Are respiratory diseases in the workplace on the rise due to air pollution?

Instances of respiratory diseases are on the rise due to air pollution. We are in a world obsessed with modern urban infrastructure with motorways, tunnels and ring roads. We inevitably forget we have a price to pay for our advancement in technology and vehicle emissions.

air pollution

Outdoor and indoor air pollution causes respiratory and other diseases. Factors that add to contamination of air are a various mixture of pollutants namely, Particulate Matter (PM), PM10, PM 2.5, ground level Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and CO.

We all know that regular exercise and healthy eating are tried and tested ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but we don’t seem to care so much about the quality of the air that we breathe. Each day, we eat about 1 kg of food. We drink approximately 2 litres of liquids, and we breathe a staggering 25 kg of air! How do we know if every breath we take is really healthy clean air?

FACT: We spend more than 90 percent of our time indoors and indoor air can be up to 50 times more polluted than outdoor air. In homes, offices and schools, indoor air pollutants consist of outdoor pollution that infiltrate buildings but poor air is also generated by our own activities

Health impacts of air pollution

According to a recent WHO report, only 12% of the urban population worldwide complies with the global health organisation’s air quality guideline levels and half of the urban population is exposed to air pollution that is 2.5 times higher than the prescribed levels.

WHO’s report (2014) said that 3.7 million people died (under 60 years) due to outdoor air pollution in the year 2012. Outdoor and indoor air pollution contains high concentrations of gaseous, solid particles and fine particulate pollution that causes heart diseases, stroke, respiratory illnesses and cancer. With air quality deteriorating globally, it is estimated that by 2050, 6.6 million premature deaths will occur globally per year due to increase in population and pollution.

So what’s the solution?

It is possible to ensure that the air that we breathe in the home and the workplace is safe and free from any harmful particles that could cause allergic reactions or respiratory problems by keeping indoor air clean and healthy. The simple solution could be to simply open a window, but if you are one of the many thousands of workers in a building in one of the UK’s pollution hotspots, this isn’t possible. Employees in multi storey offices, particularly those located in offices over parking garages or loading docks (in warehouses for example), may breathe in carbon monoxide carried into the building through the fresh-air-intake vents. If the office is located next to a busy road, then it is likely to be in a pollution hotspot.

CamCleaner™ is a range of patented air purifiers with the most efficient HEPA filters on the market. They can work alone and can be moved to bad air hotspots. They also work as a supplement to existing ventilation systems providing reduced energy costs, a more efficient workplace and a healthier work environment by removing dust, contaminants and harmful particles. When the air is free from particles and dust, employees are protected and productivity levels rise.

You can solve the office air problem by investing in a portable office air cleaner from Camfil:

air cleaners for waiting rooms

City-M Air Cleaners from Camfil are well suited to prevent exposure to odours and workplace pollutants. These office air cleaners are allergy approved and equipped with particulate and molecular filters to deliver a healthier indoor air quality by removing smells, dust, contaminants and harmful particles in reception areas, corridors and offices. You may spend up to 10 hours a day at work breathing bad indoor air. The result: headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritability, itchy eyes, and respiratory illnesses, among other problems.

So how do you find out how good or bad the air is in your workplace?

You can report any signs of poor air quality to management. Employers have a duty of care and a legal obligation to investigate complaints regarding health & safety issues in the workplace.

Camfil are currently offering a free, no-obligation IAQ test to demonstrate the power of the CityM CamCleaner. This will tell you and your employer how good or bad the air is, and what is needed to fix it. The test will advise on the concentrations of airborne contaminants and we’ll provide further testing and analysis to give you peace of mind if necessary.

To arrange an IAQ particle analysis test, email us here.

Read more from Camfil on IAQ in offices:

 

Camfil Air

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