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Improving Indoor Air Quality at Your Workplace

Many factors contribute to decreased air quality in the workplace. Formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), cigarette smoke, and ozone all contribute to degraded air quality. Poor indoor air quality can result in flu like symptoms including headaches, sore throats, itchy eyes, or in limited scenarios, chronic illnesses such as cancer. Sources of air pollution in offices include off gassing from furniture, carpets, cleaning products, and photocopy equipment.

Each work environment has unique contributors to air quality. Make sure you are aware of the health impacts of chemicals and products you work with and their potential impacts to your health. If you are concerned about the air quality at your work place be sure to address them with your organization.

There are solutions to poor indoor air quality. To improve air at work, when possible:

  • Open windows to allow for natural ventilation
  • Choose mild, non-toxic or biodegradable cleaning products
  • Choose non-toxic pest control methods, especially indoors
  • Choose furniture made from solid wood and ground coverings made from natural fibers
  • Avoid wall-to-wall synthetic carpet
  • Choose mild, non-toxic pest control methods whenever possible
  • Make sure high moisture areas are well ventilated to avoid mold and mildew
  • Avoid air fresheners
  • Make sure designated smoking areas are located a sufficient distance from doors, windows and ventilation systems
  • When remodeling choose low- to no-VOC paint; and
  • Discuss any air quality concerns with your office and institute practices and policies that work for you
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