Indoor Air Quality and Your Business
The importance of industrial indoor air quality should always be taken seriously. It can have a lasting effect on the productivity and health of any blue-collar work environment. Maintaining proper indoor air quality should be top of mind for any managers, plant operators or others in charge of the building.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the state of the breathable air inside of or surrounding a building. IAQ factors can include the amount of outside air making its way into the building, temperature, humidity, and airborne contaminants among others. Poor-quality inside air can cause negative health effects on those afflicted in the short and long term, with the Environmental Protection Agency declaring indoor air pollution a top five environmental public health risk.
Airborne contaminants have variety of causes. One common source is lackluster or uncontrolled systems releasing harmful gases into the air, such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Also, non-biological particles like synthetic fibers become inhalable at the diameter of 10 micrometers or less. Air pollution could also come from microbial contaminants like fungi, bacteria, and dust mites.
Volatile organic compounds are the most common indoor air pollutants. VOCs are up to 10 times likelier to occur indoors instead of outdoors and can come from solvents, pesticides, adhesives, paints, and disinfectants. Negative effects of VOCs can include trouble breathing, damage to your central nervous system, and irritated eyes.
What can industrial organizations do to take preventive measures? A reliable first step is to take readings on air quality and notice which contaminants are present. Once enough information has been gathered, solutions can be discussed on how to eliminate them.
Another safety measure is to equip all workers with the necessary safety gear. Millions of U.S. workers wear respirators to protect themselves against harmful dusts, smokes, gases, vapors, and insufficient oxygen levels. Proper protective gear should be recommended whether there is an OSHA mandate or not.
One implementation to improve IAQ is to install custom industrial dampers to have full autonomy over your air control system. By implementing industrial dampers, you will maximize airflow control efficiency without spending a fortune.
All industries should ensure the safety of their workers and to protect equipment from airborne pollutants. For more information on how to improve IAQ in your warehouse, please see the accompanying guide.
Infographic created by Kelair Dampers, specialists in industrial ductwork