Here’s how to gauge exactly what’s in your indoor air, and determine the right steps to improve air quality at your school, office, business, or medical center.
Air that’s safe to breathe in indoor spaces is now priority number one for schools, offices, malls, hospitals, and other public places across the globe. For site managers, determining if internal air quality at a site is safe has become one of the most critical aspects of their jobs.
Here’s how to find out what contaminants are present in your space’s indoor air, and how you can keep everyone at your site safe from the risks of poor internal air.
Bad air at work and school – what are the risks?
As the transmission of COVID-19 is significantly more likely indoors than outdoors, the office has emerged as ground zero for the disease. Due to their nature as closed indoor spaces where people gather for hours, a study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases concluded that COVID “can be exceptionally contagious in crowded office settings.”
But the risks of poor office air quality go far beyond COVID-19. Researchers from the International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy found that bad air in the workplace negatively affects employee morale and performance.
Researchers looking into air quality at schools have found similar results linking poor indoor air with cognitive and emotional difficulties. Students exposed to bad air at their educational institutions had higher rates of absenteeism and diminished academic performances, compared to their counterparts at schools with cleaner air.
What worsens indoor air quality?
Bad air quality is caused by airborne pollutants – organic or inorganic matter circulating in the air within an indoor space. These pollutants are incredibly diverse, and their effects on the body and mind are drastically different, depending on the contaminant.
Poor indoor air contains high levels of contaminants. These tiny airborne particles could be anything from biological pathogens like viruses, bacterias, and molds, to cigarette smoke and dog hair, to VOCs — gases that are created by chemical reactions from everyday objects, including cleaning and art supplies.
Airborne biological pathogens, such as the virus which causes COVID-19 and bacteria that lead to deadly Legionnaires’ disease infections, thrive in indoor spaces. Other pollutants, like pollen and pet dander, can cause respiratory distress among allergy sufferers, but their presence is obviously much less serious of a threat than elements like viruses, bacterias, and molds.
With so many possible airborne contaminants floating around, some largely harmless while others have the potential to cause serious illness and even death, how can you know if internal air quality at your site is safe?
Indoor air quality measurement – the basics
If you want to know exactly what pollutants are present in your indoor air, it’s time to embrace internal air quality monitoring. That means taking an active approach to testing for potential contaminants, determining if they are at safe levels for your site, and taking steps to improve your indoor air quality if it’s below acceptable safety standards.
Site managers that are looking for a general big-picture overview can purchase an indoor air quality monitor (IAQ), a DIY device that detects common contaminants like lead paint, molds, and carbon monoxide. These devices run the gamut from sophisticated and expensive models to cheaper versions that provide general, basic information about a limited number of contaminants.
An indoor air quality testing professional can help you detect a wider range of pollutants. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde are typically not picked up by DIY air quality monitors. For a comprehensive, deep dive into what’s present in the air at your site, you should reach out to an expert.
What if you find out that air quality in your space is below acceptable levels? You’ll need to utilize air purification technology that can remove airborne contaminants and bring your air quality up to standard safety levels.
For a highly effective solution, consider hydrogen peroxide for indoor air quality improvement. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful cleanser that neutralizes biological pathogens but is gentle enough to be used in everyday items like toothpaste and antiseptics.
Tadiran’s TADIRAN AIROW™ air purification device leverages water molecules already present in the air and transforms them into pathogen-destroying hydrogen peroxide. In FDA-cleared lab tests, TADIRAN AIROW reduced levels of COVID, bacteria, and mold by up to 99.998*% in indoor spaces.
If you’d like to learn more about how hydrogen peroxide can help ensure safe internal air at your site, get in touch with us. We’d love to guide you in your search to find the right air purification system for excellent indoor air in your space.