand the potential health risks of poor IAQ:

  • Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)

  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)

  • Legionnaires disease

  • Respiratory infections including pneumonia

  • COPD

  • Lung Cancer

  • Rhinitis

  • Rashes

  • Tachycardia

  • Myalgia

  • Conjunctival (eye) irritation

After identifying potential health risks, you’ll want to know what air and industrial air conditioning contaminants are linked to these risks, and how to find and neutralize them.

Symptoms that May Indicate Poor Indoor Air Quality

If you’ve seen any of the following symptoms in your employees, it may be a sign that your facility is operating with poor indoor air quality:

  • HeadachesIndoor Air Quality

  • Fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Sinus congestion (lasting longer than a few days)

  • Dry and irritated eyes, nose, skin, and/or throat

  • Dizziness (due to lack of oxygen)

  • Nausea

  • Sudden hypersensitivity and allergies

While many of these symptoms can mock a cold or flu, they generally subside a few hours after leaving the area. However, the close similarities between these symptoms and cold and flu symptoms make poor indoor air quality difficult to identify.

If you suspect that your facility may have poor IAQ, or your industrial air conditioning is aging/may be causing air quality issues, call us today for an on-site evaluation.

Industrial Indoor Air Quality Contaminants

If you suspect that you may have poor air quality based on current symptoms, an old industrial air conditioning system, previous evaluations, or other means, there are industrial elements in the air that you need to evaluate. These include:

  • Carbon monoxide

  • Dust and/or dander

  • Asbestos

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS)

  • Radon

  • Mold and/or mildew

  • Cleaning products

  • Pesticides

  • Rodent excrement

  • Chemicals and dirty air from improperly vented furnaces

How to Prevent Poor Indoor Air Quality

Poor IAQ is all about remediation and prevention. First thing’s first—you need to complete an indoor air quality assessment to determine what irritants you have in your facility. It will need to evaluate your industrial air conditioning and heating system, as these are major causes of unclean air. The results of this evaluation can help you determine the poor IAQ’s source.

After evaluation and identification, you’ll need to remediate the errors that are causing the poor air quality. For example, if you find that you have a malfunctioning industrial air conditioning system, then it may need an overhaul or more frequent servicing. If you find mold in your facility, then you’ll need to routinely check for water leaks and plug them, so as to create an environment that is inhospitable to mold and bacteria growth.

Common problems to look for with an IAQ evaluation include: inadequate temperatures, dirty industrial air conditioning filters and parts, unnatural levels of humidity, insufficient air intake, vapors, odors, gases, and chemicals. Microbial contaminants, like mold, fungi, and bacteria, are also common issues, and can easily occur in areas that have stagnant water due to leaks or water pooling. Industrial facilities can also have issues with toxic vapors, like cleaning agents, solvents, paints, glues, disinfectants, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you work in the motor or copier industries, you may be susceptible to ozone leaks, which can occur from photocopiers and electric motors.

How to Schedule an Indoor Air Quality Evaluation

If you’re concerned with the health of your employees due to inadequate IAQ, then an evaluation may help put your mind at ease, while giving you an actionable list of tasks to improve the on-going quality. Scheduling an evaluation is simple. Contact us today and we’ll have one of our professionals visit your facility at your convenience. If we find poor IAQ, we will provide a list of the airborne offenders and potential remedies.

This is a fairly straightforward process, and we’re here to help—contact us today to set the wheels in motion.
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